As some would say, some of the best remedies that work are the ones that have been used for a long time. This is the case with lemon balm as its usage dates back to the times when Ancient Rome and Greece were thriving nations. From botanists and medics in those regions to Azerbaijan’s folk medicine practice – Turkahara, lemon balm is an Anxiolytic that is recorded to have a healing reputation and best medication for anxiety.
You will find that even today, this plant is used by many Ayurvedic enthusiasts for its many health benefits. The leaves, which have a mild lemony aroma, are used either on their own or mixed with other herbs to make various medicines.
The popularity of lemon balm is credited to its multi-faceted ability to have calming effects on both the mind and body. Over the long course of its use, lemon balm has been reported to help cure people of physical ailments such as digestive tract issues like bloating, cramps, vomiting etc. Along with that, lemon balm has proved to be of great aid for mental illnesses. It has been used to relieve anxiety, insomnia, hysteria and other stress-related issues. Besides that, It is also used to make teas, flavorings for food items and many other commercial products.
Lemon Balm, scientifically known as “Melissa Officinalis”, is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the mint family. The plant is native to Iran, Central Asia, south-central Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. From there the plant has been migrated to be naturalized in the Americas and other regions of the world.
The plant itself grows to a height of 28-59 inches with serrated, heart-shaped leaves and small white flowers. The lemon scented leaves are the most important part of the plant as they contain numerous compounds and nutrients that provide it calming and anti-inflammatory qualities. The main active constituents that make lemon balm a health wonder include ursolic acid, luteolin, rosmarinic acid, hesperidin, geraniol and oleanolic acid.
As per limited recorded history, Melissa Officinalis has been cultivated since the early 16th century. And while research is still being conducted to establish a more concrete evidence of its benefits, its popularity in folk and traditional medicine proves its legitimacy and importance.
- Fights stress and makes feel relaxed
- Regulates sleep cycle and pattern
- Regulates mood
Aside from having a pleasing and refreshing aroma, lemon balm is also a great stress reliever and can also treat your anxiety. Lemon balm comprises of many different compounds which include polyphenols and flavonoids. Both of these compounds are famously known for several health benefits. They are also known to affect the neurotransmitters of the brain in a fairly positive manner. This positive effect on the brain helps lemon balm in treating problems like anxiety, dementia, insomnia and many more.
As discussed above, lemon balm has a significant effect on the nervous activity of the brain. So if you take a higher dose of lemon balm to increase this effect than you can mildly sedate the brain. This sedative effect of the herb really helps in getting rid of anxiety without triggering any other reaction of the body.
Lemon balm not only alleviates the anxiety but is also helpful in treating other problems such as stress and insomnia. Many studies have proven over the years that lemon balm is one of the best natural drugs to relax the brain properly. This sedation of the neural system helps get rid of intense stress and also lets the user sleep in peace.
Melissa Officinalis contains a rich blend of constituents including vitamins, minerals and other compounds that provide lemon balm with its nutritional value. According to a simple breakdown of its chemistry, lemon balm contains several hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives including rosmarinic acid, metrilic acid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. It also contains several flavonoids like luteolin and apigenin along with volatile oils, triterpenes, and other compounds.
All of the constituents combine their individual benefits to create various pharmacological mechanisms including sedative or calming, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other effects.
1. Sedative or Calming Effects
The main effect lemon balm is most commonly used for is its ability to reduce anxiety and alleviate symptoms of stress. Several studies were conducted on mice to affirm lemon balm’s sedative effect with results that showed the plant having an influence on the Central Nervous System.
The main way lemon balm creates this effect by increasing the amount of GABA. This makes lemon balm an inhibitory neurotransmitter for the brain as it inhibits an enzyme called GABA transaminase. This enzyme breaks down GABA, which produces a relaxing and calming effect that reduces stress and anxiety. Besides that, essential volatile oil extracts from lemon balm are reported to induce sleep, evoke anti-aggressive behavior and create an analgesic effect.
2. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Lemon balm is also full of compounds like rosmarinic acid which successfully inhibit inflammatory enzymes and proteins like IL-1 and IL-6. IL-1 refers to two cytokines IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta, both of which are activated by macrophages and is responsible for encouraging fever and sepsis in the human body.
Along with that, lemon balm also reduces the total amount of TNF-alpha, which is a cell signaling protein or cytokine that aggregates inflammation. Lemon balm, however, contains enzymes and compounds that represses both cytokines and reduce inflammation.
3. Antioxidant Effects
Different lemon balm supplements are reported to contain high amounts of concentrated antioxidants, sometimes summing up to be greater than 75mmol/100g. The presence of a phytonutrient group called hydroxycinnamic acid plays an integral role in highlighting the antioxidant properties of Melissa Officinalis.
Free radical and impurities that circle the bloodstream of human bodies pose a threat to the immune system as they are toxic. But lemon balm has the ability to remove these impurities from the body by catalyzing antioxidant and immune-modulating activities. Hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives like rosmarinic and caffeic acid are known phytonutrients that stimulate the immune system and remove free radicals.
4. Cardiovascular Effects
The presence of acetylcholine in lemon balm plays an important role by binding itself to nicotinic and muscarinic receptors in the human body. The stimulation of the muscarinic receptors in cardiac tissues demonstrates a significant impact by reducing the cardiac rate and in turn reducing hypertension.
5. Antiviral and Antibacterial Effects
Previous studies testing various extracts lemon balms concluded the tannin and polyphenol constituents of the plant to have a significantly effective impact on several viral diseases. Each type of lemon balm extract creates different antiviral effects and was proven to be positively effective against Newcastle disease virus, herpes simplex virus 2, influenza virus, Semliki forest virus and more.
Similarly, some of the phytonutrients were reported to have antibacterial and antifungal effects against various macrophages. Extractions of lemon balm oils were observed to contain strong antibacterial activity against many multi-resistant strains of bacteria like Shigella sonnei and S. enterica. A strong concentration of lemon balm herb has proven to have an antimicrobial charge against Dekkeraanomala, Torulasporadelbrueckii, Porphyromonasgingivalis and more.
From the times of Ancient civilizations until now, traditional medicine has been using lemon balm for its many beneficial effects it provides to the human body. On its own or by combining it with other herbs, lemon balm is used for many reasons including as a sedative to beat insomnia and a healing agent.
It is rich in nutrients like anti-oxidants, polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids and other phytonutrients with beneficial properties. Deemed as a wonder plant for various mental and physical illnesses, lemon balm provides the following benefits and more.
1. Natural Ways to deal with anxiety using Lemon Balm:
Lemon balm reports being mainly used by traditional medics to treat and relieve anxiety and stress. Various studies conducted on rats and previous reviews from users show lemon balm to have anti-anxiety effects on the brain.
In a pilot research that studied 14 people with some type of stress-related disease, It was observed to completely eliminate anxiety. This effect takes place as lemon balm increases GABA levels, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that controls the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
2. How to cure insomnia
Another benefit that lemon balm provides by increasing GABA levels in the brain is improving sleep cycles. By maintaining the neurotransmitter’s levels, lemon balm encourages the release of ‘happy’ hormones that relax the brain. When the brain is not over-working and in a calm state, it reduces the chances of insomnia and sleeplessness.
3. Reduces Panic Attacks and Hypertension
Similar to its ability to reduce stress, lemon balm stimulates receptors in the entire body and reduces cardiac rates. This reduces the chances of the body going into an overwhelming state when experiencing a panic attack. Several constituents in lemon balm inhibit sodium and potassium ion channels, slowing down rapid heartbeats that push the body into overdrive.
4. Boosts Cognitive Function
According to a study conducted in 2014, studying the anti-stress effects of lemon balm, the combination of its nutrients was proven to improve the cognitive function in participants who took lemon balm supplements. Since lemon balm stimulates receptors by activating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it improves brain function.
An improved memory is another benefit that the participants received from ingesting lemon balm supplements. Thus, it can be used to find potential treatments for diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
5. Treats Cold Sores
As discussed earlier under antiviral effects, lemon balm has volatile oils that prevent viruses like HSV-1 which causes oral herpes or cold sores. Rosmarinic acid in lemon balm prevents the virus from festering and attaching to cells and causing an infection. A lip balm containing lemon balm extract, applied regularly can help clear up the sores.
6. Alleviates Pain
Various alcohol-based extracts from lemon balm block the arginine-nitric oxide pathway and increase acetylcholine levels that reduce various types of pains in the body. Anti-inflammatory constituents of lemon balm combined with its stress-reducing qualities help the immune system reduce pain in different parts of the body.
Lemon balm is one of the safest natural drugs that you can buy from the market today. It can be used internally by consuming it through the mouth and externally by applying it to the skin. Experts recommend that lemon balm is mostly safe when used in a normal food amount. There have been several researches that concluded that lemon balm does not cause any side effects when consumed through the mouth in the proper dosage. However, if you increase the dose without consultation or consume it improperly then minor side effects such as nausea, dizziness, increased appetite and wheezing can occur.
Same approach should be taken when trying to use lemon balm externally. The only external side effect that can occur if you improperly use lemon balm on the skin is skin irritation. Another external side effect known to occur is increased sore cold.
It is one of the natural and potent Anxiolytics that can be administered either orally or in ointment form. The following is the recommended dosage for lemon balm according to ones used in previous scientific researches:
- Tea: If you plan on using lemon balm in tea form, brew one cup tea 2-3 times per day or as needed.
- Extract: Lemon extract can be very potent and should be consumed by taking 60 drops or 2-6ml lemon balm tincture twice a day. Make sure that the lemon balm extract is prepared 1:1 ratio in 45% alcohol.
- Capsules: For anxiety and stress-related issues, sleep, and headaches, take one 300 – 600 mg capsule three times a day. In a sudden event of a headache or anxiety attack, take one capsule immediately.
- Ointment: For cold sores or oral herpes, you can safely use an ointment or cream containing 1% of a 70:1 freeze-dried, water-soluble extract 2 to 4 times per day. Use daily until the sores disappear completely.
Lemon balm is a popular Anxiolytic that has the potential to provide various benefits including treating various physical and mental illnesses, improving cognitive functions and relieving anxiety and stress. Along with that, Melissa Officinalis is an inhibitory neurotransmitter for the brain which provides anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and other qualities.
It can be used as a sedative to beat insomnia and a healing agent. You can Buy Lemon Balm online and have this natural remedy for stress and anxiety delivered to your doorstep. You can simply make a search query on Google for Lemon Balm and buy it online from stores that can deliver to where you live.
- Antioxidant effect of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and mate tea (Ilex paraguensys) on quality, lipid peroxidation and DNA oxidation of cryopreserved boar epididymal spermatozoa.
- Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods.
- Negative Chronotropic and Antidysrhythmic Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis L.) on CaCl2-Induced Arrhythmias in Rats.
- Valerian/lemon balm use for sleep disorders during menopause.
- The effect of supplementation of clove and agrimony or clove and lemon balm on growth performance, antioxidant status and selected indices of lipid profile of broiler chickens.
- Enrichment of antioxidant compounds from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) by pressurized liquid extraction and enzyme-assisted extraction.
- DNA isolation protocol for the medicinal plant lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, Lamiaceae).
- Purification and spectroscopic studies on catechol oxidase from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis).
- Anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) extract in rats: Influence of administration and gender.
- Effects of Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm) extract on neurogenesis associated with serum corticosterone and GABA in the mouse dentate gyrus.
- Anti-diabetic effects of lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis) essential oil on glucose- and lipid-regulating enzymes in type 2 diabetic mice.
- Bioassay-guided fractionation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) using an in vitro measure of GABA transaminase activity.
- Investigation of the anxiolytic effects of luteolin, a lemon balm flavonoid in the male Sprague-Dawley rat.
- Flavonoids from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L., Lamiaceae).
- Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers.