Native to the European continent, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is now grown worldwide. It is a perennial herb with easy care, which is part of the mint family. Sometimes it is known as lemon mint. It has nothing to do with citrus or any part of the lemon tree. It often grows up to 2 feet tall and has light green leaves in the shape of a heart. In the summer it has flowers of small white flowers, but more often it is grown with lemon-aromatic and tasty leaves.
Lemon balm leaves a very pleasant lemon, mint flavor. The leaves are dried and used in a variety of teas and spices. You can also use fresh and add excellent flavor for marinades for chicken and fish. The leaves also make a very attractive and edible side dish.
You will also see leaves of lemon balm used in natural cosmetics
Leaves have strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. What is lemon balm used for? It contains substances called tannins, which are believed to help with many antiviral benefits. Due to these medicinal qualities, it is usually mixed with lotions for the treatment of skin lesions resulting from infections such as herpes simplex. In a study of 116 people with herpes simplex virus, people who used lemon balm on their lip sores experienced a significant improvement in redness and swelling after two days of use. Because it is extremely soothing, it also helps relieve skin inflammation caused by insect bites, poison ivy and oak, and is used to treat herpes.
It is believed that the Arab tribes began to use lemon balm for its medicinal properties since the Middle Ages. They found it very helpful in treating stress, anxiety and depression. Several modern studies have shown that lemon balm for sleep is useful to improve the quality of sleep. These studies show that it is especially effective in combination with other natural sleep aids, such as valerian root, hops, L-theanine, melatonin, passionate flower, and magnesium. In a study of people with insomnia, those who took a combination of valerian root and lemon balm reported that they slept much better than those who took placebo.
Similar results were found in studies using lemon balm for anxiety
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 18 volunteers took two separate individual doses of a standardized extract or placebo for 7 days. The lemon balm research group reported less stress, anxiety, and a general sense of well-being. The placebo group was still stunned by anxiety. Just like using it for sleep problems, it seems more effective when combined with other relaxing herbs, such as the passion flower and valerian.