The lemon balm plant is a calming and relaxing herb that has been used in homeopathic medicine for centuries.
It’s grown as an annual herb, but it can also be grown indoors as a houseplant.
Lemon balm has many health benefits, including relieving stress and anxiety. This article explains the health benefits of the lemon balm plant and how you can include it in your daily life
What is Lemon Balm Plant?
The lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial herb in the mint family. It’s native to Europe, but it can be found all over the world.
Its leaves have a lemon-like scent and flavor and can be used fresh or dried.
Lemon balm is rich in antiviral and antibacterial properties and has been shown to fight inflammation and treat anxiety, insomnia, and indigestion.
Lemon balm is safe to take in small doses, but it can cause side effects like dizziness and upset stomach. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid lemon balm.
Lemon Balm Benefits
1. Fights anxiety
Lemon balm has long been used as a natural remedy for anxiety. A recent study found that lemon balm may effectively reduce anxiety symptoms like excitability and nervousness.
The study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, looked at the effects of lemon balm on a group of people with anxiety disorders. The participants were given either a placebo or a lemon balm extract. The group who took the lemon balm extract showed a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to the placebo group.
Lemon balm works by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. It is thought to work by increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Lemon balm also contains antioxidants that can help to protect the body from the damaging effects of stress.
If you suffer from anxiety, consider adding lemon balm to your diet or using it as a natural treatment option.
2. Treats cold sores
Lemon balm is a popular home remedy for cold sores, and with good reason. This herbal remedy has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help speed up the healing process. Lemon balm also helps soothe the pain and itching associated with cold sores.
When applied to the skin, lemon balm can help speed up the healing process of cold sores and prevent them from returning. It can also help to relieve pain and itching.
If you have a cold sore, you can try applying a lemon balm cream or extract to the affected area. You may also want to drink some lemon balm tea or take a lemon balm supplement to help boost your immune system and fight off the virus.
3. Improves sleep disorders
Lemon balm promotes body and mind relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
There are a number of studies that have shown the effectiveness of lemon balm in treating insomnia. One study found that it reduced stress and anxiety and improved sleep in people with sleep disturbances.
Another study found that it helped reduce the time it took to fall asleep by an average of 15 minutes.
If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your sleep, try drinking a cup of brewed lemon balm tea right before bed.
4. Improves cognitive function
A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that lemon balm improved memory and cognitive function in healthy adults.
The study participants were given either a placebo or lemon balm extract and then asked to complete a series of tasks designed to test their memory and cognitive function.
The participants who took the lemon balm extract performed better on the tests than those who took the placebo.
Another study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that lemon balm may help to improve Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
The study participants were given either a placebo or lemon balm extract and then asked to complete a series of tasks designed to test their memory and cognitive function. The participants who took the lemon balm extract performed better on the tests than those who took the placebo.
Lemon balm is thought to improve cognitive function by increasing levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning. Lemon balm also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may protect brain cells from damage.
5. Relieves indigestion
If you’re struggling with indigestion, lemon balm may be a natural remedy worth trying. This herb has been traditionally used to relieve gas, bloating, and other digestive issues.
Lemon balm is thought to work by stimulating the production of digestive juices and calming the nerves that can contribute to indigestion. There’s some evidence to support these claims: A 2012 study found that lemon balm was effective in treating functional dyspepsia, a type of indigestion characterized by pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
To use lemon balm for indigestion, you can take it as a supplement or brew it into a tea. For tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves in hot water for 10 minutes. Drink 1-3 cups per day.
6. Relieves nausea
Lemon balm has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea. The calming and soothing properties of lemon balm help to settle the stomach and ease nausea. Lemon balm is also known to be effective in relieving motion sickness.
7. Relieves menstrual cramps
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health found that lemon balm may be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps.
The study involved 60 women with primary dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or a lemon balm extract twice daily for four days, starting two days before their period began.
The researchers found that the women who took the lemon balm extract reported significantly less pain than those who took the placebo. They also experienced less anxiety and depression and had better sleep quality during their period.
While more research is needed to confirm these findings, lemon balm appears to be a safe and effective treatment for menstrual cramps. If you’re looking for a natural way to relieve your cramps, give lemon balm a try!
8. Lessens toothache pain
Lemon balm is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it an effective remedy for toothache pain.
To use lemon balm for toothache, steep a teaspoon of dried lemon balm in boiling water for 5 minutes. Once cooled, apply the mixture to a cotton ball and place it on the affected area. You can also drink the mixture as tea.
You can also add a few drops of lemon balm essential oil to a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area.
9. Relieves headache
Lemon balm is an effective herbal remedy for headaches. The herb has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help to relieve tension headaches.
The pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of lemon balm can also help reduce the severity of headache pain.
How to Use Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a versatile herb that can be used in many different ways. Here are some of the most popular ways to use lemon balm:
When it comes to culinary uses, lemon balm leaves can be used in different recipes. For instance, it can be used to make:
Lemon balm pesto is a delicious and easy way to add a zesty flavor to your favorite dishes. This recipe uses fresh lemon balm leaves, garlic, olive oil, and vegan Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes to create a flavorful pesto that can be used on pasta or vegetables. It can also be served with crackers or spread on bread.
Lemon balm zucchini soup
This soup is light and refreshing, perfect for summertime. The lemon balm leaves give it a bright flavor, while the zucchini makes it creamy and filling. I like adding a little cream like coconut cream to mine, but you can leave it out if you’re watching your calories. Serve this soup with a crusty piece of bread for a complete meal.
Lemon balm is also commonly used in baked goods and desserts.
Lemon balm can be used fresh or dried. When using fresh lemon balm, it is best to add it near the end of cooking so that its flavor is not lost. Dried lemon balm can be added at the beginning of cooking or during the last few minutes.
Lemon balm pairs well with other herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. It also goes well with fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits.
Lemon Balm Tea
This is a relaxing and calming tea that can be helpful for treating anxiety and insomnia. To make it, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. You can sweeten it with your favorite sweetener if you like.
Lemon Balm Tincture
This is a more concentrated form of lemon balm and can be helpful for treating anxiety, depression, or even chronic pain.
Lemon Balm Infused Oil
This oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema and cold sores. It can also be added to bathwater for a relaxing soak. To make it, infuse 1 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of dried lemon balm leaves for 2-4 weeks. Strain and store in a dark glass bottle. Apply externally as needed
Lemon balm capsules
Lemon balm capsules are an easy and convenient way to get your daily dose of this potent herb. Just take one or two capsules with water, preferably with a meal. Some people may want to start with a lower dose and increase gradually as needed.
Natural hair conditioner
Add a few drops of lemon balm essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner.
Add a few drops of the oil to your favorite lotion or cream and apply it to your face and neck.
Add lemon balm to your bathwater
Soak in a tub filled with warm water and a few drops of lemon balm oil for a relaxing and refreshing experience.
As a scrub
Make a lemon balm sugar scrub to gently exfoliate your skin. Simply mix together equal parts sugar and crushed dry lemon balm leaves, then massage onto damp skin in a circular motion. Rinse off with warm water.
Mix together powdered lemon balm leaves and olive oil to create a nourishing hair mask. Apply to damp hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave on for 30 minutes before shampooing as usual.
The pleasant smell of lemon balm is perfect for creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Add a few drops of lemon balm essential oil to your diffuser or vaporizer to enjoy its benefits.
Lemon Balm Plant Side Effects
Lemon balm is generally considered safe when used in small amounts. However, there are a few potential side effects to be aware of.
The most common side effect is Gastrointestinal upset, which may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is more likely to occur if the lemon balm is taken in large doses or if it is taken on an empty stomach. To avoid this, take lemon balm with food or drink and start with small doses, increasing gradually as needed.
Other possible side effects include headache, dizziness, and skin rash. These are typically mild and go away on their own. If you experience any of these side effects, reduce the dose or stop taking lemon balm altogether. If the symptoms persist or are severe, consult a healthcare professional.
Interaction with other medications
Lemon balm may interact with certain medications, such as sedatives or blood thinners. If you’re taking any medications, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using lemon balm.
In conclusion, lemon balm is a versatile and healthy plant that offers a variety of benefits.
From reducing stress and anxiety to improving digestion and sleep quality, this herb can have a positive impact on your overall health.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your wellness, consider adding lemon balm to your diet or using it topically in the form of essential oils or lotions.
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