Lemon balm. Natural anti-stress antidote
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Have trouble at work, argument with loved one or maybe you’re just exhausted? Sometimes it can be difficult to cope with hard moments without support. Antidepressants or therapy are solutions of last resort. Fortunately, there are gentler ways to soothe the nerves. Try lemon balm! This herb has been used for centuries to soothe nerves and promote relaxation. How exactly melissa works? We check!
- An unusual, aromatic herb. What is lemon balm?
- Melissa – herbal remedy for calming and sleep
- What is found in lemon balm? Properties and uses
- How to use melissa? Are there any contraindications?
- An intriguing duo: lemon balm and yerba mate
An unusual, aromatic herb. What is lemon balm?
Melissa, or actually lemon balm (Latin: Melissa officinalis), is a herb known from gardens and wild meadows. It is a small plant that grows in the form of a bush, up to a maximum height of 60 cm and is closely related to mint. The dark green leaves are heart-shaped, have serrated edges and are covered with a characteristic fuzz. Lemon balm has a very pleasant, lemony aroma – hence its common name. Due to its remarkable properties, melissa was appreciated centuries ago. It is used in culinary applications as an ingredient in herbal infusions, a seasoning for dishes and a salad dressing. It turns out that lemon balm not only smells and tastes great, but also has many other benefits. How does lemon balm work?
Melissa – herbal remedy for calming and sleep
Lemon balm is primarily known for its calming properties. It soothes states of mild emotional tension and even calms mild depressive conditions, helps to relax and facilitates falling asleep. Its beneficial properties have been used since ancient times. It was called the "elixir of life" or "joy for the heart" and was used in traditional herbalism. In the past, it was a common remedy for all kinds of pain – head, tooth, ear or stomach aches. Lemon balm was also used to disinfect wounds, and during colds. Some people even used the herb to protect against evil charms and others believed that melissa have the power to ward off melancholy and heal a broken heart. Lemon balm was linked to love and some believed it had the power to restore youth.
What is found in lemon balm? Properties and uses
Melissa owes its miraculous effects to the numerous active compounds it contains. The most important of these are essential oils and polyphenols, among which rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid play the most important role. Antioxidants help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to a number of chronic diseases. The composition of lemon balm and its properties have been repeatedly and thoroughly studied by scientists over the years. Many of the properties attributed to it in folk medicine have not been unequivocally documented. Although, the plant has been recognised as a traditional medicinal product by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Officially, therefore, lemon balm is used as a remedy for sleep problems and insomnia, stress and mood disorders, as well as gastrointestinal problems. In addition, lemon balm has an antibacterial and diuretic effect and relieves menstrual symptoms.
How to use melissa? Are there any contraindications?
The easiest way to use lemon balm is to make a tea. Simply steep one teaspoon of dried lemon balm leaves in a cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. After how long does lemon balm take effect? Its first positive effects will be felt after about 30 minutes. However, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the dried plant. Unfortunately, the lemon balm commonly available in shops in the form of express bags is almost completely devoid of the most valuable active substances, and therefore does not work as it should. It is worth choosing products from reliable sources.
So far, no side effects of lemon balm have been reported, although, as with any herbal-based infusion, moderation in use should be maintained. Especially, pregnant and breastfeeding women should be careful, as well as those using sedatives and sleeping pills. Lemon balm may exacerbate their effects. We would also like to remind that, although lemon balm has a mild antidepressant effect, in the case of serious disorders and emotional problems, it is necessary to consult a specialist!
An intriguing duo: lemon balm and yerba mate
Lemon balm is a true oasis of calm and yerba mate is an untamed element of energy. But what if you combine these two ingredients? It turns out that they work extremely well together! Yerba mate stimulates the body and is a great alternative to coffee. However, unlike coffee, which acts quickly and rapidly, the stimulating effect of yerba mate is slow, harmonious and balanced. Mate tea stimulates action, but at the same time allows you to relax and put yourself in a pleasant mood. The addition of lemon balm makes the effects of yerba mate even more harmonious and enjoyable! In our online shop, you will find several products with lemon balm, such as the Uruguayan-Brazilian, dusty Canarias Serena with the addition of passion fruit, mint and lime, or the mild, flavoured CBSé Hierbas Cuyanas, with a bouquet of aromatic herbs: coriander, fennel, mint, poleo and boldo. We also offer something for those who do not like the intense taste of yerba mate and prefer milder tea infusions – Mary Rose Herbal Dreams green tea with chamomile, mint, jasmine flower, eucalyptus leaves and basil. Highly recommended!
Source of information:
- Wikipedia: Lemon balm.
- European Medicines Agency.
- A. Shakeri, A. Sahebkar, B. Javadi, Melissa officinalis, L. – A Review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2015.
- S. Miraj, R. Kopaei, S. Kiani, Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study with an Antioxidant Prospective, Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2017.