Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a herb, traditionally used for improving cognition and reducing stress and anxiety. The name ‘lemon balm’ is attributed to its noticeable lemony scent. Lemon balm contains chemicals that seem to have a sedative, calming effect. It might also reduce the growth of some viruses.
The plant has reputation on being effective for many medical issues. We have summer them up and we give you 9 reasons to drink tea of lemon balm.
Calms you Down
Lemon balm has been used for centuries as a popular oil in aromatherapy. Lemon balm oil is the oil that has been carefully pressed from the flowers of the lemon balm plant. many studies have shown the calming effect of lemon balm tea. It makes you think clearly by reducing anxiety.
Lemon balm also encourages a more restful sleep, according to some research. A placebo-controlled trial found menopausal women suffering with sleep disruptions reported much better sleep after taking a lemon balm/valerian extract compared to those taking the placebo.
Makes Skin Look Younger
The first cosmetic use of lemon balm goes back to the 1300s when the Queen of Hungary used it to erase the years (and reportedly the wrinkles). It’s still recommended for soothing the skin and reducing fine lines.
Although lemon balm calms the mind, it certainly doesn’t dull the mind. One Australian study noted improved alertness in participants supplementing with the herb in addition to feelings of calm and an improved, more positive mood.
Sharpens your Mind
Studies have observed improved memory and problem-solving in test subjects regardless of age after taking lemon balm. Young or old, those taking lemon balm show improvements in problem-solving skills and recall.
Though preliminary, patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have seen improvements based on several recent studies. In one Chinese study eugenol, a powerful antioxidant found in lemon balm, and acupuncture helped test subjects recover memory-related functions.
Another study noted lemon balm suppresses brain chemical acetylcholinesterase which breaks down the brain-signaling chemical acetylcholine which is responsible for memory and thought. This action helps stimulate and support memory and mood.
Lemon balm is loaded with antioxidants that keep your cells safe from free radical damage. Studies on eugenol and rosmarinic acid show they support a healthy brain.
Supports the Liver
The liver clears toxins from the body, so keeping it healthy means keeping your entire body healthy. Over time, the process of detoxification can wear down the liver and lead to liver damage. In one trial using animal models, lemon balm proved as effective as a liver drug in protecting the organ from the damaging effects caused by toxins. It also supports the liver’s production of two of the human body’s natural antioxidants: glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
For Normal Blood Sugar
Many herbs that support antioxidant levels also help balance blood sugar. Although research is limited on lemon balm’s effect on blood sugar, one study has shown that, when taken consistently, it does promote stable blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance. Based on the research so far, lemon balm appears to have a positive influence on blood sugar.
Protects Brain Cells
Beyond the positive effect on memory, thinking, and calmness, research suggests lemon balm protects the physical brain from damage. Eugenol neutralizes free radicals before they can attack brain cells. Rosmarinic acid, another key compound in lemon balm, has shown promise in the treatment of stroke victims. Research with animal models shows that given shortly after a stroke, lemon balm appears to protect areas of the brain against damage.