What is Lemon Balm
From being a relaxing tummy-soothing herbaceous plant, to clearing cold sores, treating insomnia, detoxifying the body, soothing menstrual symptoms and easing digestion, Lemon Balm is one highly useful member of the mint family.
Lemon balm is a herb derived from the leaves of the lemon balm plant. Praised for its calming qualities, lemon balm’s role of traditional healing practices has been around for the longest of times. The numerous health benefits are largely the result of the active compounds found in it, including tannins, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, citronellal, eugenol and other polyphenolic compounds, as well as copper, manganese, zinc and various essential vitamins.
Uses of Lemon Balm
The lemon-scented leaves are used to make medicines, tea, perfume oil and at times, even homemade toothpaste. Lemon balm is either used alone or as a home remedy, combined with various multi-herb products. Apart from its medicinal use, it is also used to treat several skin problems and is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer’s disease. This fast-growing herb’s oil and extract are also used as flavoring in many foods.
Lemon Balm Benefits:
1. Treating Insomnia
Researchers have investigated on lemon balm oil’s and/or extract’s use in improving insomnia, anxiety, mood and concentration. It is usually used as a combination of lemon balm and other herbs like valerian, hops and chamomile.
Recent research (Gromball et al., 2014) proved that a product containing lemon balm and valerian root significantly reduced symptoms of restlessness and aided sleep in elementary aged children with symptoms of ADHD. Valerian Root and Lemon Balm not only improve attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms in children but this herbal combination has proved to be just as effective as any other insomnia medication, at improving a person’s ability and quality of sleep.
Lemon Balm/Sleep Tea will also help you if you are a sleep deprived woman going through her menopause phase, by reducing symptoms of insomnia and sleep disorder.
2. Better Digestion
Lemon Balm is known to ease indigestion. For example, if you are prone to get excess flatulence, constipation, bloating, cramping or acid reflux disease, then resort to a relaxing cup of its tea each day to not only optimize your digestion but also guarantee proper nutrient uptake. Pairing up Lemon Balm with peppermint also has a protective effect on your gastrointestinal system.
3. Fight Herpes and Cold Sores
You can apply lemon balm tea to cold sores and herpes lesions. Numerous studies have linked the flavonoids, phenolic acids and other compounds in lemon balm tea to fighting the herpes virus. According to research, lemon balm has antiviral qualities, and if applied topically, it can effectively treat herpes simplex virus sores around the mouth and genitals.
If you use lemon balm extract in cream form, the intervals between herpes breakouts become longer, the healing period shortens and symptoms like itching and burning, seem to decrease. The same results exist when using lemon balm essential oil.
4. Cognitive Boost – treat Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms
Drinking lemon balm tea may help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It can help improve cognitive function, memory, decrease anxiety and sharpen memory in individuals with Alzheimer’s. Anxiety and stress is linked to a number of problems, including higher levels of oxidative stress, strain on the metabolism, and poor heart health. This calming tea helps ease out anxiety and depression, and is normally also used as an aromatherapy tool for Alzheimer’s.
5. No more PMS-ing
According to studies, lemon balm capsules help in effectively reducing PMS symptoms in high school aged women. If you are someone who has to go through painful menstrual cramps every month, then this trusted remedy is the one you should rely on! Its sedative and analgesic properties soothe the discomfort of painful periods and also relieve the symptoms of menstruation, including fatigue, constipation, depression, mood swings, headaches, anxiety and sleep trouble.
6. Protects against Heart Problems
The soothing nature of this herb also supports in suppressing blood pressure, making it an ideal blend for those who suffer from hypertension thereby, decreasing the chances of developing atherosclerosis, as well as experiencing heart attacks and strokes.
Its ability to protect the heart from various types of injuries is what leaves the researchers mind-boggled. However, it is still recommended to refer to a doctor before taking in this brew for heart problems specifically.
Possible Side Effects & Precautions
Lemon balm is generally safe for most people, but if you are allergic to other plants in the mint family, then the use of lemon balm may be an insensible idea. Moreover, if you take thyroid medication or are suffering from underactive thyroidism (hypothyroidism), then lemon balm tea is not suitable for use as it affects thyroid activity.
Although most herbal teas are recommended only for adults, lemon balm tea has been approved for use in children in small doses for limited times. Therefore, children can consume lemon balm in different forms as well. Enjoy!