lemon balm

Herb Spotlight: Lemon Balm

This lovely herb is part of our Citrus Joy blend. We love how fragrant it is both in the garden and in our tea. Its botanical name is Melissa officinalis and in addition to Lemon Balm, you may see it called bee balm or balm. It is similar to mint in growing habit- meaning it will take over your garden!

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Lemon Balm is considered to be a calming, soothing, tonifying, and adaptogenic herb. While these qualities may make it seem odd to include Lemon Balm in a tea that helps to pick you up during the day, it is also a cerebral stimulant.(1) Often this herb is recommended for people experiencing indigestion(2), headache(3), chronic fatigue(1), anxiety, both hyperthyroid(6) and hypothyroid(1), and difficulties with concentration, memory, or mental focus.(4)

There are many plant compounds in Lemon Balm. One of the more widely known is Vitamin C.5 This vitamin along with rosmarinic acid, essential oils, and other constituents help to support your wellness by bringing support to your immune system. Many of the constituents also relax the muscles in your digestive tract.(1,5)

As clinical research continues on herbs, we will learn more about why a plant is able to enhance our well-being more fully. Until then, know that there are some contraindications to be aware of regarding many herbs. For lemon balm, the most common concerns are for those already taking a sedative medication or thyroid medication. There may be drug-herb interactions and you may want to talk to your healthcare provider first.(2,5,6)

1 Herbwisdom. Lemon Balm/melissa. Retrieved on April 17, 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-lemon-balm.html

2 Liversidge, Cassie. Homegrown Tea. St. Martin’s Griffin, New York. 2014. p.44-48

3 Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women. Simon & Schuster. 1993. p.176-177

4 Bove, Mary ND. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) An Overview of its Versatility, Effectiveness, and Indications. Retrieved on April 17, 2016. Retrieved from http://cdn.naturaldispensary.com/downloads/A_Research_Review_of_Lemon_Balm.pdf

5 Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs A Beginner’s Guide. Storey Publishing. 2012. p.156-158

6 University of Michigan Health System. Lemon Balm. Last reviewed on April 14, 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2121004#hn-2121004-uses