Lemon Balm is such a lovely sounding name for an herb. But don’t let the lovely sounding name fool you. This herb is POWERFUL!
I thought it only fitting since we’re in the beginning of summer and in the season of the astrological sign Cancer to talk about lemon balm. Seventeenth century herbalist and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper proclaimed lemon balm being of the sign of Cancer as well as an “Herb of Jupiter”. He said the herb strengthens nature in all its actions. He also wrote how lemon balm causes the mind and heart to be merry. I can definitely attest to that! Lemon Balm has helped me in so many ways. And it has quickly risen to the top 5 herbs I don’t want to ever be without.
The History of Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm otherwise known as Melissa Officinalis is native to the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe and North Africa. It’s been used for over 2,000 years. In ancient times some of the medicinal usages for lemon balm were for depression, digestive issues, sores, insomnia and muscle aches.
It’s been reported that since the beginning lemon balm and bees have been like two peas in a pod. Honey and bees were viewed as a high commodity. Anything to keep the bees in the beehive was important back then. That’s where Lemon Balm first came to aid. Planting Lemon Balm around the beehives kept the bees close and brought even more bees to the hive. In fact the botanical name Melissa is actually the Greek word for “honey bee”.
The Properties of Lemon Balm
This perennial plant is a member of the mint family. And just like mint it can be invasive if not contained. Lemon Balm is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C , calcium and phosphor. The essential oil from the herb goes by the name of citronella. With some of Lemon Balm’s properties being antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
The Benefits of Lemon Balm
1. Can support digestion
Lemon Balm calms the intestinal tract and can heal stomach irritations.
2. Strengthens the immune system
This herb is high in antioxidants which are known to assist in building up the immune system.
3. Assist with mental concentration
4. Helps the mind with memory
5. Can be an intellect stimulant
6. Can help prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Lemon Balm can be used for anything related to the brain. Due to the herbalist Nicholas Culpepper he reported that Lemon Balm could be used … to open obstruction of the brain. Because of the high content of antioxidants it can alleviate plaque in neural pathways.
7. Helps with hyperthyroidism
This amazing herb has the ability to inhibit the loss of thyroid hormones.
8. Can assist with the healing of shingles/herpes.
Lemon Balm is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. So it’s an herb that inhibits virus infiltration. Reports show high concentrations of Lemon Balm eliminates viral infectivity almost completely.
9. Promotes calm and relaxation.
10. Aids the nervous system.
11. Lemon Balm works as an anti-stressor in the body.
12. Can help to stimulate a good mood.
13. Helps with insomnia.
14. Assists with combating depression.
Lemon Balm is a herbal nervine. Therefore it’s an herb that supports the nervous system and provides relaxation to that system and the entire body.
15. Can help regulate the heart.
16. Helps to reduce heart palpitations due to compromised nervous system.
17. Helps with blood circulation.
18. Protects the liver.
Lemon Balm helps and protects the liver from negative properties associated with unhealthy eating habits and environmental pollutants as reported here.
19. Aids in reducing blood sugar levels.
According to studies, Lemon Balm has been proven to reduce sugar and stress levels related to diabetes.
20. Excellent for oral maintenance.
By mixing drops of Lemon Balm oil into a little water and swishing around in the mouth you can treat possibly treat bad breath, bleeding gums and mouth infections.
21. Helps with insect bites and stings.
Due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Lemon Balm , insect bites and stings can heal very quickly by using Lemon Balm oil or salve.
How to use Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm can be used in many ways. Dried or fresh Lemon Balm leaves can be used for tea infusions, tincture, oils and balms. It can also be eaten in salads or as herbal seasonings to dishes. For more examples on how to use Lemon Balm, check out this link here.
How It Has Helped Me
I drink Lemon Balm as a tea. It has helped me with easing my shingle flare ups. It’s also helped me tremendously with my digestive issues. How I consume Lemon Balm for my digestion is by making a tea blend of Lemon Balm, Fennel and Licorice Root. I normally drink this twice a day when I’m having digestion issues or shingle flareups. And sometimes I substitute the Lavender for Lemon Balm when making my Lavender Matcha Latte which is delicious!
Lemon Balm Considerations
For most people Lemon Balm is safe to use. However Lemon Balm affects thyroid activity, so anyone with a hypoactive thyroid should be cautious when consuming this herb.
A lot of times when taking any herb for treatment (Lemon Balm included) it’s best to consume 3 weeks on and 1 week off.
As always when using herbs for medicinal applications consult your physician, herbalist or holistic practitioner to make sure you’re taking the correct herbs for your condition.
I stopped at 21 benefits for Lemon Balm. But there’s still quite a few more which weren’t listed here. Lemon balm has been used for centuries and it has so many positive benefits it’s definitely worth trying!