Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a relatively common part of the mint family. It has a lemony scent and flavor.
This plant is sometimes called ‘bee balm’, but should not be confused with the plant in the Monarda family more commonly called by that name.Lemon balm contains eugenol, antioxidants, rosmarinic acid, and citronellal.
They have strong natural antiviral, anti-fungal, sedative, and antispasmodic properties.
Medicinally, the leaves of the lemon balm can be used topically, eaten, or brewed as a tea. You can prepare lemon balm tea by using up to 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves or 2 tsp dry leaves per cup.
If you want to incorporate lemon balm into your regular diet, you can do this with a lemon balm pesto.
Lemon balm can also be applied on the skin, crushed or extracted into an essential oil.
Natural Lemon Balm Cures
You can use lemon balm to calm down your nerves. In some studies it has been used successfully to calm down people with severe dementia. Moreover, it can be used for digestive disorders and to soothe the stomach. This herb is beneficial for cold sores, and for improving the overall mood.
Applying some crushed leaves on your skin can act as an effective mosquitoes repellent.
What is more, lemon balm is often combined with Valerian and other herbs to fight insomnia or as a general sleep aid. However, be aware that lemon balm may inhibit the action of thyroid medications.
Herpes & Cold Sores
Lemon balm can prevent the emergence of cold sores and it can quickly get rid of herpes symptoms. Most recent studied show that using the lemon balm to treat these conditions is generally positive.
One published study found that swelling and redness were reduced within two days by continued application of a lemon balm ointment. Another option is to dab emerging or existing cold sores with cold lemon balm tea. Consistent use of lemon balm against a cold sore outbreak may also prevent recurrence.