Lemon Balm contains the active compound "rosmarinic acid" - an enzyme which effectively increases GABA (gamma amino-butyric acid) in the brain. GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters, used by the brain to prevent over-excitement and attain balance. It is responsible for ensuring that we are not overly stressed and plays a role in sleep cycles. Increasing stimulation of GABA receptors will produce a sedative or calming effect and explains why Lemon Balm works well as an anti-anxiety herb.
The difference between Lemon Balm being an effective anti-anxiety herb and a sleep aid is dosage. It combines extremely well with the herb Valerian, with several studies showing that these two herbs combined can induce a deep and restful night’s sleep.
Inflammatory conditions come in many varieties, ranging from arthritis and joint disorders to indigestion, allergic reactions and headaches. Lemon balm has a number of proven anti-inflammatory compounds that can quickly reduce or eliminate these conditions, when used regularly.
Lemon balm can help to fight free radical damage in ways that may prove to be remarkable in natural medicine.
Perhaps most notably in this particular benefit of lemon balm is its impact against a specific kind of cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. This fast-spreading cancer usually begins in the brain and has no known effective treatments. However, a 2014 study found that lemon balm essential oil caused apoptosis (spontaneous cell death) in these cancer cells.
Other studies have found lemon balm products to have apoptotic effects on other cancer cell lines, including a type of cancer affecting the organ lining separating the organ from the rest of the body, MCF-7 (a breast cancer cell line), a colorectal cancer cell line, the most common liver cancer cell and two different types of leukemia cells. (23)
Soothing the stomach is another popular use of lemon balm tincture, so if you regularly suffer from indigestion, excess flatulence, constipation, acid reflux disease, cramping or bloating, having a relaxing cup of this tea every day can optimize your digestion and ensure proper nutrient uptake.
Lemon Balm is what's known as a "carminative herb", meaning it can relieve stagnant digestion, ease abdominal cramping, and promote the overall digestive process. The volatile oils in Lemon Balm contain chemicals known as “terpenes” that relax muscles and relieve symptoms such as excess gas.
Lemon Balm contains both “choloretics” and “colagogues”, which may also help with liver and gall bladder problems.
For digestive relief, Lemon Balm is best consumed as a tea taken immediately after meals. For constipation, try making a mix of lemon balm, peppermint and angelica root.
There are antibacterial and antiseptic properties of this herb that make it an effective weapon against a variety of colds, flus and infections. Aside from the antioxidant effects, this tincture can also help promote the production of white blood cells and eliminate mucus and phlegm, which is where many pathogens like to hide and thrive.
Lemon balm specifically shows a high level of antibacterial activity against candida. This is a common yeast infection that causes a number of symptoms including exhaustion, brain fog, digestive problems and a weakened immune system.
Lemon balm uses also extend into topical application, due in part to their antiviral qualities. Specifically, when applied directly to the skin, it is a useful herbal remedy to help treat the herpes virus.
This tincture is one of the oldest and most trusted remedies for painful menstrual cramps. The sedative and analgesic properties, combined with some anti-spasmodic effects, can soothe the discomfort of painful periods, and also relieve the anxiety or mood fluctuations that often accompany menstruation.
The “rosmarinic acid” has also been found to exert neuroprotective effects, helping to protect the cells of the brain thereby potentially slowing down the aging of this all important organ. Researchers in India found that rosmarinic acid reduces free radicals, as well as protecting the nerve cells in the brain from deterioration. Lemon Balm also contains powerful antioxidants such as “eugenol” which intercept free radicals before they can attack brain cells.
For people suffering from or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, lemon balm tincture can help to improve cognitive function and sharpen memory.
Thyroid conditions affect more than 12 percent of the population of the United States, and one of the two common thyroid conditions, hyperthyroidism, can benefit from lemon balm.
Research suggests that the flavonoids, phenolic acids and other compounds found in this versatile herb appear to be responsible for Lemon Balm's thyroid-regulating actions. Test tube studies have found that Lemon Balm blocks the attachment of antibodies to the thyroid cells that cause Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism). The brain's signal to the thyroid (thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH) is also blocked from further stimulating the excessively active thyroid gland in this disease.
The sedative nature of this herbal tincture also helps to suppress blood pressure, making it an ideal relaxing brew for people who suffer from hypertension. This can help lower chances of developing atherosclerosis, as well as experiencing heart attacks and strokes. If you are already taking blood pressure medication, be sure to speak to your doctor before adding lemon balm tea to your diet, as there could be negative interactions.
Melissa officinalis also reduced the occurrence of premature beats, tachycardia and fibrillation within the heart, all without causing any negative side effects.
Researchers have tested both lemon balm essential oil and tea and their effect on high blood sugar. Both produce similar results by reducing blood sugar levels and reducing oxidative stress related to diabetes.
Sometimes, the most beneficial natural health remedies are the ones that have been around the longest. That’s certainly the case with lemon balm, a fast-growing herb that’s been studied for its effects on everything from insomnia to cancer.
Lemon balm is a type of perennial plant that is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, it has been cultivated as a culinary and medicinal plant for more than 2,000 years. Herbalists in the Renaissance period held this herb in high regard for its healing ability, with many attributing to it the potential for a long life when taken every day in elixir form.
Texts describing Lemon Balm can be found as far back as Ancient Turkey, where it was planted near bee hives to encourage the bees to return home to the hive rather than swarm away. It’s name "Melissa officinalis" is derived from the Greek word Melissa, meaning honeybee. In Ancient Greece it was planted and used by the beekeepers of the Temple of Artemis to help keep the sacred honeybees content.
A few written works praise lemon balm for its mood-lightening effects, such as Persian writer and thinker Avicenna, who referred to balm as that which “maketh the heart merry and joyful.” Paracelsus, a German physician and alchemist of the German Renaissance, used it to prepare “primum ens melissa,” believed to restore lost youth.
It was also mentioned by Homer in The Odyssey; Nicholas Culpeper (a popular English botanist, physician and herbalist); and in the 1696 London Dispensary, which told readers that, “An essence of Balm, given in Canary wine, every morning, will renew youth, strengthen the brain, relieve languishing nature and prevent baldness.”
In fact, the Welsh ruler, Prince Fluellyn of Glamorgan, was said to have drunk lemon balm tea each day and lived to the ripe old age of 108 years.
The leaves of this plant are the most sought-after element, as they have a sweet lemon flavor and are therefore useful in many medicinal, aromatic, and culinary applications. Given how many health benefits this herb possesses, it comes as no surprise that there are also many different uses for lemon balm, including as toothpaste, perfume, and in various types of food, as well as in medicinal and aromatic applications.
This herb contains a wide range of antioxidants and active ingredients that provide a boost to multiple systems in the body.
Common Names: Common balm, Sweet Balm, Balm, Sweet Mary, Honey Plant, Cure-all, Dropsy Plant, Melissa.
Dosage: 15-30 drops, 3 times a day.
Lemon Balm should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.
Due to its anti-thyroid action, Lemon Balm should not be taken by people with thyroid conditions without consulting their healthcare professional.
Lemon Balm should not be taken by people on prescription medication for mental health disorders as it can affect the medication. Please consult your healthcare professional.
Lemon Balm can cause drowsiness and should therefore not be consumed prior to operating machinery or driving.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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