Since ancient times, lemon balm has been used in naturopathic medicine as an infusion to alleviate different problems and discomforts, this is thanks to its analgesic and stimulant benefits. This plant is also used to treat anxiety and nerves as a relaxant of natural origin, with smelling it, its lemon aroma feels very intense and helps calm the mood.
It is also known as lemon balm for its citrus flavor, and as bee balm for the attraction of bees towards its flowers . It grows naturally in Europe in the southern part and in the Mediterranean area, the summer season being the best time for its collection due to the concentration of its properties and benefits. Also, in recent studies, scientists discovered that lemon balm contains sedative properties, which are recommended for the treatment of nervous breakdowns, sleep disorders and digestive problems. Let’s talk in detail about everything that melissa offers us, its origin, characteristics and the properties that make it stand out among medicinal plants.
We have a related article on Melissa essential oil: Contraindications, Side Effects, Properties and Benefits
What is lemon balm?
It is a medicinal herb, belonging to the Labiatae family , native to Southern Europe, however, it is possible to find it around the world. It has a very strong aroma, even more so when it is in infusions. In addition, for its medicinal uses it is used as a condiment in the culinary area. It is also known as lemon balm and lemon balm .
For more information, see our articles on Types of Tea: Properties, Benefits and Side Effects
Origin of lemon balm
This medicinal plant belongs to the labiates, in the same group as mint, thyme and oregano, lemon balm is considered a very aromatic herb with medicinal benefits. It has been distributed by the Mediterranean on the shores of the sea, by the south of the British Isles and to the north by Morocco and the Middle East. However, its cultivation is carried out all over the world today. This plant blooms from the end of spring to the end of the summer season, the best time in the field for its harvest.
Melissa is a common plant, which can be found in wet meadows, ravines, riverbanks, near springs and fountains, among other places in the forest. It is mixed and confused with nettles, it is important to distinguish between the two to grow the correct one, lemon balm.
History of melissa
Its history dates back centuries, from the seventeenth century, where specifically the Discalced Carmelites made a potion that they said and believed was miraculous, called Agua del Carmen. In addition, according to historians, the doctor Avicenna, an Arab, affirmed that melissa had powers to animate the spirit by eliminating sadness . Later, in medieval times, they included it in magic potions to which they attributed the gift of prolonging youth and life.
So, thanks to its continuous use over the years, lemon balm has established itself as a medicine of natural origin, recommended to control and balance the nervous system, calm anxiety, eliminate anguish and irritability, as well as being a relaxant. natural.
Characteristics of lemon balm
The main characteristic of lemon balm is the quite powerful lemon aroma, this medicinal plant grows no taller than one meter, with large and oval leaves, its flowers are white with enough nectar that attracts bees, hence its name. , honey bee in Greek “melissa” . Its cultivation is simple, the most important thing is to protect it from the summer cold .
The physiognomy of its stems, is square and hairy, very hairy toothed and oval leaves, the size of its flowers are small with a white or pink color, with which a digestive potion called lemon balm essence is prepared, popularly known as Agua del Carmen , used as a syrup to preserve youth, according to tradition.
In the market, lemon balm is also called lemon balm, citronella, bee, alberadumbe . This will depend on the country where it is grown . Likewise, the cultivation is carried out throughout America and Europe, it is a plant that develops with simplicity, to which its bushy and beautiful bush forms very quickly.
The lemon balm has a very delicate aroma, like lemon, it is very striking. It has other uses in addition to medicinal ones, such as condiment and seasoning in sauces, vegetables, salads and sweet recipes such as cakes, as well as in different types of beverages.
Its oil is extracted from melissa and with its aroma, in an elaborate process of distillation they turn it into perfumes and fragrances for marketing .
You may also be interested in Lemon essential oil: Contraindications, Properties and Benefits
Scientific name of lemon balm
The scientific name for lemon balm is Melissa officinalis .
Chemical composition of lemon balm
One of the components of lemon balm is an essential oil, which in turn is composed of sesquiterpene alcohols and aldehydes such as citronellal, citral, linalol and geraniol. It also contains a bitter mucilage substance, resin and an acid saponin.
Active ingredient of lemon balm
It contains the alcohols citronellal, citral, linalol and geraniol, in addition to the terpenes limonene and pinene. Its active principle is concentrated in its essential oils . Also, tannins stand out among them, a series of antioxidants with very positive effects for health and the body, these are responsible for eliminating those free radicals that accumulate in our body.
Among the most prominent nutrients present in lemon balm, which are essential for its powerful medicinal properties, are flavonoids, a very beneficial substance for multiple pathologies, including cancer, helping to reduce cancer cells. In the same way, these antioxidants with strong benefits help to optimize the function of the circulatory system, because they prevent heart problems and the appearance of clots . For these reasons, lemon balm has stimulating properties that improve blood circulation. Also, this medicinal plant contains a large number of fatty acids such as phenolic, caffeic and chlorogenic.
If you liked what you read, we also recommend Antioxidants: Natural, Artificial, Benefits and Characteristics
This medicinal plant, lemon balm, is grown in a very simple way. Here we explain the main characteristics of melissa cultivation.
- It occurs in any type of soil, it does not need one in particular, the important thing is that it is fertile and humid, with a little input from the sun that has shade but does not hide it completely, this is in regions where summer is more warm than others.
- However, as long as the soil is always drained and wet, it is not a problem that the sun beats it intensely or that the soil is sandy and not very fertile.
- It is important to keep its surroundings clear of weeds, to prune its stems when they rot and dry out in the fall season , as well as to remove the soil that is near its roots.
- In the same way, the lemon balm plant is adaptable to the land with small shadows, it is more the color of its leaves are colored in a better way when they are grown with a little shade.
- If it is grown in hot climates with a lot of sun, it is recommended to shade it during the day, especially the central hours.
- In periods of drought, lemon balm tolerates them in a good way, without watering it, only when winter arrives and only a little.
- The cultivation of lemon balm requires a mineral fertilizer annually.
- A recommended technique is growing in pots or sunken containers to prevent it from spreading too much, causing problems in the terrain.
We suggest reading this article about Macadamia tree: Care, cultivation and characteristics
Uses and benefits of lemon balm
The uses and benefits that lemon balm brings to health are multiple and countless, for these reasons it is considered a medicinal plant. Below we will explain in detail some of these uses and benefits.
It is used for the skin
Melissa is used for the skin for its sedative properties, when it is included in body massages a relaxing effect is activated on the joints and muscles , also, its aroma when inhaled helps to calm the nerves, stress and tension that sit down for problems and worries.
Thanks to these sedative properties, it is possible to alleviate skin irritation after shaving, as well as any other dermatological condition that has to do with irritations. It is also good as a toner that improves dry skin and tiredness.
It is good against snoring
Snoring is caused by nasal congestion, being overweight, adenoid inflammation, nasal polyps, among other pathologies; So, according to experts, lemon balm is good against snoring. However, it is necessary that you go to the doctor to determine the causes and prescribe the appropriate treatment . Although, the remedies of natural origin are highly recommended for these discomforts.
Follow these instructions for a home remedy to avoid snoring when sleeping: in a liter of boiling water mix 10 g of lemon balm, 10 g of lavender, 10 g of thyme and 10 g of mint. Then, let them boil for approximately 10 minutes so that you then inhale the steam from the mixture and cover your head with a towel. Also, if you like, drinking this water will help too.
We also recommend Insomnia? Tips for Better Sleep Naturally; Sleep hygiene
Used in weight loss diets
At present, the problems of overweight and obesity are the ones that are causing the most damage and affect the health of many people around the world, however, some say that this problem can be reversed with the help of natural remedies, considering it as a viable option.
So, lemon balm is good for weight loss therefore it is used in weight loss diets, this is a special property of this plant, considered the most ideal for this particular case. It is necessary to consume it in infusions to achieve the desired effects, in addition these drinks will help eliminate digestive and intestinal discomfort, among other benefits.
Melissa is recommended to take advantage of its multiple uses, since it is possible to alleviate aches and pains, as well as lose a few extra kilos and be able to show off a beautiful figure.
HOW TO PREPARE A LEMON BALM INFUSION?
The preparation of lemon balm tea or infusion can be done at home:
Its preparation is simple, thanks to the fact that melissa are sold already prepared in small bags distributed in health food stores, supermarkets and herbalists . Here are the ingredients, utensils and steps to prepare this infusion:
- 1 Bag or 1 tablespoon in bulk of lemon balm.
- Mineral water (it is recommended so as not to alter the taste or aroma).
- Optional herbs: orange blossom, chamomile, linden, lemon verbena.
- 1 kettle, if you don’t have it, heat water in a mug in the microwave.
You must heat the water until it boils, then add the lemon balm and wait for a minute. The more lemon balm you add, the more intense the flavor and the higher its properties. Then, turn off, let it rest for 5 to 6 minutes and then filter it with the strainer. Finally you can add any type of sweetener honey, cinnamon or lemon. With the passage of time and the use of the kettle with this lemon balm infusion, the aroma will come out of it because it adheres to the walls of the utensil.
We have an ideal article for you Rosemary Tea: Contraindications, Benefits, Recipes and Uses for skin and hair
How is lemon balm oil extracted?
Melissa essential oil is extracted using a vaporization distillation process from the flowers and leaves of the plant . This procedure is carried out in this way to obtain and take advantage of its well concentrated essences. The method is like this: trays with small openings are introduced, the flowers go on these trays, in airtight tanks. Then one end of the tray is assembled to a solvent tank, while the other side to a kettle. Slowly the solvent is allowed to flow over the flowers, in such a way that its essence sprouts, which will drip into the boiler, immediately the solvent will drag a substance with waxes of natural origin.Ral of the same plant and aromas. Finally, to remove the adhering wax, shaking with alcohol is removed, obtaining a high quality oil.
Pregnancy and lemon balm
Despite having many properties and benefits. Melissa is totally contraindicated for pregnant women, it is not recommended because it causes contractions and induces labor. Similarly, it is possible that it causes malformations in the fetus.
The results of the studies confirm that lemon balm should not be ingested orally by pregnant women, because it has not been shown to be completely harmless. It is best to consult with your doctor.
In addition to this topic, you may also be interested in Braxton Hicks Contractions: How They Affect, Treatments and Signs.
Can it be used while breastfeeding? Why?
No, lemon balm cannot be used during breastfeeding, it is not recommended because the results have not been positive in confirming that it is harmless during this fundamental stage for the baby.
Melissa and allergies
Thanks to the fact that lemon balm tea contains tannins and eugenol , these components reduce and eliminate bacteria with antiviral effects, alleviating various skin diseases such as inflammations and irritations.
Melissa for babies how does it benefit them
Because lemon balm contains mild sedative effects, it reduces hyperactivity and calms nerves. It is safe to administer to babies when they have insomnia, to eliminate gas and gastrointestinal pain or colic. But below we will explain when, how and the dose in which lemon balm should be administered to babies.
It is convenient to administer it to relax and induce sleep in children, since they need many hours of daily sleep. The problems of your insomnia probably have different causes, the important thing is to follow the doctor’s advice along with some of natural origin, therefore, it is advisable to administer this medicinal plant.
Its way of applying is in a simple infusion that you can mix with a little chamomile and green anise, this is to enhance its positive effects .
The recommended dose for babies, in infusions a dessert spoon with a little of the plant in pieces for half a glass of water. They are given to drink 2 or 3 small cups per day, and the last should be half an hour before going to bed each night.
Check in this article Chamomile: Contraindications, Toxicity, Benefits and Uses
What are lemon balm infusions for?
The lemon balm plant contains sedative and antidepressant effects, because it helps to relax and then naturally calm episodes of anxiety and stress, it also improves and eliminates depressive symptoms, previously we referred to it. Likewise, thanks to its sedative properties, it relieves pain from spasms of the digestive tract by eliminating accumulated gases .
In addition, it is considered an excellent tonic with benefits to the circulatory system and the cardiovascular system, helping to control arterial hypertension with its hypotensive effect. Similarly, thanks to its hepatoprotective effect , it helps cleanse the liver.
Cosmetic uses of lemon balm
Melissa is used in cosmetics, due to its excellent benefits and properties it is possible to use it in relaxation baths, in oils that relieve migraines and headaches, antiseptic and acne creams, as well as soap.
Medicinal uses of lemon balm
This natural plant provides countless benefits and properties to the body, therefore, it has been called a medicinal plant for the treatment of various ailments and ailments. Helping to reduce discomfort and nervous disorders. But, below we are going to explain in detail some of the medicinal uses of lemon balm.
Currently, hypertension or high blood pressure is the health condition that affects most of the people around the world. This pathology in the company of high cholesterol and smoking represent the diseases with the greatest risks that affect the heart. Therefore, it is recommended to eat a balanced daily diet, exercise, in addition to using natural remedies such as lemon balm to improve these conditions .
Similarly, the relaxing properties of lemon balm are those that help calm and allow the consumption of this medicinal plant to improve the symptoms of hypertension. For this reason, lemon balm tea is recommended for high blood pressure due to its hypotensive and relaxing effect.
Check out our article on Tips to have an Exercise Routine
Lemon balm is not recommended for people suffering from hypothyroidism, especially its essential oils. Since, the compounds of this medicinal plant cause antithyroid effects , which is harmful for patients with this condition.
Use for insomnia and anxiety
The properties of lemon balm are used for insomnia and anxiety, in addition to chronic stress. This plant helps you fall asleep, it also helps your brain to function in a better way to be more concentrated and to execute in an excellent way the activities that are related to words and images . This last benefit was demonstrated through a study with a group of students who consumed lemon balm, which improved positively in their test results, up to 6 hours after having ingested it.
Use for herpes
It is a great ally against herpes, this is due to its high content of polyphenols, rosaminic acid and caffeic acid, which help alleviate the symptoms of cold sores, herpes simplex and herpes zoster, as well as other types of viral diseases. Melissa helps to reduce the time and the risk of infection, as well as to speed up the complete healing of the wounds caused by herpes, eliminating itching and redness, it is recommended to apply it as a topical.
Use for anxiety and insomnia
If we mix lemon balm with a little valerian, it will activate an anti-stress effect, against anxiety and insomnia . The results of different studies have shown positive effects in reducing sleep disorders and a reduction in the level of stress, as safe to consume as pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for these ailments.
Regarding this, we recommend reading Anxiety: Disease or World Plague of the XXI century?
Use to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s
Scientists have shown in the results of their studies, that the use of lemon balm in aromatherapy is very beneficial to calm crises in patients suffering from dementia, this mental illness is caused by a brain deterioration elevating thought processes. Because lemon balm contains a series of ethereal oils with sedative and relaxing properties, you can consume it orally.
Use of lemon balm as an aphrodisiac
Melissa has aphrodisiac properties, which help reduce frigidity in women, therefore increasing sexual desire . These properties have been used since ancient times by sorcerers who were the ones who recommended this medicinal plant in love potions, they did it in cases where couples got a little bored with their sexual relations, doing it without enthusiasm or emotion, they helped each other with lemon balm infusions.
But if you doubt this property, we are going to explain to you how to make this aphrodisiac recipe: in a glass add 5 lemon balm leaves plus a small tablespoon of honey, then add the boiling water and let it rest for a few minutes. This love drink should be taken on a Monday and Friday before going to bed if it is for women, while for men on Tuesday and Friday.
Esoteric uses of lemon balm
Due to its aroma and the large amount of nectar in its flowers, lemon balm attracts bees, and these insects were considered sacred in ancient times, and the honey they produced was offered to the gods. According to experts on the subject and historians, this plant was recommended to alleviate and calm sorrows, especially love sorrows, increasing the mood and restoring love and the joy of living.
Therefore, the sorcerers of those times found in the lemon balm plant the perfect remedy to alleviate disappointment, disappointment and grief in love breakups . They even used it as a female aphrodisiac.
Learn more about Aromatherapy: The Power of Essential Oils
Melisa in gastronomy
In the lemon balm plant, it is possible to obtain and take advantage of its aromatic and herbal properties, more than its aesthetic ones. Next, we mention the qualities for which it is an excellent ally in gastronomy.
- It has a fresh and pleasant flavor, similar to lemon.
- Melissa leaves are used to flavor and flavor tea, hot or cold.
- Furthermore, these leaves are used as condiments in dishes where the lemon peel is substituted.
- Another use of lemon balm leaves in the kitchen, fresh or dried, is to perfume sauces, salads, soups, meats, vegetables, jams and desserts.
- In gastronomy, the leaves should not be cooked because their aroma would be wasted.
- The lemon balm leaves are used in the preparation of tea and infusions.
- For some Tangier coffees, fresh lemon balm leaves mixed with spearmint and orange blossom is used to flavor green tea.
- They can be added at the last minute to fresh and Macedonian drinks, if they take time to remove them from the infusions they turn brown . In addition, they are added in recipes where lemon balm replaces lemon peel.
- The whole and freshly cut leaves are very rich in desserts, fruits, salads and some liqueurs.
- It is a good dressing for salads with lemon juice.
- Its fresh leaves give a lemon flavor to salads, sauces, soups, herb vinegars, game and fish (used especially in Spain), they are also an important ingredient in the famous Agua del Carmen, Liquors such as Benedictine and Chartreuse and vineyard cordials .
Know everything you need about Apple cider vinegar: Lose weight, prevent diabetes and Benefits for skin and hair
Contraindications and risks of lemon balm
If the person suffers from hypothyroidism, lemon balm essential oil is not recommended, neither in pregnant women or in stages of breastfeeding, nor administering to children who are under 6 years of age, as well as in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, ulcers Expenditures, nor neurological patients .
In people suffering from respiratory allergies or hypersensitivity, to children under 6 years of age, it should not be applied topically to avoid allergic reactions.
Likewise, doses with alcoholic content should not be prescribed or administered in children under 2 years of age, except in people who are in alcohol detoxification processes.
Lemon balm can cause certain side effects, such as: after its sedative effects, a short period of excitement usually precedes it . If more than 2 g of lemon balm oil is ingested it is possible to suffer from hypotension, bradycardia and drowsiness .
According to the results of scientific studies, lemon balm has not been shown to cause any toxicity. Its use is not contradictory, except in the cases mentioned above. But, in general terms, the natural consumption of lemon balm is very beneficial, because it has multiple and diverse benefits, it is important to follow the indications and not exceed the prescribed dose or extend the period of consumption.
Enter and read this important article Bentonite: Toxicity, Properties and Uses
Advantages and disadvantages of using lemon balm
- When lemon balm is crushed in a mortar, it gives off an intense lemon aroma, which is widely used in aromatherapy.
- It has antispasmodic properties, is a natural painkiller and is also used to relieve and wake up people who are passed out.
- It should be consumed in light infusions.
- But it has a very notable disadvantage, if the necessary prescribed dose is exceeded, it can cause adverse effects such as: confusion, headache, nervousness, irritability, mental heaviness, among others. It is important to consult the doctor.
Melissa nutritional information
Thanks to its components and nutrients, such as terptenes, citronellol, citronella, geraniol, thymol and citral, among others, very essential for humans to take advantage of all its medicinal, aesthetic and more properties. Its consumption is simple, only one tea is necessary.
Also, among its outstanding benefits are, an excellent ally to reduce nervous breakdowns, it is known as a painkiller of natural origin, no matter the type of nervous discomfort. Therefore, it is safe and recommended to consume it against insomnia, stress, nervousness, personal anguish and ailments of the nervous system . This medicinal plant has great properties that definitely improve our health.
Melissa oil is very well known today, its extraction industry is a worldwide phenomenon. In addition, its uses range from aromatherapy to the cosmetic industry, through the creation of perfumes. Its properties are used for the production of perfumes, liqueurs and flavorings. In the same way, it is a food used to feed bees. It is also considered one of the best food plants. Due to its history, its nutrients and properties have been used since ancient times.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.