They reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. It was a symbol of sympathy and used to make soothing medicines. Auf'mkolk M, Ingbar JC, Kubota K, Amir SM, Ingbar SH. Melissa officinalis L. - A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. Presumably the cholinergic effect associated with the extract was responsible for the improvements to cognition, an effect which only counteracted a sedative effect at the higher dosage levels (> 1000 mg). ESCOP (European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy) recommends the external use of lemon balm for cold sores and the internal use for tenseness, restlessness, irritability, digestive disorders and minor spasms. Among them, Melissa officinalis subsp. Lemon balm is … Adil M. Allahverdiyev, ... Olga Nehir Oztel, in Fighting Multidrug Resistance with Herbal Extracts, Essential Oils and Their Components, 2013. The in vitro assay methodology reveals how the new mechanism was discovered: Introduction of the active chemical compounds of Melissa Officinalis into the life cycle of HSV suppressed the virus’ ability to multiply. Hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroid-like symptoms including anxiety and insomnia, and Grave’s disease. Medicinal lemon balm preparations include teas/infusions, tinctures, syrups, baths/foot baths, capsules, pills, powders, poultices, salves, steams, fomentations, oil, liquid and dried extracts. Morphological features of lemon balm such as plant height, stem and leaf size show a variation depending mainly upon genotype, environment or cultural applications (Sari and Ceylan, 2002). Some vernacular names are balm, common balm, blue balm, dropsy plant, honey plant, Herzkraut, citronelle, cytria, cedronella, badarendjabouya, alahana, mallisa, ogulotu, kovanotu, seiyo-yama-hakka, sweet balm, limouna, limounneta, franjmeshk, toronjil, tronjan, turungan, melisso, melliss, sidrunmeliss, Melissenblatter, Melissenkraut and Melissa (WHO, 2002). There is also evidence to suggest that M. officinalis acts as a moderately effective free radical scavenger, which can be attributed to its flavonoid content (Hohmann et al., 1999; Mantle et al., 2000). In Victorian times lemon balm was used as a symbolic plant for transmitting messages between lovers. Santini F, Vitti P, Ceccarini G. 2 Endocrinology. It can be added to salads, sandwiches, soups, stews… jams… sauces, marinades, dressings… cakes… ice cream, cookies… pies…, Lemon balm complements many fruits, including honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, apples and pears…, For culinary purposes, fresh leaves are most flavorful. demonstrated that Melissa leaf had modest but 'appreciable' levels of anti-oxidant activity in comparison to recognised anti-oxidants such as Panax ginseng (Mantle et al., 2000). Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is a cultivated perennial lemon scented herb. It was brought to America from Europe by colonists and started to grow in their gardens. 4 This mechanism … At the highest dosage level of 1600 mg performance on the Quality of Memory factor of the CDR was found to be significantly improved at both 3 and 6 hours post-dose. It is used in cases of anxiety, neurosis and nervous excitability, palpitation and headache, and also in hyperthyroidism. However, a review of literature concluded that its psychogenic effects are not proven and the use of the herb as an anxiolytic or a sleep aid falls into the category of ‘unproven uses’ (Medical Economics, 2007, p. 515). officinalis, subsp. Lemon balm’s lemony flavor and aroma are due largely to citral and citronellal, although other phytochemicals, including geraniol (which is rose-scented) and linalool (which is lavender-scented), also contribute to lemon balm’s scent. One study examined a chemically-validated essential oil derived from Melissa and found that Melissa inhibited binding of GABAA to receptor channel in the rat forebrain, but had no effect on or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (Abuhamdah et al., 2008). However, the leading theory is that the herb blocks virus receptors on host cells. The Botanical Safety Handbook gives lemon balm a ‘class 1’ rating, assigned to ‘herbs which can be safely consumed when used appropriately,’ and Dr James Duke (2003) categorizes lemon balm as ‘safer than coffee,’ (+++) which is his highest safety rating. Accuracy at attention was found to be significantly improved following the middle dose of 600 mg of M. officinalis, however at the highest dose (900 mg) decrements in memory performance together with reduced alertness were observed. 28 In vitro analyses of the antimicrobial properties of lemon balm suggested that at a concentration of 500microg/mL, the … P.N. Balm oil is considered as a mild spasmolytic agent and is employed as a flavor ingredient in alcoholic beverages. 1985;116(5):1677–86. The antiviral mechanism of action of lemon balm is not known. It has been used in Mediterranean region and Europe since the Middle Ages for several purposes such as regulating sleep, appetite and digestion, reducing anxiety and a pain relief. The London Dispensary (1696) stated, ‘An essence of Balm, given in Canary wine, every morning will renew youth, strengthen the brain, relieve languishing nature and prevent baldness’. Inhibition by certain plant extracts of the binding and adenylate cyclase stimulatory effect of bovine thyrotropin in human thyroid membranes. Lemon balm is a natural antispasmodic ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, Neurocognitive effects of herbal extracts, Lifetime Nutritional Influences on Cognition, Behaviour and Psychiatric Illness, Development of New Antiherpetic Drugs Based on Plant Compounds, Adil M. Allahverdiyev, ... Olga Nehir Oztel, in, Fighting Multidrug Resistance with Herbal Extracts, Essential Oils and Their Components, Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), Kamyar M. Hedayat, Jean-Claude Lapraz, in, Nutritional and Herbal Therapies for Children and Adolescents, Handbook of Herbs and Spices (Second Edition), Volume 2, The Herb Society of America guide to Lemon balm (2007), Therapeutics according to an Endobiogenic reflection, Yang, Michel, Chaumont, & Millet-Clerc, 1999. Leaves can be combined with Earl Grey, green or black tea and a handful can be added to a pitcher of iced tea. Hence French researchers decided to determine the herb’s mechanism of action by testing it on different segments of the GI tract of mice. Caryophyllene oxide is a sesquiterpenoid oxide common to lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), and to the eucalyptus, Melaleuca stypheloides, whose EO contains 43.8% (Farag et al., 2004). This last example also suggests that, in the case of Melissa officinalis, the robust calming/anxyolitic effects of the plant (Kennedy et al., 2004b) are dependent on an, as yet unidentified, non-cholinergic mechanism. May Aid Diabetes Treatment. Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances. S. Kokkini, ... E. Hanlidou, in Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), 2003. 1984;115(2):527–34. Melissa contains rosmarinic acid, a phenolic compound derived from caffeic acid and found in several other Melissa family members, all emphasized historically for the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Primary interest in lemon balm surrounds its effects on the central nervous system. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.): an evidence-based systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Another small trial supports a potential cholesterol benefit. Lemon balm has been used historically as an insect repellent. The GABA-A receptors are ionic channels that mediate the effects of GABA, producing an inhibitory action through the opening of chloride channels preventing a neuronal action potential. The action of Melissa on GABA-T was confirmed by a further study along with bioassay fractionation which led to the identification and isolation of rosmarinic acid and the triterpenoids, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid as active principles. Researchers have tested both lemon balm essential oil and extract … The primary effect for this substance appears to be one of mood modulation, rather than cognitive enhancement. Lemon balm is said to soothe symptoms of stress, help you to relax, and … 23.1. In ancient times, it was also believed to drive away evil from a house when it was grown in front of the door. Today, it is one of the more widely cultivated medicinal and aromatic plants in much of Europe and northern America. Following its introduction into Spain in the seventh century, its use spread throughout Europe by the middle ages. Custom tincture #2, 3 mL twice per day for adreno-gonadotropic imbalances: BID, twice per day; DE, dry extract; EO, essential oil; GM, glycerin macerate; MT, mother tincture. Allahverdiyev et al. Melissa inhibits the ability of Grave’s autoantibodies to bind TSH receptors and promote intracellular cAMP responses, thereby reducing adenylate cyclase–driven signal transduction and the resulting increase in thyroid hormone output.1,4, There are currently no published clinical studies on Melissa for thyroid disorders, although there are several studies investigating Melissa for anxiety and sleep disorders.5, One randomized controlled trial using Melissa extract reported the occurrence of “side effects” that included reduced alertness as well as palpitation and thyroid hormone inhibition.6. The methanol extract was identified as a potent in vitro inhibitor of rat brain GABA transaminase (GABA-T), an enzyme target in the therapy of anxiety, epilepsy and … How does it work (mechanism of action)? Lemon balm is also thought to have beneficial effects for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease – a dose of 60 drops per day of standardized extract of lemon balm has been investigated for this purpose (Khare, 2007). Melissa officinalis goes by the common name lemon balm because of the strong lemon aroma released from the leaves. The information in this section is reprinted, with permission, from The Herb Society of America guide to Lemon balm (The Herb Society of America, 2007). The use of dopamine-promoting herbs, such as Melissa citronelle (lemon balm), Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh) and Vitex agnus castus (chaste tree berry) may reduce hyperprolactinemia and androgen excess. The patient was advised that she could continue the following of her current treatments: The patient was requested to discontinue the following of her current treatments: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy with emphasis on trauma and gynecologic function, Ethan B. Russo, Jahan Marcu, in Advances in Pharmacology, 2017. Fig. At the lowest dose (600 mg) performance decrements were noted for the same timed memory tasks used in the previous study, together with a newly introduced task of rapid visual information processing (RVIP). Scientific Name: Melissa officinalis. The pharmacological models used in the studies together with the putative mechanisms of action of the main constituents are also detailed. Caryophyllene oxide is nontoxic and nonsensitizing, and has the distinction of being the component responsible for cannabis identification by drug-sniffing dogs (Opdyke, 1983; Stahl & Kunde, 1973). Lemon balm may exhibit glycemic control, as per studies. The anti-oxidant properties of a whole extract of Melissa are probably mainly attributable to its flavonoid content (Hohmann et al., 1999). Traditionally, lemon balm was used as a mild sedative and anxiolytic, though several herbal apothecaries of the time created balm with general beneficial effects upon the brain and in particular with specific improvements to memory (Kennedy et al., 2002b). This is seen as the mechanism of action of diazepam (Valium) and is believed to be one of the possible mechanisms of action of Lemon Balm. It is also approved by Commission E as a treatment for nervousness and insomnia, and it is commonly used in folk medicine to treat anxiety, gastric complaints (especially associated with stress), hysteria, melancholia, nervous palpitations, migraine, headaches, and high blood pressure. Traditionally, lemon balm was used as a mild sedative and anxiolytic, though several herbal apothecaries of the time created balm with general beneficial effects upon the brain and in particular with specific improvements to memory (Kennedy et al., 2002b). This means that it has a mechanism of action that is generally comparable to what MAOIs are doing for monoamines and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are doing for acetylcholine. Lemon balm is an ingredient in liqueurs like Benedictine and Chartreuse. M. officinalis extract has been reported to inhibit protein synthesis and to exhibit antiviral activity against HSV-1 [39–41]. The putative biologically active compounds in Melissa officinalis include monoterpenoid aldehydes (including citronellal, neral and geranial), flavonoids and poly-phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic acid and monoterpene glycosides (Mulkens et al., 1985; Carnat et al., 1998; Sadraei et al., 2003). We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. Lemon balm is a plant used as an herbal supplement. The seeds are very small about 1–1.5 mm long, ovate, dark brown or black in colour. It was determined that rosmarinic acid was the major compound responsible for activity, but the authors noted that synergistic effects may also play a role (Awad et al., 2009). An extract with negligible cholinergic receptor binding produced behavioural results consistent with its long traditional use as a mild sedative/anxiolytic but did not enhance memory (Kennedy et al., 2003b, 2004b), whereas an extract specifically chosen for its high muscarinic and nicotinic binding properties in human brain tissue had the same mood effects but also improved memory performance (Kennedy et al., 2003b). Therapeutic applications of caryophyllene oxide could exploit the antifungal efficacy observed in clinical study of onychomycosis compared to ciclopiroxalamine and sulconazole, with an 8% concentration affecting eradication in 15 days (Yang, Michel, Chaumont, & Millet-Clerc, 1999). Khare (2007) records that lemon balm has antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-histaminic and antiviral properties. Melissa officinalis L. contains the flavonoids, quercitrin and rhamnocitrin; the 7-glucosides, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin, and luteolin; phenolic acids and tannins; rosmarinic acid and glycosidically bound caffeic and chlorogenic acids; and the triterpenes, ursolic and oleanolic acids [36–38]. Another mechanisms to increase GABA levels in the brain, and potentially to control anxiety, is to inhibit the enzyme GABA transaminase (GABA-T) (Ashton and Young, 2003). The maximum inhibiting effect (60%) was obtained with 0.5 mg mL (-1). It turns out that it is an inhibitor of GABA transaminase, an enzyme that breaks down GABA. Nicotinic and muscarinic receptor binding in human brain homogenates varied considerably across strains of Melissa (Wake et al., 2000). They also determined the chemical composition of lemon balm. Aromatic essential oils including citral, neral, geranial, citronellal, and caryophy… Lemon balm is also used in homeopathic medicine for menstrual irregularities. A. Scholey, ... C. Stough, in Functional Foods (Second Edition), 2011. Note that ‘bee balm’ is sometimes used, incorrectly, as a synonym for lemon balm; bee balm is, in fact, another group of plants in the mint family. altissima (Mill, 1982; Craker and Simon, 1992). These effects were found to decrease as the dose was increased, with the authors speculating that two distinct mechanisms of action could explain the results. Hence French researchers decided to determine the herb’s mechanism of action by testing it on different segments of the GI tract of mice. Lemon balm is high in flavonoids, which can have an antioxidant effect. It is characterised by square stems, lemon-scented and scalloped edge leaves, and flowers that mature from white or yellow to pale blue. 2005;5(4):71–114. Medicinal use throughout this early epoch include a recommendation by Paracelsus (1493–1541) that balm would completely revivify a man and should be used for 'all complaints supposed to proceed from a disordered state of the nervous system'. In another study, the effects of various anxiolytic botanicals and their action on enzymes involved with GABA were investigated. There is also some evidence that 50 mg of isolated valepriates of Valerian having an anxiolytic effect (in generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) patients) with four weeks treatment (Andreatini et al., 2002). Cream containing lemon balm is used in the treatment of cutaneous lesions. Because of particular electromagnetic affinities, rosmarinic acid forms loose bonds with endogenous TSH, thereby reducing its ability to bind and agonize TSH receptors.3 This may reduce thyroxine output in cases of hyperthyroidism. They reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. | Terms & Conditions, Register for Our Herbal Fellowship Program, Mission & Vision for Restorative Medicine. In the commercial food industry, lemon balm oil and extract are used to flavor alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, candy, baked goods, gelatin, pudding and frozen dairy desserts. A novel pharmacological mechanism of action for the anxiolytic botanical Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm) is reported. There are two subspecies, Melissa officinalis subsp. 23.1). Because gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonists may in turn promote dopamine, many botanical GABA agonists may also help regulate prolactin. A survey of ten anxiolytic botanicals was reported recently and an extract of Melissa officinalis was found to be the best inhibitor of in vitro GABA-T activity from rat brain (Awad et al., 2007). Lemon Balm's Anxiolytic Action . Although over 100 chemicals have been identified in M. officinalis, the main components of the essential oil are citral (neral and geranial), citronellal, linalool, geraniol and β-caryophyllene-oxide. Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is a perennial herb from the Lamiaceae family that is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean and has a history of use dating back over 2000 years. Additionally, when subjects were subjected to laboratory stressor Melissa increased calmness (Kennedy et al., 2004b) and in combination with Valerian, lemon balm decreased state anxiety (Kennedy et al., 2006) at a lower dose but increased it at a higher level. The use of lemon balm in treating HSV has an extensive history because of its viral inhibitory effects, which interrupt the replication of the virus. Various studies have shown lemon balm to be effective at treating stress: Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Actions: Neuro-Muscular: Neurologic antispasmodic (GABA-ergic), digestive antispasmodic (neurotropic); ANS: Vagolytic; GI: anti-nausea, stomachic, apertif (increases gastric and pancreatic secretions), carminitive; DRAINAGE: Splanchnic, pancreatic, pelvic, uteric; ID: Antibacterial, Antiviral (ENT, digestive, genitourinary, cutaneous tropisms), anti-mitotic; METABOLIC: Anti-hyperglycemant; IMMUNE: antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant; ENDO: Gonado: mildly estrogenic. showed the antiviral effect of volatile oils of M. officinalis against HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses. 2016;188:204–28. Kamyar M. Hedayat, Jean-Claude Lapraz, in The Theory of Endobiogeny, 2019, Summary: neuromuscular antispasmodic: digestive, urinary and mental. 7 J Ethnopharmacol. Following a similar crossover design to the previous study, 600 mg, 1000 mg and 1600 mg M. officinalis extract vs placebo was then administered to 20 healthy young participants. Today, lemon balm naturally grows in various parts of the world, including the eastern Mediterranean region, western Asia and northern Africa (Simon et al., 1984). This herb is generally considered safe at doses of 600 mg and up to doses as high as 1800 mg/day of the crude leaf. Melissa officinalis has … May be useful against diabetes. In relation to cognitive effects, two recent studies by Kennedy and colleagues (Kennedy et al., 2002, 2003) have investigated the effects of acute administration. The Herb Society of America guide to Lemon balm (2007) records the following culinary (and household) uses for lemon balm: Lemon balm is a surprisingly versatile culinary herb which can be used to flavor many different types of dishes, from beverages, to appetizers, main courses and desserts. 5 Med J Nutrition Metab. Melissa extracts interfere with the binding of TSH to the TSH receptor by direct electrostatic effects on TSH and by the stimulation of cells because of direct effects on the TSH receptor.1, Melissa contains phenolic acid derivatives such as rosmarinic and the related lithospermic and chlorogenic acids, which may exert an antithyroid effect and reduce excessive thyroxine output in cases of hyperthyroidism.2 Rosmarinic acid slows TSH-driven stimulation of thyroid cells via adenylate cyclase inhibition.2. The methanol extract was identified as a potent in vitro inhibitor of rat brain GABA transaminase (GABA‐T), an enzyme target in the therapy of anxiety, epilepsy and related neurological disorders. Summary:. The small flowers (0.5–1.5 cm size) are produced all summer long. A number of studies have investigated the anxiolytic effects of M. officinalis, however a discussion of these findings is beyond the scope of the current report. In vitro analysis of the extract revealed low binding affinity for nicotinic and muscarinic receptors, prompting Kennedy and colleagues to conduct a further study using an extract with greater cholinergic activity. Melissa is generally considered to be safe and well tolerated within recommended dosing ranges.7. A. Scholey, C. Stough, in Lifetime Nutritional Influences on Cognition, Behaviour and Psychiatric Illness, 2011. Lemon balm showed to reduce the cytopathic effect of HSV-2 on Vero cells, in the range of non-toxic concentrations of 0.025-1 mg mL (-1) (with reference to the starting crude herbal material). A number of possible active components of the dried leaf and essential oil of the herb have been identified. Questions about Benzos and GABA modulators such as Bacopa, Lemon Balm, Kava, Theanine With all the recent news linking regular use of benzodiazepines to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, I read into this further and have a couple of questions. When thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) binds to the outer membrane of thyroid cells, it triggers a cAMP response on the inside of the cell via adenylate cyclase enzyme activation. However, large variation in receptor binding affinities have been noted between varying strains and preparations of M. officinalis, with the more reliable action of the plant across samples being its calming effects (Kennedy et al., 2003). In general, lemon balm can grow up to 1.5 m height and spread 0.5–1.0 m across. It may have antiviral activity against some viruses, for example, the herpes virus as well as calming effects. Auf’mkolk M, Amir S, Kubota K, Ingbar S. 4 Endocrinology. 2011;4(3):211–8. Volatile oil concentrations up to 100 mg/mL exhibited antiviral activity against HSV-2. Seeds stored for five years may no longer germinate. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. The main compounds of the commercial oils are citronellal, geranial (citral a), and neral (citral b). Three subspecies of Melissa officinalis are recognized, but only subsp. This agent also demonstrates antiplatelet aggregation properties in vitro (Lin et al., 2003). It contains … Lemon balm increases GABA by inhibiting GABA transaminase, an enzyme that breaks it down. There is evidence to suggest that M. officinalis enhances cholinergic transmission, based on the fact that it binds to both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors within the central nervous system (Perry et al., 1996; Wake et al., 2000). Lemon Balm Extract has been long used for its health benefits including lowering triglycerides, mood improvement and cardiac rythm regulation. Pillai, in Handbook of Herbs and Spices (Second Edition), Volume 2, 2012. Ravindran, ... G.S. 1985;116(5):1687–93. In vitro assay of thyroid disruptors affecting TSH-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean region. Lemon balm has a documented medicinal history extending back to 50–80 BC (Kennedy et al., 2003). I recently stumbled over this article that identifies the mechanism of action of Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm). Upper leaves are usually bigger than lower leaves. Veins in the leaves can be easily seen. While no significant dangers are associated with the use of lemon balm and the herb is usually well tolerated, its use as a sleep aid is not likely to produce any beneficial effects and parents and clinicians are encouraged to try more effective alternatives. They also found that Melissa elicited a significant dose-dependent reduction in both inhibitory and excitatory transmission. In the second study, eight samples of M. officinalis were screened using in vitro analysis, and the extract with the highest binding affinity for both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors. Traditionally it was used as a mild sedative and anxiolytic, however early records from the middle ages indicate that it has also been long recognised for its positive effects on memory (Kennedy et al., 2002). Constituents that may have pharmacological effects include a number of monoterpenoid aldehydes (including citronellal, neral and geranial), (Carnat et al., 1998a; Sadraei et al., 2003), flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds (most notably rosmarinic acid) (Petersen and Simmonds, 2003) and monoterpene glycosides (Mulkens et al., 1985), with further new compounds being identified (Mencherini et al., 2007). Homeopathically it is sometimes also used for menstrual irregularities. The flowers consist of five fused sepals, five petals, two or four stamens and four lobed ovaries forming 1–4 nutlets. J Endocrinol Invest. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a plant that is sometimes used in its dried form (or by extracting its oil) as an antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-oxidative agent. Although the precise mechanism of action is not clearly understood, numerous clinical trials suggest that Lemon Balm promotes relaxation, soothes tension and helps to relieve occasional anxiety and related overactive behavior. This plant has been used in a variety of practical applications in medical science. It has broadly ovate leaves and white or light pink flowers arranged in axillary whorls. Likewise, the lemon balm herb's sedative properties can be used to promote sleep. Since excess lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues is suggested to be responsible for the development of insulin resistance, this study was undertaken to examine whether the lemon balm extract ALS-L1023 regulates hepatic lipid accumulation, obesity, and insulin resistance and to determine whether its mechanism of action involves PPARα. officinalis is cultivated for its aromatic foliage, which has a strong, pleasant, lemon-like odor. Antibacterial/antifungal effects: The lemon balm constituent rosmarinic acid was reported to impair in vivo activation of mouse macrophages by heat-killed Corynebacterium parvum, as measured by the decreased capacity of the activated macrophages to undergo the oxidative burst. officinalis, the common cultivated lemon balm; and M. officinalis ssp.altissima, naturalized in New Zealand and known as bush balm… Physically, lemon balm is an erect herbaceous perennial with opposite pairs of toothed, ovate leaves growing on square, branching stems…. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.), also known as balm, English balm, garden balm, balm mint, common balm, melissa, sweet balm, heart’s delight, is an aromatic herb from the mint family (Lamiaceae). Other Common Names: Common balm, melissa, sweet balm, citronmeliss (Swedish), Melisse (German), meliza (Spanish). Records concerning its use date back over 2000 years with entries in the Historia Plantarum (approximately 300 bc) and the Materia Medica (approximately 50–80 bc). [Another study indicated that] a 600 mg dose of a standardized product containing Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis reduced anxiety in human subjects…, Historically, lemon balm was believed to sharpen memory… a study published in 2003 showed that 1600 mg of dried leaf improved memory and calmness…, [Lemon balm] is one of several plants which may be useful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease due to its ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase and its antioxidant activity…. 3 Endocrinology. Traditionally, lemon balm was used as a mild sedative and anxiolytic, though several herbal apothecaries of the time created balm with general beneficial effects upon the brain and in particular with specific improvements to memory (Kennedy et al., 2002b).
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