Registered as a Not for Profit Company in England & Wales No. 7677972 | E-mail: info@CoMHA.org.uk | Phone: +44 (0)116 273 8614

Registered as a Not-for-Profit in England & Wales No. 7677972
E-mail: info@CoMHA.org.uk | Phone: +44 (0)116 273 8614

3 Major Health Benefits of
Lemon Balm

By Herbalist M. Salim Khan

Lemon Balm Plant from Herbalist Salim Khan's nursery

Disclaimer

Lemon Balm may cause side effects especially when taken in unrecommended doses. As with everything, it is advised to consult a physician before consuming it. No prescribed medicines should be discontinued or replaced without prior approval of professional physicians.

We all know the feeling we experience every single day. The stress of everyday life causes our bodies to feel uncomfortable and tense. You spend a lot of time thinking how you can relax. And then you spend more time thinking about how to make your brain more alert. 

 

Unfortunately, stress and anxiety are the modern problems that plague most of us. We all want a better, healthier way to deal with them, but we may not always find this at our disposal.

When you are stressed, the only thing that you may reflexively resort to is a pill or a sedative of some sort. You may never try natural remedies under these conditions. And this may be because you have never been exposed to them, at least not as a viable alternative. This article will give you an insight into the medicinal world of Lemon Balm.

 

What is Lemon Balm?

 

Lemon Balm is an edible herb (also known by its technical name Melissa officinalis). It is a lemon-scented plant known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects, which may reduce stress and tension, calm the nerves and help you relax.

 

For many thousands of years Lemon Balm has been used as a naturopathic medicine. It also has a long history of culinary use in many parts of the world. Its use can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where its leaves were used for a variety of health purposes.

 

Lemon Balm has been said to be a great herbal solution for treating many problems, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, restiveness and other emotional disturbances.

Today, however, we will highlight just three of its main areas of benefit.

 

3 Main Benefits of Lemon Balm

 

Anxiety
Lemon Balm, as a purely herbal and natural medicine, may help reduce anxiety. According to the journal ‘Nutrients’, the results of a study involving Lemon Balm extract with a water-based drink showed general “improvements in mood and/or cognitive performance” on the subjects. The results were confirmed by repeating the test with another beverage. 

Lemon balm may help improve focus and concentration in addition to helping with anxiety.


Lemon balm tea can act as an antispasmodic to calm hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

This promising plant may also help manage hyperactivity and impulsiveness as well as reducing incidences of depression.

 

Insomnia
 

Everyone knows that valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a powerful sedative herb, but did you know that it is not the only herb that has sleep-inducing properties? Though relatively unknown to many, Lemon Balm has been used historically in traditional medicine for its calming and sleep-inducing properties too. 

 

For those who suffer from sleep apnea or those who need to relax due to the intensity of modern-day pressures, Lemon Balm may be the perfect option for you, as it promises a significant increase in sleep-inducing properties.

Both of the above two herbs, when combined, is reported to induce sleep by acting directly on GABA receptors in the brain.

 

Gastrointestinal Problems
 

Lemon Balm also promises a positive impact on symptoms of upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and acid reflux. If you are looking for natural ways to reduce symptoms of heartburn, dyspepsia, or IBS, you should definitely consider Lemon Balm. The volatile oils in this plant contain “terpenes” which are chemicals that relax muscles and relieve gastrointestinal symptoms.


For digestive relief, it is best to take Lemon Balm in the form of tea immediately after meals.

 

How to Grow Lemon Balm 

 

As with most herbs, Lemon Balm is best grown outdoors, however, it can be grown successfully indoors as well, so long as it is attended to well and its individual needs are met. I have personally had it in my garden for many years and it is still doing well. 


When planted in its ideal season (early Spring) Lemon Balm will normally grow a foot long in a single season, which is why seasoned gardeners plant it within containers even when growing outdoors (due to its invasive nature).

 

Lemon Balm tea

 

Health benefits have been cited for Lemon Balm tea too. These include helping with stress and anxiety, providing relief from insomnia symptoms, offering preemptive assistance for nausea, and more.

 

To make Lemon Balm tea, rinse the leaves under cold water and dry them using a soft towel. Break the leaves and add two to three teaspoons to a tea infuser. Pour hot water into the infuser and leave the dried leaves to soak for around 5 to 6 minutes.

 

You can also add a slice of lemon for flavour. To sweeten, add some raw organic honey or any desired sweetener.

 

Conclusion

 

Lemon Balm has a lot of potential when it comes to the addressing of various health conditions. However, it is one of the most under-utilised and under-appreciated herbs. 

If you are well-disposed to natural remedies, as I believe everyone should be, I suggest you definitely include Lemon Balm in your health arsenal.

 M. Salim Khan is a well-recognised herbalist and natural medicine practitioner in the UK.