Other FormsMelissa Leaves
Melissa officinalis is commonly known as Lemon balm. It is native to the east Mediterranean region and west Asia, but is cultivated throughout central Europe. Before flowering, it has a lemon-like taste and smell; and the fresh leaves, in addition to their medicinal applications, are commonly used in cooking. Lemon Balm contains citronella, beral, and geranial monoterpenoid aldehydes; flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds (such as rosmarinic acid); and monoterpene glycosides. These substances contribute to the behavioral effects of lemon balm. It seems to have sedative, antioxidant, and antiviral activities.
Lemon Balm has been in use since the time of the early Romans, and was especially prevelant in the 16th Century. Lemon Balm is recognized for its ability to calm the nerves. It is often used for insomnia and nervousness. Lemon Balm has also been used as a remedy for bloating and gas, mood disorders, bronchial inflammation, high blood pressure, palpitations, vomiting, toothache, earache, and headache. In addition to its value as a remedy, lemon balm is a popular aromatherapy.
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Cautions Orally, lemon balm is well tolerated. It can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing.