Lemon Balm (Botanical Name: Melissa Officinalis) was regarded by the German herbalist, Paracelsus as an “elixir of youth”. As late as the 18th century, lemon balm was still being recommended in “canary wine” to “renew youth”.
The botanical name Melissa is derived from the Greek word “Mel” for honey bee, and according to bee folklore if the beehive is rubbed with Lemon Balm the bees will not swarm and the fragrance will attract new bees. Apparently Lemon Balm was also a sacred herb used in the temple of Diana.
It is a nerve tonic and relaxant with antispasmodic and carminative actions, and makes an excellent remedy for mild depression, panic attacks, palpitations, irritability, restlessness and anxiety – especially if the anxiety is causing indigestion. It is also used for postnatal depression.
There have been several medical studies into Lemon Balm, given it’s reputation as an excellent remedy for depression. In one German placebo controlled study, volunteers tried doses of a lemon balm extract or placebo for 7 days. The result of this study showed that the higher dosage of lemon balm had a beneficial effect on the central nervous system, resulting in increased mood and significantly increased calmness and alertness.
- Post-natal depression
- Tension headaches
- Lowers blood pressure
- Stomach ache