Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint. The herb is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia, but it’s grown around the world. It is widely available and inexpensive, and can also be grown rather easily in a home garden. Praised for its relaxing and sedative qualities, lemon balm tea has been a part of traditional healing practices for centuries. The wide range of health benefits are largely the result of the active compounds found in lemon balm, including tannins, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, citronellal, eugenol and other polyphenolic compounds, as well as copper, manganese, zinc and various essential vitamins.
Health Benefits of Lemon Balm:
1- Lemon balm has a number of proven anti-inflammatory compounds that can quickly reduce arthritis and joint disorders to indigestion, allergic reactions and headaches. (1,4,5)
2- The calming properties of the antioxidants and volatile compounds in lemon balm can have a nervine effect and reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression. (1,4,6)
3- There are antibacterial and antiseptic properties of lemon balm that make it an effective weapon against a variety of colds, flus and infections. (1,4,7,8)
4- The volatile oils in Lemon Balm contain chemicals known as “terpenes” that relax muscles and relieve symptoms such as excess gas. (1,2,4)
5- The primary Lemon Balm constituents in these categories are; caffeic acid, eugenol, chlorogenic acid and P-coumaric acid, which enhance the content of digestive juices thus improving the digestion of food. (1,2,4)
6- Lemon Balm contains both “choloretics” and “colagogues”, which may also help with liver and gall bladder problems. (1,2,4)
7- Lemon balm contains “rosmarinic acid”, that it helps to protect the cells of the brain thereby potentially slowing down the aging.
8- The flavonoids, phenolic acids and other compounds found in lemon balm appear to be responsible for regulating overactive thyroid. (1,2,4,9)
9- The sedative nature of lemon balm tea also helps to suppress blood pressure, making it an ideal relaxing brew for people who suffer from hypertension. This can help lower chances of developing atherosclerosis, as well as experiencing heart attacks and strokes. (1,2,10)