Lemon balm is known for its anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action. Its antibacterial and antihistamine action makes lemon balm an excellent remedy for infections and allergies such as hay fever, eczema and inflammatory eye diseases. Moreover, it is conducive to longevity because it is a physical and mental stimulant. It boosts the heart and the circulatory system, causing dilation of the peripheral vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.
Lemon balm was popular in ancient times and was cited by Pliny, Theophrastus and Dioscorides as melofyllon, melittaion and melition.
For more than 2000 years lemon balm was a valuable ingredient in life elixirs while it was highly appreciated by Avicenna, an Arab doctor of the 11th century. It was popular as an effective treatment to melancholy, lethargy, poor memory, but also as an aid for the restoration of “vitality”. Medieval monks added lemon balms in “tonic” drinks that could “alleviate heartache” to make it stronger and uplift one’s mood. It was also used in Carmelite water. Carmelite water was an alcoholic extract of the 17th century devised by Carmelite nuns in the Abbey of St Just to energize and to calm headaches and neuralgia by combining lemon balm, lemon peel, nutmeg and angelica root.
This is a very effective herb in cases of insomnia, intense stress, tension and irritability and may even help people suffering from depression due to its soothing and calming properties. Clinical trials have shown that its action is mainly due to its rosmarinic acid and not to its essential oils.
A recent research has established that consuming lemon balm can decrease stress levels leading to better concentration and performance. It reduces anxiety and melancholy as it affects that part of the brain associated with mood. Lemon balm has antidepressant properties and is extremely useful in nervous crises, neurasthenia and hysteria.
Research has proven that its consumption protects from ulcers. It alleviates the spasms in the digestive tract and is used in some types of dyspepsia. In addition, it stimulates the digestive system being a good digestive, especially for poor digestion due to nervousness. Lemon Balm consumption appears to increase the secretion of prostaglandin E2 and of mucin from the body and to reduce acid secretion.
Lemon balm’s contribution to fighting virus is considered very important. Research has established its effectiveness in treating herpes labialis.
Lemon balm balsam is also considered to calm the overactive thyroid gland (Graves’ disease) and has been proven to help Alzheimer’s patients.
It can also be used in cases of febrile diseases such as the common flu. It acts as an antispasmodic for facial, tooth and ear neuralgias. Due to its ability to combat pain in the nerve ends, lemon balm is prescribed to people suffering from headaches and migraines.