Herbal remedies are always a positive, as more and more people are looking to treat their ailments without the use of drugs and medication. Lemon balm is one of those remedies, providing multiple benefits for its users. Its benefits range from stress-relief, to improved memory.
What Is Lemon Balm?
When you think of lemon balm, you probably think yellow and citrus. However, this plant actually belongs to the mint family. With its gentle lemon scent, it was given the name lemon balm. It can be found in North Africa, Central Asia, the Mediterranean, and south-central Europe.
It is used both in traditional alternative medicine, as well as the culinary world. It’s not uncommon for lemon balm to flavour ice cream, pesto, candy, and herbal teas. Within medicine, lemon balm is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, liver disorders, and nervous system conditions.
History of Lemon Balm
Due to its benefits, lemon balm has been used for more than 2000 years. It is known as a calming herb, being prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and stress. The Greeks called it ‘melisophyllon,’ which combines the words ‘honeybee’ and ‘leaf.’ The Romans made the same connection, as they called lemon balm ‘apiastrum.’ Once again, this means ‘bee.’
Bees tends to colonize in close proximity to lemon balm. In fact, gardeners in the sixteenth-century used to rub the leaves of this plant onto hives, increasing the production of honey. Today, many gardeners incorporate lemon balm into their garden as it encourages pollination.
In terms of health, lemon balm has been utilized for many years. For instance, during the 17th century, nuns created a lemon balm concoction. It was known as Eau de Me’lisse de Carmes or ‘Carmelite Water.’ It included lemon balm, lemon zest, coriander, nutmeg, and angelica root. It was used for hundreds of years in order to treat nervous disorders.
Today, lemon balm is used for a wide variety of functions, including biochemical functions of the brain. It is used to boost mood, improve memory, reduce pain, and so much more. This all natural (and in some cases organic) supplement is a great addition to any supplement regiment.
How Does It Work?
The positive effects experienced from lemon balm, are produced by organic compounds found within the leaf. The compound known as ‘Rosmarinic acid’ inhibits GABA transaminase (which is an enzyme). This helps to protect the level of GABA in your brain.
Since GABA is responsible for managing over-active nerve cells, it helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Due to this reaction, lemon balm is considered an anxiolytic compound. Within the leaves, there’s also natural terpenes and eugenol, which help sooth injured or sore muscles.
In terms of cognition, this herb activates both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors. Since these are responsible for producing acetylcholine, lemon balm creates positive effects on cognition. This helps ensure healthy neural growth and increases communication between neurons. When acetylcholine levels are high, individuals experience heightened concentration and memory.
Benefits of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is most commonly used for stress relief as it is a powerful anxiolytic. This helps to reduce both the mental and physical effects associated with stress. If you have had a stressful day at work or school, lemon balm can help you relax so that you get a good night’s rest. It also helps to reduce the amount and severity of panic attacks.
Due to this effect, many people will take lemon balm before bed. When this herb is taken on a daily basis, users tend to experience improved mental focus. Concentration and focus are heightened without the energizing effects experienced from a substance such as caffeine.
Lemon balm has also been used throughout history for pain relief as well. Users have found relief regarding their wounds, insect bites, headaches, and joint pain. Menstrual pain has also been diminished through the use of lemon balm. Some users even help reduce cold sores through the use of this herb.
In terms of aging, there’s not much we can do to avoid it. However, we can take proper care of ourselves, so that the aging process does not create a number of ailments. Lemon balm is known to prevent age related decay on your organs, skin, and eyesight. Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are also experienced, helping to boost one’s health.
Lemon balm is also thought to relieve chronic conditions such as digestive conditions, fatigue syndrome, heartburn, vomiting, and poor appetite. It also helps relieve allergic reactions, rapid heartbeats, and heart palpitations. Overall, it provides many benefits.
Are There Any Side-Effects?
Individuals use lemon balm for different reasons. Whether you’re taking lemon balm for insomnia or anxiety, it’s safe for daily use. Side-effects are extremely rare, however some users experience light nausea and potential dizziness. These effects are fairly unusual and rare.
This herb creates such relaxing effects, that driving and operating heavy machine are not recommended. You should also never mix lemon balm with anti-histamines, anti-psychotics, muscle relaxers, or anti-anxiety medication. When in combination with these medications, the body is overly sedated, which is not healthy.
If you’re looking to relieve anxiety symptoms, then you can also look into other natural supplements on the market such as L-theanine or Phenibut. Overall, lemon herb is well tolerated, which is the case throughout history.
The typical dose for lemon balm ranges between 300 and 500 mg per day. If you are using lemon balm as an anxiolytic or as a sleeping aid, your dosage may need to be increased. Users tend to experiment with doses, finding what personally works for them. You can also find lemon balm in teas or topical rubs, which are effective for many. If you’re a new user, start with a lower dose and gradually increase.
There are many herbal teas on the market. However, few have the history that lemon balm tea has. This herb has long been used to brew tea, yielding a soothing bedtime drink. This herb has been passed down through centuries, dating back as far as the Middle Ages.
When you brew lemon balm tea, you can help induce sleepiness, boost healing, and calm your nerves. Today, we are able to study the benefits and properties of this herb. As research was conducted throughout the year, more and more benefits were discovered. Lemon balm tea can help combat depression, improve cognition, aid in memory, and so much more.
Lemon Balm for Healing
The use of lemon balm tea is recorded back to ancient Greece and Turkey. It was recognized as a treatment to heal battle wounds within Greek myth. However, it was used similarly in real-life, as individuals treated injuries and skin conditions, such as gout.
Within Europe in the Middle Ages, lemon balm was extracted, producing oils and balms. This helped aid in overall health and well-being. Some of the most common applications included bites, toothaches, and baldness.
Today, lemon balm is used for a wide variety of conditions and ailments. Users take lemon balm to reduce stress, improve sleep, treat inflammation, PMS, headaches, fever, and high blood pressure. It is also used to lift mood.
Ingredients In Lemon Balm Tea and Their Effects
Within each cup of lemon balm tea, there’s a variety of psychoactive ingredients that safely interact with the brain. Rosmarinic acid, creates a calming effect as it supports GABA (natural mechanism used to calm over-excited nerve cells).
Terpenes create anti-inflammatory effects, while eugenol is an analgesic. This helps to aid pain and strain muscles. Tannins help fight off infections and viruses, which helps maintain the structure and health of neurons. Lemon balm is also an adaptogen, as it helps against environmental stressors.
Making Lemon Balm Tea
Making lemon balm tea creates a wide variety of benefits (which are discussed below). It has a gentle lemon-mint flavour, which helps aid your overall health. In order to make tea, you must first purchase fresh lemon balm leaves or dried lemon balm leaves. Some individuals grow this plant at home, although you can buy dried leaves at a health store or online.
If you grow lemon balm yourself, cut the stems and hang them in a cool, dark area. Once the leaves are dried, remove the stems and crumple the leaves into a separate bag or container. If you’re using fresh leaves in your tea, cut them so that more oil is released into the water.
When mixing the tea, place two teaspoons of fresh lemon balm or 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm into a mug of your choice. Simply fill your mug with boiling water, allowing the leaves to steep. The strength of your tea will depend on how long you steep your beverage for. A normal range tends to be between five to ten minutes.
If you’d like, you can add some natural flavours to your lemon balm tea. Some like to add mint varieties or lemon grass, while others add lemon juice or honey. This isn’t a necessary step, it just adds a wider depth of flavour.
This tea can also be served cold, as it’s a refreshing choice on a hot day. If you would prefer a cold drink, make your tea double the strength. Then, pour it over ice. You can then serve this tea with ice, for a refreshing, beneficial beverage.
Main Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea
All of the ingredients listed above, work together to create a variety of benefits. Lemon tea is so beneficial because your body experiences various benefits from one single cup. As mentioned, lemon balm is excellent for anti-anxiety effects. This helps reduce the severity of panic attacks.
Lemon balm helps reduce stress, while minimizing symptoms of depression. When users are more relaxed, they tend to sleep better. In some cases, this helps to target nsomnia. This natural herb fights inflammation, viruses, infection, and high blood pressure. It also helps treat bites, wounds, and heart health.
Lemon balm produce cholinergic qualities, which improve memory and concentration. This herb is being researched for its potential benefits relating to Alzheimer’s. One of the most recent uses is fighting off herpes and cold sore outbreaks.
Commercial tea tends to be fairly mild, which is why it’s beneficial to either make your own, or supplement. You can find lemon balm supplements that allow you to increase dosage, achieving even better results.
Can I Drink Lemon Balm Tea Everyday?
Lemon balm has been around for thousands of years, amongst various cultures. Throughout history, lemon balm has been taken for different reasons. Today, there have been even more benefits discovered. The history of lemon balm is so vast because it is so tolerable by humans.
Although there are very little possible side-effects, this supplement shouldn’t be taken before driving. This is because it has a highly relaxing effect, which makes you less alert in the a vehicle. Rare cases have reported nausea and potential dizziness. When used appropriately in healthy individuals, side-effects are almost unheard of.
Just be careful if you’re currently on any medication, especially anti-anxiety meds, muscle relaxers, anti-seizure pills, sleeping pills, or anti-histamine. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your doctor before starting your first dose.
My Lemon Balm Tea Isn’t Strong Enough, What Do I Do?
The typical dose is 300 to 500 mg a day. However, the average cup of tea only contains around 100 mg. In order to achieve results, you will need to consume several cups of tea. This isn’t always practical, which is why many opt for a lemon balm powder. If you’re stressed or would like to enhance cognitive support, lemon balm is a great choice.