What is Lemon Balm?
Lemon balm is an herb which comes from the mint family. Its scientific name is Melissa officinalis. It is grown around the world though it is much more native in the area of West Asia, North Africa, and Europe.
The herb is lemon-scented and you can found it in the form of tincture, salve, extract, and oil. It is used for herbal tea and other cooking recipes. But it is also used to improve cognitive function and mood. It serves as a stress reliever because of its scent.
But aside from that, it is used as a natural remedy against many conditions including insomnia, heartburn, indigestion, high cholesterol, and cold sores.
Benefits of Lemon Balm
Listed below are the other benefits that this herb can give.
Lemon Balm can Assists in Treating Nausea
Relieving the feeling of Nausea is one of the many advantages of lemon balm. Because it has an impact on the digestive system, relieving your nauseous feeling is also possible.
Several studies were made about lemon balm and its relation to gastrointestinal symptoms. By 2005 a review was made assessing these studies, and they found that lemon balm is useful in calming the symptoms including nausea. But as much as the study is promising, it is limited.
Several of the studies made for lemon balm has other herbs associated with it. Thus, studies centered on lemon balm alone is needed in the future.
To use this herb in treating nausea, simply make a cup of tea and drink it. Bagged or loose-leaf options are available in most grocery stores or online stores.
Menstrual Cramps Can Be Eased
Most women, if not all, encounter their monthly dilemma in the forms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menstrual cramps. Good thing that lemon balm can be used as a remedy to ease this monthly pain.
It was 2015 when researchers conducted a study among 100 high school girls. They observed the effect of this herb against cramps intensity. For 3 consecutive menstrual cycles, half of the girls were given a balm essence, while the other half were given a placebo. After analyzing the intensity of the cramps in 3 months, they observed a significant reduction in the PMS symptoms. However, more research is still needed to support these findings.
To use it against menstrual cramps, allow it to get in your system by taking 1200 mg before the first symptom of PMS appears. Doing it every menstrual cycle is believed to reduce the symptoms over time.
Lemon Balm Can Lessen Toothache
An anti-inflammatory is one of the lists of the benefits of a lemon balm. And because it has the ability to relieve pain, toothache pain is also believed to be eased by the herb. But further research has to be made to support these findings.
To use it against toothache, find a lemon balm oil and dilute it in a carrier oil (i.e. coconut oil, jojoba). Then apply the oil to the affected area using a cotton swab.
Note that it is important to dilute an essential oil, including lemon balm oil, to a carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Otherwise, it will result in unwanted side effects.
Headache is Eliminated
Too much stress can give your head a tinge of pain. But because lemon balm is anti-stress, it can relieve a headache that is resulted from stress. The herb has relaxing properties that will help your muscles relax. It will also let your tension release and help you unwind.
By ingesting lemon balm, the tight blood vessels in your body which contributed to headache will also be loosed.
To use the herb against headache, simply take up 300 to 600 mg thrice a day. This is especially effective for people who are experiencing headaches repeatedly. You may increase the dose if you feel like the headache is developing.
Insomnia and Other Sleep Conditions May be Kicked Out
As the herb is associated with relieving stress, sleep disorders may be eased as well. Most of the sleep disorders are a product of restlessness, thus lemon balm can be a great help. If it is combined with valerian, a more positive result will be harvested.
In a 2006 study, researchers give some children a combined dose of lemon balm and valerian. Seventy to eighty percent of the children’s symptoms improve. Thus, researchers regard lemon balm to be a good treatment for insomnia. Still, further research is needed to prove these findings.
To use lemon balm as a treatment against insomnia or other sleep disorders, just brew lemon balm with valerian and drink the tea before you go to bed.
Possible Risks and Side Effects
Lemon balm is associated with many side effects including dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, gas, indigestion, stomach pain, bloating, painful urination, agitation, anxiety, and allergic reaction.
However, some of the possible side effects can be minimized. For example, stomach pain can be lessened if you consume lemon balm with food. Additionally, taking lesser than two grams per day has the possibility to reduce the overall side effects of the herb.
If you are taking supplements and medication such as chemotherapy, sedatives, warfarin, thyroid medication, and glaucoma medication, you should speak to your doctor before drinking lemon balm tea. The herb can interact with the mentioned medications. Furthermore, it interacts with drugs that affect GABA and serotonin.
Avoid taking the herb with alcohol or taking high doses as well. It can affect the thyroid function as well as your mood, increasing your anxiety and turning your mood into a negative one.
If you will use oil, salve, cream, or ointment, it is better that you apply a small amount in a day first. If no negative side effect appears, you may apply a larger amount to your skin.
Individuals who will have surgery two weeks prior should avoid lemon balm. Nursing mothers, pregnant women, and children whose age is under 12 are also not allowed to take supplements. Or better, if you talk to your doctor first if you want to try the herb.