Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Commonly used parts: Whole plant
Reported effects are: Stimulating, a sense of well-being, relaxing and sedative.
Traditionally used to alleviate pain, reduce symptoms of bronchitis and to increase sexual arousal.
Melissa officinalis, known as lemon balm or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. The plant is native to south-central Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Central Asia. It grows 70–150 cm (28–59 in) in height. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. During summer, the small white flowers fill with nectar and attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for ‘honey bee’). Lemon Balm has been used as an herbal remedy to relieve insomnia and induce relaxation since Ancient Greece. Recent studies have shown that the plant is rich in volatile oils called terpenes, which have mild sedative properties and are effective at alleviating moderate anxiety and stress. Scientists have proven that Lemon Balm relieves stress, anxiety and sleeping disorders in animals.