Lemon Balm is a plant originally from southern Europe but now cultivated throughout the world. The leaves, stems and flowers are used medicinally helping with cold sores and genital herpes (topical), and also fighting Alzheimer’s and Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism).
Also known as melissa officinalis, lemon balm has been combined with other medicinal plants for different health concerns. Peppermint and lemon balm together are effective for calming upset stomach. Several sleep aid products combined lemon balm with valerian and kava kava for insomnia.
Lemon balm is safe to use and no major side effects are known. However, a few medicines may interact with lemon balm. Check with your doctor for a list of those medicines before taking lemon balm as an herbal supplement.
The plant is easily found in gardens and people have discovered many uses for lemon balm. It’s lemony smell and pretty white flowers make gardens look and smell great, especially at the end of the summer when little white flowers appear.
Want to try something different? You may find lemon balm in ice cream, an exotic but tasty flavor. It’s also used in herbal teas often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint and peppermint.
Topically, crushed leaves are used as a repellant for mosquitoes when rubbed on the skin.
Finally, lemon balm is one of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy. The oil is often co-distilled with lemon and citronella oil.
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