Wanting a nature shot to help you stay balanced and cool like a cucumber? My favourite herb ever for this – Melissa officinalis (lemon balm). I’ve tried it in a manufactured form (supplement), but for me, fresh is best! (I have some growing in my garden.) Here’s why you should check it out…the lemon balm benefits…
I first heard of it from an iridologist, who suggested I try lemon balm tea for my digestion. I had trouble finding lemon balm tea in packaged form but I did find a plant and started adding lemon balm leaves to my tea. I eventually found I could simply rinse and eat a leaf from the garden, for the benefits lemon balm offered. Yes, it’s edible straight from harvesting!
The big lemon balm benefits on offer help you stay cool and calm when things around you feel a little off-balance – helps deal with the chaos around you. Read on for the benefits and side effects as well, so you’re fully informed.
What is lemon balm good for
Lemon balm is good for many reasons, for example, it contains vitamins B and C and so is good for nutrition; it has a lemony flavour and so is good for food enhancement. But best of all, lemon balm benefits for anxiety are especially good for individuals living a full-on life juggling multiple expectations and commitments. You know… kids, work, finance, keeping house, sports, study, pets, family etc.
A sense of “calmness” is felt after taking it, according to the study of Kennedy et al (2002). Their study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled one with 18 people tested. This was a small sample size and so further research into this would strengthen such findings.
Another, Scholey et al in 2014, reported similar feelings of “calm”, “secure”, “at ease”, “satisfied”, “comfortable”, “self-confident”, “relaxed”, “content’, “steady” and “pleasant” reported by their small sample of individuals, chosen because they lead a stressful life.
More ways lemon balm benefits us. It is said to help with…
- menstrual cramps
- cold sores
- cognitive function
Lemon balm benefits
Lemon balm displays properties of a mild sedative, spasmolytic (able to relieve spasm of smooth muscle) and an antibacterial agent.
The results of one research (Donju et al 2020) indicate the extract ALS-L1023, from the Melissa officinalis, helps prevent weight gain and could be useful in suppressing obesity and insulin resistance in women – Lemon balm benefits women at the premenopausal stage would gain from, according to the authors.
Lemon balm benefits brain function
Because it helps with stress it stands to reason that lemon balm would benefit brain function. The study by Scholey et al 2014 is just one that indicates lemon balm improves cognitive performance.
Can you take lemon balm everyday
Is it safe to eat lemon balm leaf every day? I have eaten lemon balm (a fresh leaf or two) every day, on and off, for years without issue. I’ve had no adverse effects, only improved digestion and a feeling of ‘calm’. Even so, the many side effects listed online might put you off…
What are the side effects of lemon balm
Using fresh lemon balm from your own garden or the dried leaves should carry minimal risk of side effects. The caveat is where you’ve applied a nasty type of chemical to your plant to control pests or the like (not recommended).
Healthline – the top-ranking answer to my Google search query on the topic – has listed several along with “You shouldn’t take lemon balm for longer than four months at a time without a break”. This relates to taking lemon balm in manufactured capsule form, which could contain residues of other ingredients. You should consider what else you are taking that may interact and contravene the benefits of this herb or potentially cause side effects.
Healthline’s list of potential side effects of lemon balm formula as a supplement includes things like headache, painful urination, increased body temperature, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, and wheezing.
I recommend and use lemon balm grown in own garden. I found it worked best.
Note: The content of this article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to amount to professional or specific advice on which reliance should be placed (disclaimer).
Why lemon balm benefits Me
I first started with lemon balm because I developed a spastic digestive tract. Meaning, my gut played up, sometimes randomly, but often coinciding with travel or in organising important events. It was really debilitating.
After going through all the medical investigations and advice to no avail, I tried and found for myself – relief from lemon balm. Where I could eat a leaf or two of lemon balm I found that within a short time my crazy gurgling stomach would settle. It was like magic.
Lemon balm benefits anxiety issues
Though I never considered I was suffering anxiety or stress, my digestive tract signalled otherwise. I can now see how stress and anxiety go hand in hand with digestion problems. After all, our stomach has cells that send messages to the brain and I think many of us realise how our emotions influence physical reactions.
I can’t remember the last time my digestion played up this bad, it’s been so long. I continue to take lemon balm to keep anxiety levels at bay. I think most women suffer anxiety in today’s world trying to juggle the things expected of them along with the increasing number of societal and economic changes. Hormonal changes are something women have to deal with and often shifts in body chemicals at any life stage exasperate these things.
For these reasons, I like to keep a lemon balm plant growing in the garden or in a pot handy. I find it helps ‘soothe the nerves’ and keeps me in balance.
About growing lemon balm
Lemon balm does die off during the cold months. You can try cutting it back so that it shoots again. But I have to admit I have lost and have had to replace the plant a few times.
Is lemon balm good for depression
From my experience, I would say yes, lemon balm helps with depression. Not being a medical professional however I refer to what science says. A study by Scholey et al in 2014 indicates lemon balm acts as an antidepressant – the key compound being Rosmarinic acid.
Does lemon balm increase GABA
Scholey et al 2014 suggest that the mood-enhancing effects of lemon balm may be due to its known interaction with GABA-A receptors. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) produces a calming effect when connected to receptor sites in the brain.
Lemon balm may inhibit the enzyme GABA transaminase so that the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is increased.
I find lemon balm is a must-have in my garden. It’s a little green gem that’s edible. Most times, I simply eat a fresh leaf or two from the plant to ease upsets and help battle the curveballs thrown my way.
PMC: Scholey et al 2014 |