Lemon Balm is a very common plant in Europe, similar to mint, famous for its strong lemony scent. Even from the ancient times, it was used by Greeks and Romans to treat insect bites and stings, indigestion, insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness. All these healing properties attracted the interest of the medical community which tried to bring scientific evidence to them.
For centuries Lemon Balm was considered a therapeutic plant and it can be consumed as tea, by adding ¼ to 1 full tablespoon of dried leaves to a cup of hot water and drink it for up to four times a day. The lemon balm tea can be transformed into a topical treatment for certain skin problems by crushing 4 tablespoons of dried leaves into hot water and apply it with cotton balls on the wounds. Another option is to consume it as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules or pills. Some of the most popular benefits of Lemon Balm accepted by scientists and traditional doctors are:
- Relaxation for the mind – For centuries Lemon Balm was used as an aromatherapy oil because of the pure and sweet smell that has te potential to relax and calm the mind. The Lemon Balm oil is obtained from the pressed flowers of the plant.
- Better quality of sleep – Studies showed that children enjoy a more restful sleep if they take Lemon Balm as supplement compared to those who don’t. The extract from this plant has a calming effect on the brain which induces a better sleep.
- Skin looks much younger – History states that Lemon Balm was used by royalties in the 14th century to reduce wrinkles. Nowadays it is still an active ingredient in many cosmetic products because of its properties to sooth the skin and reduces the fine lines
- Boosts cognitive abilities – Lemon Balm calms the mind but it doesn’t put it to sleep. Medical studies suggested that this plant increases alertness, sharpens the memory and improves the mood.
- Helps liver detox the body – Lemon Balm plays a major role in supporting the liver’s activity of detox by producing antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. The liver is responsible for helping the body eliminate the toxins accumulated due to a less than healthy lifestyle.
- Balance the blood sugar – Most of the supplements that contain high levels of antioxidants are also responsible for balancing blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance. Studies conducted so far on this subject, confirm the positive influence of Lemon Balm on the blood sugar level.
- Protection of the brain cells – In addition to positive effect Lemon Balm has on memory, thinking and calmness, recent trials suggest that it also protects the brain from physical damage by fighting free radicals before they have the chance to act.
Lemon Balm is a natural supplement which can be consumed as tea or pills. It should be safe to use for most people and not cause side effects if taken in the right dosage. If consumed as supplement the dose ranges from 300 mg to 500 mg taken three times a day or as recommended by the doctor or pharmacist. When used in the topical form it can be applied to the skin three to five times a day in order to prevent infections of the region. Certain people should be careful if they want to start using Lemon Balm and talk to a doctor prior. As usually pregnant and breastfeeding women and children are more exposed to side effects.