Melissa officinalis, the scientific name for lemon balm, is a perennial herb that grows naturally throughout Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. Both as a medicine and a food, the herb has a long history of human consumption. In addition to its use in teas, essential oils, and dietary supplements, lemon balm is prized for its light, citrusy aroma and flavour.
In the past, lemon balm has been used to help people calm down and stop worrying. The same substance has been used to treat sleeplessness and stomach problems. Even in modern times, lemon balm is used for its calming effects, and it is currently being researched for its possible usefulness in treating cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Many bioactive chemicals found in lemon balm are credited with giving the herb its therapeutic effects. In this regard, rosmarinic acid stands out as a chemical that has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Eugenol is another chemical with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The citrus aroma and flavour of lemon balm come from a combination of compounds called terpenes, including citronellal and citral.
In addition to helping with anxiety and insomnia, lemon balm has been demonstrated to have several possible health advantages. In one study, participants with mild to moderate anxiety reported fewer symptoms after consuming lemon balm extract. Insomnia sufferers benefited from lemon balm extract, according to another study. Research into the effects of lemon balm on Alzheimer’s disease has also yielded encouraging results.