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lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L)

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wild lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L) leaves

« For the head and nerves, this fragrant nervine has been revered in works by Shakespeare and Homer as well as the Bible »

Common name(s): lemon balm, bee balm, sweet balm
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin:  Europe, central Asia
Parts used:  aerial parts
Constituents:  volatile oils (citral, citronellal, citronellol, geraniol), labiate tannin, phenolic acids, triterpenes, monoterpene, glycosides, flavonoids polyphenols (chlorogenic, rosmarinic and caffeic acids), lavonoids (luteolin, quercitin, apigenin, kaempferol)
Therapeutic actions: carminative, febrifuge, nervine, sedative, diaphoretic, antidepressant, anti-microbial, antispasmodic, anti-histamine, hepatic, cardiotonic
Organs or systems affected: central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system, skin
Main medicinal uses:
  • calms nerves and fights depression and anxiety
  • reduces fever
  • improves sleep
  • promotes memory and brain health
  • helps with weight loss
Counterindications: Some research cautions the use of lemon balm for patients with a propensity toward hypothyroidism, because the herb affects thyroid stimulation hormone levels



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