Melissa officinalis aka Lemon balm is a strain of the mint family that has a delicious lemony aroma when the leaf is smelled, in fact this herb is highly associated with the uses of aromatherapy. The herbs more medical uses involve digestive relief, cramps, headaches, tooth pain and nausea. Some common household everyday uses for lemon balm would be for higher anxiety or sleep.
Lemon balm is dated back to The ancient Greeks and Romans using it for medicinal and household purposes but it’s not really known where this herb is native too. The oils released from the herb are what cause the delicious lemony smell, the oil contains important vitamins and immuneties. Back in the day Lemon Balm was soaked in wine or bathing water to give the user relaxing qualities as well as other healthy beneficiaries, it was believed that using this herb not only made you smell good but also increased your life span! A studies ran by the university of Maryland found that “Some studies suggest that topical ointments containing lemon balm may help heal cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). In one study of 116 people with HSV, those who applied lemon balm cream to their lip sores experienced significant improvement in redness and swelling after only 2 days. Other symptoms, such as pain and scabbing, did not improve. Both the people and their doctors reported that lemon balm ointment was highly effective. Another large study involving three German hospitals and one dermatology clinic showed that when lemon balm was used to treat the primary infection of HSV I, not a single recurrence was noted. The cream has also been found to reduce the healing time of both genital and oral herpes. Several animal studies also support the value of topical lemon balm for herpes lesions. And preliminary studies show that lemon balm exhibited a high, concentration-dependent activity against HIV infection.”- http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lemon-balm. Now lemon balm may not be a highly prescribed or used method but in those who do use it they have found beneficial results, so give it a try the next time you have an upset stomach or just need a relaxing soak.
Phoenix uses it’s lemon balm in culinary for certain foods that the school prepares for the students! Our lemon balm bed is full thriving right near the entrance of our garden!