It has been known as a medicine for 2000 years. Lemon balm has long been a companion of the beekeepers – it is an irreplaceable to calm the bees, to help attracting new members to the colonies and it is a great peacemaker when we want to gather two colonies together. It is not a coincidence that its Greek name is Melissa (Melissa Officinalis in Latin) - means “honey”.
Its ability to calm people in mental disbalance, with depression and insomnia is also known from the ancient times. The Roman scientist Plinius, the Greek physician Dioscorides and legendary English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper used it against nervous disorders, digestive problems, insect bites, muscle spasms and menstrual cramps.
The lemon balm is a perennial herbaceous plant with a pleasant lemon aroma. It reaches 80 cm in height. The leaves are covered with cloth and the flowers which appear in the period June – September are light yellow, white or pink. The lemon balm likes moist soils, it can be found in gardens, woods and bushes.
The leaves and the flowers are used for medical purposes. They are mostly used dried – in a cool, airy place or in a dryer.
The extract from lemon balm contains essential oils rich in citral, citronellol, geraniol, triterpene acids, tannins and sugars.
Internal application – lemon balm tea has a soft calming action. It reduces psychological pressure, suppresses irritability and anxiety. It reduces the cramps in the stomach and intestines, stimulates the digestive processes. It acts to prevent nausea and vomiting, gastritis, enteritis, stomach ulcers.
External applications – strong lemon balm tea is used for gargle against inflammation of the gums, sores in the mouth. Compresses are placed on wounds, skin irritations, boils. Relieves the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.
The extract of lemon balm is included in the cosmetic products for its inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and for its ability to fight fungal and bacterial infections.