Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.)

background

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the Lamiaceae family, which also includes mint, sage, and sweet marjoram. It is believed to have sedative, anti-gas, fever-reducing, antibacterial, spasm-reducing, blood pressure-lowering, memory-enhancing, menstruation-inducing, and thyroid-related effects, and it is thought by some to be an herbal "cure-all." Research suggests that lemon balm may contain high levels of antioxidants.
Research appears to support the use of lemon balm applied directly to the skin to manage herpes infection symptoms. Lemon balm has also been studied for a number of medical conditions, including anxiety, stomach lining inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome. While some preliminary findings have indicated promise, more studies are needed before conclusions can be made.

Related Terms

16-Hydroxy-9-oxo-10E,12E,14E-octadecatrienoic acid, alpha-cellulose, alpha-tocopherol, apigenin 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, apigenin kaempferol, ash, a-tocopherol, balm, balm mint, bee balm, beta-caryophyllene, beta-caryophyllene oxide, beta-citronellol, beta-geraniol, beta-pinene, Bienenfang (German), Bienenkraut (German), Bienensaug (German), blue balm, caffeic acids, caftaric acid, carotenoids, chlorogenic acid, chlorophyll, Citra, citragon (French), citral a (geranial), citral b (neral), citraria (Spanish), citroenmelisse (Dutch), citromfű (Hungarian), citron melisse (Danish), citronella (Italian), citronellae, citronellal, citronelle (French), citronellol, Citronenmelisse (German), citronmeliss (Swedish), citronmilisse (Danish), common balm, corchorifatty acid B, cure-all, Cyracos®, Darmgichtkraut (German), dehydroabietane, delphinidin, diterpene hydrocarbons, dropsy plant, Englische Brennessel (German), English balm, erva-cidreira (Portuguese - Brazil), ethric oil, eugenylglycoside, ferulic acid, flavonoids, folia Citronellae, folia Melissaecitratae, Frauenkraut (German), garden balm, Garten-Melisse (German), gastrovegetalin, geraniol, geranyl acetate, germacrene, Hasenohr (German), heart's delight, hemicellulose, Herzbrot (German), Herzkraut (German), Herztrost (German), hexadecanoic acid, hjärtansfröjd (Swedish), hjertensfryd (Danish, Norwegian), honey plant, Honigblum (German), honungsblomma (Swedish), hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, Immenchrut (German), Ivenblatt (German), Kneipp® Melisse Pflanzensaft, Labiatae/Lamiaceae (family), lemon melissa, lemon-balm, lignin, Limonikraut (German), linalool, lomaherpan, luteolin, luteolin 3'-O-beta-D-glucuronopyranoside, luteolin 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, meduňka lékařská (Czech), méhfu (Hungarian), melisa (Polish, Spanish), melisa lekarska (Polish), melissa, Melissa officinalis, Melissa officinalis L., Melissa oleum, melissa vera (Italian), Melissae, Melissae folium, melisse (Danish, French, German, Norwegian), mélisse (French), mélisse officinale (French), Melissenblatt (German), Melissengeist (German), melissört (Swedish), meliza (Spanish), methyl citronellate, metrilic acid, mézontófu (Hungarian), modergräs (Swedish), moderurt (Norwegian), monoterpene glycosides, Mutterkraut (German), Mutterwurz (German), navadna melisa (Slovenian), nerol, Nervenkräutel (German), neryl acetate, nitrogen, oleanolic acid, ocimene, orvosi citromfű (Hungarian), p-coumaric acid, pentadecanal, Pfaffenkraut (German), polyphenolic compounds, proline, protein, quercetin, Riechnessel (German), rosmarinic acid, rutin, sabinene, Salatkräutle (German), sesquiterpenes, sidrunmeliss (Estonian), sitronmelisse (Norwegian), sitruunamelissa (Finnish), Spanischer Salbei (German), squalene, succinic acid, sweet balm, sweet mary, tannins, terpin-4-ol, thé de France (French), toronjil (Spanish), trace metals, trans-caryophyllene, triterpenes, triterpenoids, ursolic acid, valverde boutons de fievre crème (French), volatile oils, Wanzenkraut (German), Zahnwehkraut (German), zeaxanthin, Zitronella (German), Zitronenkraut (German), Zitronenmelisse (German), Zitronen-Melisse (German).
Combination products (examples): Abdomilon®, Abdomilon® N, Abnormal Savda Munziq®, Absimed, Agua del Carmen, Aktiv Nerven- und Schlaftee, Anevrase, Aponatura Beruhigungs®, Aponatura Einschlaf®, Aranidorm-S, Arterosan Plus, Avedorm®, Baldracin®, Baldrian-Elixier, Baldrian-Krautertonikum, Baldriparan, Baldriparan Beruhigungs, Baldriparan stark N, Balsamo Branco, Befelka-Tinktur, Beruhigungstee, Biocarde, Bio-Garten Tee zur Beruhigung, Bio-Garten Tropfen zur Beruhigung, Camomila, Canad, Caramelos Agua del Carmen, Cardalept, Cardiaforce, Carming®, ColiMil®, Colominthe, Cough Drops, Cura, Digestol Sanatorium, Doppelherz Melissengeist, Doppelherz Tonikum, Dormarist, Dormiplant, Dragées pour la détente nerveuse, Elixir Bonjean, Emmenoiasi, Especies Calmante, Euvegal Entspannungs- und Einschlafdragees, Euvegal Forte®, Euvegal N, Euviterin, Fargestium, Fluxoten, Gastregan, Gastrol S®, Gastrosan, Gutnacht, Heumann Beruhigungstee Tenerval N, Herz- und Kreislauftonikum Bioflora®, Hyperiforce comp, Iberogast, JuDorm, JuNeuron S, Klosterfrau Melissengeist, Kneipp Krauter Taschenkur Nerven und Schlaf N, Kneipp Nerven- und Schlaf-Tee, Kneipp Nerven- und Schlaf-Tee N, Krauterdoktor Beruhigungstropfen, Krauterdoktor Entspannungs- und Einschlaftropfen, Krauterdoktor Magen-Darmtropfen, Krauterdoktor Nerven-Tonikum, Krauterdoktor Rosmarin-Wein, Krauterhaus Mag Kottas Babytee, Krauterhaus Mag Kottas Magen- und Darmtee, Krauterhaus Mag Kottas Nerven- und Schlaftee, Krauterhaus Mag Kottas Wechseltee, Krautertee Nr 1, Krautertee Nr 9, Krautertee Nr 16, Krautertee Nr 141, Krautertee Nr 201, Krautertee Nr 209, Lindofluid N, Lo-701, Luvased-Tropfen N, Mag Doskar's Magentonikum, Mag Doskar's Nerventonikum, Mag Kottas Beruhigungstee, Mag Kottas Krauterexpress-Nerven-Schlaf-Tee, Mag Kottas Magen-Darmtee, Mag Kottas Nerven-Beruhigungstee, Mag Kottas Schlaftee, Mag Kottas Tee fur stillende Mutter, Mag Kottas Wechseltee, Mariazeller, Mediflor Tisane Calmante Troubles du Sommeil No 14, Mediflor Tisane Circulation du Sang No 12, Mediflor Tisane Pectorale d'Alsace, Melissa comp., Melissa Specie Composta, Melissa Tonic, Melissengeist, Melissin, Nervendragees, Nerven-Tee Stada N, Nervifloran, Nervosana, Nyrene, Ob-X, Oxacant N, Oxacant-sedativ, Pascosedon, Passedan, Passelyt, Passiflora Composta, Phytoberidin, Phytogran, Phytonoctu, Plantival, Plantival novo, Presselin Blahungs K 4 N, Pronervon Phyto, Relax, Resolutivo Regium, RubieSed, Salus Nerven-Schlaf-Tee Nr. 22, Salusan, Santane D5, Santane N9, Schlaf- und Nerventee, Sedacur, Seda-Grandelat, Sedantol, Seda-Plantina®, Sedariston, Sedaselect N, Sedasyx, Sedatol, Sedatruw S, Sedinfant N, Seracalm, Sidroga Herz-Kreislauf-Tee, Sidroga Kindertee, Sidroga Magen-Darm-Tee, Sidroga Nerven- und Schlaftee, Sirmiosta Nervenelixier N, Sol Schoum, Songha, Songha Night, Soporin, Species nervinae, St Radegunder Beruhigungs- und Einschlaftee, St Radegunder Fiebertee, St Radegunder Herz-Kreislauf-Tonikum, St Radegunder Herz-Kreislaufunterstutzender Tee, St Radegunder Magenberuhigungstee, St Radegunder Nerventee, St Radegunder Nerven-Tonikum, St Radegunder Reizmildernder Magentee, St Radegunder Rosmarin-Wein, Stullmaton, STW 5, STW 5-II (bitter candy tuft, matricaria flower, peppermint leaves, caraway, licorice root, and lemon balm), STW-5-S (matricaria flower, peppermint leaves, caraway, licorice root, and lemon balm), SX Valeriana comp, Synpharma InstantNerventee, Teekanne Magen- und Darmtee, Teekanne Schlaf- und Nerventee, The Brioni, The Chambard-Tee, The Franklin, Tisana Arnaldi, Tisana Cisbey, Tisana Kelemata, Tisane antiflatulente pour les enfants, Tisane calmante pour les enfants, Tisane des familles, Tisane favorisant l'allaitement, Tisane Grande Chartreuse, Tisane pour le coeur et la circulation, Tisane pour le foie, Tisane pour le sommeil et les nerfs, Tisane pour les enfants, Tisane pour l'estomac, Tisane purgative, Tisane relaxante, Tisane Touraine, Vagostabyl, Valerina Day Time, Valerina Night-Time, Valverde Dragées pour la détente, Wechseltee, Ze185.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Herpes simplex virus infections (symptoms) (Grade: B)
Research suggests that lemon balm applied to the skin may effectively treat symptoms of herpes simplex infections. Lomaherpan®, a 1% dried lemon balm extract cream, has been used in most studies. While results are promising, further research is required to confirm the effects of lemon balm.
Agitation in dementia (Grade: C)
Preliminary research found that lemon balm aromatherapy may help reduce stress and agitation in people with severe dementia. Although findings are promising, more research is needed to better understand these effects.
Anxiety (Grade: C)
Preliminary research supports the use of lemon balm for anxiety. Although results are positive, more research is needed before conclusions can be made.
Cognitive performance (Grade: C)
Some studies found that lemon balm extract may affect mood and cognition. More research is needed to better assess the effectiveness of this treatment.
Colic (Grade: C)
A combination treatment containing lemon balm has been studied in the treatment of infant colic (excessive crying in babies). Preliminary research suggests that it may be an effective treatment for this condition. Although results are promising, more studies are needed.
Colitis (Grade: C)
There is limited evidence suggesting that a combination herbal treatment that includes lemon balm may be effective in the treatment of colitis (intestinal swelling). However, more research is needed.
Depression (Grade: C)
There is a lack of evidence to show that a combination lemon balm treatment may be effective in treating depression. More research in this area is needed.
Dyspepsia (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that combination products containing lemon balm may reduce dyspepsia (upset stomach). However, more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.
Irritable bowel syndrome (Grade: C)
Lemon balm-containing treatments have been used for stomach pain, discomfort, and bloating. While some results are positive, more studies looking at the effects of lemon balm alone are needed to determine its effectiveness.
Psychological disorders (Grade: C)
There is limited evidence to support the use of lemon balm in treating psychological disorders. More high-quality trials are needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
Restlessness (in children) (Grade: C)
There is limited evidence supporting the use of lemon balm to treat restlessness in children. More research is needed before conclusions can be made.
Sleep quality (Grade: C)
There is not enough high-quality evidence supporting the use of lemon balm as a sleep aid. Most studies have used lemon balm in combination products. More research is needed to determine the potential sedative effects of lemon balm alone.
Somatoform disorders (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that an herbal combination product containing lemon balm may reduce anxiety and depression associated with somatoform disorders (fear or belief of being ill). More research is needed before any conclusions can be made.