Proven Lemon Balm Uses and Recipes for Health

Lemon balm, also known as “Melissa officinalis”, is an herb belonging to the mint family that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, alleviate digestive issues, and improve cognitive function. This perennial herb is native to Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia and is known for its distinct lemony scent and flavor. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the various uses and health benefits of lemon balm, including its potential effects on stress, anxiety, digestion, and more.

Top 5 Lemon Balm Health Benefits

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Lemon balm has been shown to have a calming effect and may help in reducing stress and anxiety. A small study found that participants who consumed lemon balm in drinks and yogurts experienced improved mood and reduced stress levels during a multitasking and public speaking stress test. Another study found that lemon balm, when combined with valerian, can help treat sleeping problems and restlessness in children. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Digestive Health

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Lemon balm may help alleviate digestive issues such as indigestion, flatulence, and bloating. A small study found that participants who consumed a dessert containing lemon balm experienced less stomach upset compared to those who did not. It may also be beneficial in managing nausea and abdominal pain.

Cognitive Function and Memory

Research has suggested that lemon balm may improve cognitive function and memory. A study found that participants who consumed lemon balm performed better on computerized cognitive tasks involving memory, mathematics, and concentration compared to those who did not. #### Cold Sores and Skin Irritation Lemon balm cream has been shown to be effective in treating cold sores by reducing symptoms and healing time. The cream may also help prolong the intervals between cold sore outbreaks.

Other Uses

Lemon balm has been used in traditional medicine for various purposes, including reducing fever, treating wounds, and relieving pain and discomfort from indigestion. It is also used in cosmetics and as a natural insect repellent.

Safety and Precautions

Lemon balm is generally considered safe when consumed in amounts found in foods. However, large doses or prolonged use may cause side effects such as increased appetite, nausea, dizziness, and wheezing. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and individuals taking sedatives or thyroid medications.

Lemon balm is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries to promote overall well-being. While more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of its various uses, the existing evidence suggests that it may be beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety, improving cognitive function, and alleviating digestive issues. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using lemon balm, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.


Medical News Today. “Lemon Balm: Uses, Benefits, and More.” 2020-03-03.

Healthline. “Lemon Balm: Uses, Benefits, and More.” 2017-08-10.

Mount Sinai Health System. “Lemon Balm.”

WebMD. “Lemon Balm – Uses, Side Effects, and More.”

National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study With an Antioxidant Prospective.”

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