Lemon balm – properties and effects of a popular herb for sedation and good sleep
Sleep disorders are a serious social disease that, if untreated, can have serious consequences for our health, both mental and physical, becoming the cause of the development of many dangerous diseases. Sleep problems may manifest in various ways, inability to fall asleep or poor quality of sleep, making it difficult, and sometimes even impossible to regenerate the body, to rest after a hard day.
There are many reasons for that, but it is important to start counteracting them effectively, using natural, safe methods, preferably herbal treatments. It is a good idea to use a lot of herbal remedies, such as lemon bal m, to help you fall asleep.
- 1 Scientific name and origin of lemon balm
- 2 Lemon balm appearance
- 3 Composition of lemon balm
- 4 Curative properties of lemon balm
- 5 Lemon balm side effects
- 6 Melissa balm tea or tablets
- 7 Melisa medica where to buy
Scientific name and origin of lemon balm
This herb, increasingly used not only in traditional, but also in conventional medicine, bears the Latin scientific name Melissa officinalis. It is also known by its more familiar sounding names, such as bee balm, lemon balm or honeysuckle. In the wild, it grows commonly in the entire Mediterranean basin, including the southern regions of our continent and North Africa. It has been known since ancient times and nowadays it is cultivated almost all over the world, also finding its application in cuisine.
Lemon balm appearance
Melissa (Lemon Balm) Melissa officinalis is a perennial herb, belonging to the family of clematis, which grows up to 60 cm high. The plant has a strongly branched stem, covered with hairs and blooms in spring with many small bright yellow flowers. It is the dried lemon balm leaves, which give off a characteristic lemon aroma when crushed, that are used for medicinal purposes.
Composition of lemon balm
The greatest wealth of lemon balm leaves is their composition full of nutrients essential for our health. The most important active ingredient here is the essential oil, consisting of three compounds: citral, citronellal and geraniol, supported by other active substances, and lemon balm leaves contain:
- tannins, with antibacterial activity;
- flavonoids, which act as antioxidants;
- mucilages, which protect various parts of the digestive system;
- Phenolic acids, mainly caffeic, ferulic, rosemary and chlorogenic acids;
- vitamin C, another strong antioxidant, which removes free radicals.
Curative properties of lemon balm
The chemical composition of lemon balm Melissa officinalis practically immediately predisposes it to be used in the treatment of many diseases, effectively alleviating their symptoms and eliminating their causes. This is why it is found in many medicinal products and why dried lemon balm leaves can also be used as an infusion to make a tasty, aromatic tea with the essential oil playing a key role. Patients themselves, as well as physicians of various specialties, appreciate lemon balm for the following health-promoting properties:
Lemon balm sedative effect
This is where lemon balm excels in folk medicine and cannot be compared with any other herb growing or cultivated in our country. The calming properties of lemon balm are useful in relieving the symptoms of stress, a difficult to treat civilization disease of our times. It manifests itself, among other things, in nervous tension, sometimes so strong that it can make normal functioning difficult.
The calming effect of lemon balm leaves results from their content of essential oils, which have a beneficial influence on the nervous system, leading to its gradual “quieting”. A great advantage of lemon balm oil is its rapidity of action; the first positive effects can be felt just a few minutes after drinking a hot infusion or taking a supplement whose most important active ingredient is lemon balm leaves. Apart from counteracting the symptoms of stress, lemon balm remedies are also useful in case of other nervous system problems:
- states of strong nervous excitement;
- Anxiety and depression;
- chronic fatigue syndrome, in this case allowing for full regeneration of the body
- headaches, especially of migraine origin
- neurosis with vegetative basis;
- emotional imbalances;
- Alzheimera disease and dementia, noticeably reducing the intensity of their symptoms;
- attacks of melancholy.
Lemon balm for sleep disorders
Another use for dried lemon balm leaves is to help with all kinds of sleep disorders. This is a problem faced by millions of people around the world every day, preventing full rest, which negatively affects many aspects of health. The worst symptom is insomnia, but sleep problems can also manifest in other ways:
- restless legs syndrome (RLS);
- involuntary and painful leg cramps;
- sleep apnea, characterized by snoring that can disturb others in the house;
- a feeling of drowsiness that often accompanies us throughout the day;
- sudden attacks of sleepiness, known as narcolepsy.
These symptoms will be quickly dealt with, for example, by melissa oil or freshly brewed leaves which guarantee not only the absence of even the smallest problems with falling asleep, but also high quality of sleep. This is the basis for proper rest and 100% relaxation of the body, preparing it for the challenges of the next day, and balm additionally
- relaxes muscles, thus reducing tension throughout the body;
- has a soothing and alleviating effect on the nervous system;
- eliminates possible pain, also those making it difficult or even impossible to fall asleep;
- regulates heart rhythm, preventing arrhythmia and palpitations;
- lowers high blood pressure;
Melissa for digestion
The sedative and sleep-promoting properties of lemon balm are not the only ones worth appreciating. They can be successfully used also for other diseases, including problems with proper dig estion and metabolism. Digestive disorders and slowed metabolism are among the main causes of overweight and obesity, which in extreme cases may even be life threatening. Lemon balm leaves not only have a calming effect on the nervous system, they also help relax tense smooth intestinal muscles, thus facilitating regular emptying while preventing painful abdominal cramps.
It is worth using them as support of digestion process of exceptionally hard to digest meals, since they increase, although in relatively small degree, secretion of gastric juice and bile. Substances contained in lemon balm leaves are used, among others, in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome:
- remove harmful bacteria and fungi from the digestive system;
- have a flatuence and diuretic effect;
- stimulate appetite;
- prevent fatty liver by inhibiting lipid oxidation
- ensures complete patency of bile ducts.
Lemon balm for cardiovascular and respiratory system
Regular consumption of lemon balm also has a very beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart and the entire circulatory system, which is greatly influenced by the content of the above mentioned essential oil in the leaves of this plant. It, along with other components, lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol LDL in blood, thus preventing the development of atherosclerosis, a disease that manifests itself, among others, with dizziness, sensory disturbances and paresis of the limbs, high blood pressure and even kidney failure.
It will also help with respiratory diseases, bringing quick relief to patients struggling with the effects of bronchial asthma or severe bronchitis symptoms that interfere with healthy, restful sleep. The phenolic acids ensure easy breathing, making you wake up in the morning fully rested.
Melissa for memory and concentration
People with memory and concentration problems should consider including lemon balm tablets or lemon balm tea in their diet. In this way, they can avoid cognitive dysfunction, remember better and absorb even very large amounts of new information.
Lemon balm side effects
Medical products, which include medical balm, can be used by everyone who needs them, including pregnant women, and practically without any risk of disturbing side effects in them. Products made from lemon balm leaves, such as lemon balm oil, can be used to alleviate particularly severe menstrual pain thanks to their smooth muscle relaxing effect. They prove to be almost as effective as diastolic pills and, unlike many of them, completely harmless. They also work well for other menstrual problems, including regulating menstrual frequency.
Melissa balm tea or tablets
The ways of using lemon balm, both in folk medicine and more modern medicine, are many and the choice actually comes down to answering the question of what will be better, tea or tablets. In the first case, it is enough to buy dried lemon balm leaves and brew them yourself; to do this, pour boiling water over them, cover the container and let steep for about 10 minutes. Such a tea, drunk before going to bed, perfectly calms you down, removes symptoms of fatigue, relaxes you, after it you can easily sleep the whole night, and its health properties do not differ from so popular green tea.
If this seems too cumbersome for you, then it is better to opt for more practical pills that only need to be taken as recommended by the manufacturer. Some of the best ones, also praised by specialists, are Melatolin Plus which contain not only medicinal lemon balm but also other substances:
- melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in the pineal gland;
- lupulin from hops cones, just as calming;
- Indian ginseng, like ashwagandha best able to deal with the effects of stress;
- tryptophan and l-theanine, which are responsible for correct melatonin levels and help you fall asleep quickly;
- Vitamin B6, responsible for the smooth functioning of the nervous system;
- saffron, ensuring always excellent mental well-being.
Melisa medica where to buy
Looking for lemon balm in the form not of essential oil, but dried leaves for brewing, you need to visit the nearest herbal shop or pharmacy, where you will surely get them. You can also buy an express tea, and all you have to do is put the bag in a glass, pour boiling water over it and you’re done.
Many dietary supplements that contain ground lemon balm leaves can also be purchased at a nearby pharmacy, but ones like Melatolin Plus are only available through their manufacturer’s website. This is often used and practical solution, giving the buyer the confidence that he is always buying the original and one hundred percent effective product at a price that certainly no other store or pharmacy can offer.