Lemon balm is a lemon scented member of the mint family and is native to Southern Europe. With its mild lemon scent and flavor, Lemon balm has historically been valued as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb. Fresh lemon balm leaves are often used to top drinks and garnish salads and main dishes while the dried leaves have been frequently used for teas. Throughout history as a medicinal herb, lemon balm has been used as a mild sedative and as a digestive aid to relieve gas, and is also well known for its use with fevers and to increase perspiration.
Lemon balm is often used alone or in combination with other synergistic herbs. The supportive role of lemon balm in the body is mainly due to its active constituents, particularly for its role in optimizing immune health, digestive health and providing a sense of balance for the nervous system. In the digestive system, lemon balm has historically been used to calm occasional discomfort associated with indigestion, gas and bloating. It is often used safely in infants with colic. While still in the early stages, several human research studies show promise with use of lemon balm to promote a sense of calm in body, particularly when it is stressed. Much of this research stems from an understanding of historical use of this herb. Research and traditional use also support using lemon balm in a supportive role for the immune system. Research demonstrates that lemon balm supports the immune system by initiating a healthy immune response and promoting health of the cell wall which is usually where microbes enter and infect the cell. While human studies are limited, in vitro studies do show promise for this herb in helping to promote a healthy immune system.
Uses of Lemon Balm
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.