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Lemon Balm

Botanical Name
Melissa officinalis

Other Names
Balm, Bee Balm, Cure-all, The De France, Heart's Delight, Sweet Balm

balm keeps you calm.

lemon balm for appetite.jpg

Click on thumbnail to see pictures for identification.

Name
Lemon Balm

Botanical Name: 
Melissa officinalis

Other Names
Balm, Bee Balm, Cure-all, The De France, Heart's Delight, Sweet Balm

Family:
Lamiaceae
Balm is from the Mint (Labiatae) family.

Parts Used 
Flowers, Leaves

Description
Lemon balm is an aromatic perennial subshrub with bright green leaves, square stem and tiny white flowers. native to the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia, widely cultivated throughout Europe.

Overview
  and Mythology.
Melissa is Greek for 'honey bee',  referring to the bee's attraction to its flower and the quality of the honey produced from it 
Lemon balm steeped in wine was used orally and topically in ancient Greek and Roman and Indian medicines, as surgical dressing for wounds, and to treat venomous bites and stings, as mentioned in the writings of Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder.

This herb was sacred in the temple of Diana.  Avicenna and Paracelsus said Lemon Balm 'causeth the mind and heart to be merrie'.  
The essential oil is expensive and sometimes adulterated with citronella oil.

Constituents.
Essential Oil - (citral, linalool, eugenol, citronellal 30–40%,, geraniol 10–30%
Tannins -
unique to the Lamiaceae, such as triterpenylic 
Bitter Principle, 
Resin
Polyphenols
in the form of Phenolic Acids:
1.Caffeic Acid
Caffeic Acid stimulates the flow of Bile.
Caffeic Acid blocks the formation of some forms of Cancer:
Caffeic Acid blocks the formation of Colon Cancer following exposure to carcinogens.
Caffeic Acid helps to prevent Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Caffeic Acid helps to prevent Melanoma.
Caffeic Acid blocks the formation of Skin Cancer following exposure to carcinogens.
Caffeic Acid suppresses some types of Detrimental Bacteria:
Caffeic Acid helps to protect against infection by Staphylococcus aureus - the detrimental bacteria responsible for “Golden Staph”.
Caffeic Acid suppresses some types of Detrimental Fungi.
Caffeic Acid inhibits Inflammation.
Caffeic Acid suppresses some Viruses.
Caffeic Acid possesses Antioxidant properties:
Caffeic Acid neutralizes Peroxynitritie Free Radicals.
Caffeic Acid protects the Liver from some toxic substances.
2.Ferulic Acid  
Ferulic Acid helps to maintain normal Smooth Muscle tone in Blood Vessels.
Ferulic Acid helps to prevent many forms of Cancer.
Ferulic Acid helps to prevent Inflammation.
Ferulic Acid possesses Antioxidant properties. -Ferulic Acid neutralizes Peroxynitrite Free Radicals.
Ferulic Acid alleviates Anxiety.
Ferulic Acid increases the viability and motility of Sperm (in both fertile men and in Male Infertility patients).
Ferulic Acid helps to maintain normal Smooth Muscle tone in the Uterus.
Flavonoids,- quercitrin, rhamnocitrin, and the 7-glucosides of apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin, and luteolin;
Organic Acids:
    Rosmarinic Acid[4%].      Succinic Acid, 
Minerals:          Chlorine                Sodium       Triterpenes   (ursolic, oleanolic acids)

Medicinal Actions 
Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Carminative, Cholinergic activities Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Hypotensive, Memory-improving [due to cholinergic activities identified in extracts of lemon balm], Nervine, Rejuvenative, Sedative, Sleep disorders, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Dosage Recommendations
Infusion of Balm tea 1 teaspoon of dried aerial parts made into a tea (i.e. combined with 150 ml of boiling water).  If required 3 cups per day.

Applications.
Tea, Tincture, Capsules

Used in the following internal illnesses
Anxiety, Chickenpox, Colds, Colic, Dementia, Depression, Dysmenorrhea, Fever, Flu, Headache, Herpes, Homesickness, Hysteria, Insomnia, Mumps, Nausea, Nervousness, Nightmares, Shingles, Tachycardia, Teething
Useful for early senility and acts as a mild hypotensive.  
Also good for heart palpitations due to nerves. 
Lemon Balm acts upon the part of the brain governing the autonomic nervous system and protect the cerbrum from excessive external stimuli.
Used for stimulating the appetite.

Health Benefits of Balm
Digestive System
Balm (tea) alleviates Colic.  
Balm stimulates the Digestive System.
Balm (tea) alleviates Flatulence (according to folklore).
Balm (tea consumed with meals or 9 - 15 ml of Balm fluid extract/tincture per day) alleviates Indigestion.  

Immune System
Balm inhibits some types of Detrimental Fungi.  
Balm (tea) helps to reduce Fever (due to Volatile Oils) 
Balm (tea) alleviates Influenza.

Metabolism
Balm possesses Antioxidant properties (due to its Rosmarinic Acid content).
Balm alleviates Grave’s Disease (due to components of Balm inhibiting the attachment of the Antibodies that cause Grave’s Disease to the Thyroid gland). 

Nervous System
Balm sedates the Central Nervous System (CNS).            Balm (tea) alleviates Insomnia (by sedating the CNS).    Balm (tea) improves Memory 
Balm is claimed to alleviate Migraine 
Balm is claimed to alleviate Vertigo 

External Medicinal Use
Boils, Eczema, Headache, Herpes, Insect Bites, Shingles

Applications.
Use as compress for swellings such as gout.  
applied to eczema and headaches.  
Use a poultice for boils.
Lemon Balm is made into facial toners and beauty lotions. 
It is an ingredient in Carmelite water.  
Use as a salve for insect bites or simply rub the fresh leaf on the afflicted area.
Used in sachets to repel moths.  
Used as a bath herb, massage oil, and perfume.


Balm is an ingredient in some topically-applied creams designed to treat the symptoms of Herpes lesions

Balm (concentrated extract formulated into a cream and applied topically) inhibits the Herpes Simplex Virus When applied topically to people with their first HSV1 infection Balm (cream) prevented future outbreaks of HSV1 Cold Sores in 100% of cases.
Balm (cream applied topically) accelerates the healing of the lesions associated with HSV1 (on average, Balm treatment shortens the average healing period for HSV1 from 10 days to 5 days).
Balm (cream applied topically) increases the period between HSV1 outbreaks in people who are afflicted with frequent HSV1 outbreaks (Balm increases the period between HSV outbreaks to an average of 3.5 months).
Although Balm does not kill the Herpes Simplex Virus, it interrupts the replication of the Virus by binding with the Receptors that the Virus requires in order to multiply.
The optimal Balm preparation for the topical treatment of Herpes Simplex is a 70:1 extract of Balm formulated into a 1% cream.
Balm (extract applied topically) alleviates the lesions associated with Herpes Zoster (Shingles). 

Energetics.
Sour, Pungent, Cold, Dry

Contra indications and side effect
Generally none
Eyes/Vision - Glaucoma patients should not use Balm (as animal studies have indicated that Balm raises intra-ocular pressure in the Eyes). 
This is a safe herb for children, and it tastes very good.  Lemon Balm can lower thyroid function, which is good for some but not others.

Use During Pregnancy And Lactation.
No restrictions known

Interactions with Other Drugs.
None known

Doctrine of signatures
The odour is soothing and relaxing.

Astrology.
Jupiter in Cancer and ruled by the Moon

Chakra
1st, 5th and 6th

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