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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 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, 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, geranial, 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), neral, 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®, Carmint®, 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, Novo-Baldriparan®, 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.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb native to southern Europe. Historically, lemon balm has been purported to possess sedative or tranquilizing, anti-gas, fever-reducing, antibacterial, spasmolytic, hypotensive, memory-enhancing, menstrual-inducing, and thyroid-related effects and has been proposed by some as an herbal "cure-all" (1;2;3). It has been used for centuries in a number of cultures (4;5) and healing traditions, including Portuguese folk medicine (for its tranquilizing properties) and Cuban folk medicine (as a cancer treatment) (1;6).
  • Lemon balm is a member of the Lamiaceae family (7;8;9;10). Other members of the Lamiaceae family include dittany, mint, sage, siderites, and sweet marjoram (11).
  • In vitro data suggest that lemon balm may contain high concentrations of antioxidants (12).
  • Research appears to support the use of topical lemon balm to alleviate symptoms of herpes infections. Lemon balm has also been investigated for possible therapeutic benefit in a number of indications, including anxiety, dyspepsia, and irritable bowel syndrome. While some preliminary findings have indicated promise, the research remains inconclusive.
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.