lemonBalm 2

Lemon Balm

(Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm, an excellent carminative herb, relieves spasms in the digestive tract and is useful in flatulent dyspepsia. Because of its mild antidepressant properties, it is primarily indicated when dyspepsia is associated with anxiety or depression, as the gently sedative oils relieve tension and stress reactions. The volatile oil appears to act on the interface between the digestive tract and the nervous system. The herb has been described by some herbalists as trophorestorative for the nervous system, similar in some way to oats.

Lemon balm is appropriate for neuralgia, anxiety-induced palpitations, insomnia, and migraine associated with tension. Lemon balm has a tonic effect on the heart and circulatory system and causes mild vasodilation of peripheral vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. It may be used for feverish conditions, such as influenza.

Hot-water extracts have antiviral properties, possible due in part to the presence of rosmarinic acis and other polyphenolics. A lotion-based extract may be applied to herpes simplex skin lesions, the antiviral activity having been confirmed in both laboratory and clinical trials.

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