Melissa OfficinalisMain Chemicals
geranial, germacrene, neral, beta-caryophylleneProduct Description
Sweet, fresh, citrus flavour that attracts bees.
Lemon balm is a perennial, essential oil-bearing plant of the Lamiaceae family. It was mentioned in the writings of ancient scientists. It has been used in folk and scientific medicine for more than 2000 years. This plant was widely distributed in the countries of Europe and America. It was first described in the works of Theophrastus "Historia plantarum" (in Ancient Greek: Περὶ φυτῶν ἱστορίας).
Distribution and ecology
The homeland of the lemon balm is said to be the Eastern Mediterranean region to Persia, the Black Sea and Asian region, as well as North Africa, where they have cultivated it for more than 2000 years. In its wild form, lemon balm is widespread in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Iran, North America.
Lemon balm grows on the outskirts of the forests, forest gorges, shady valleys, prefers clay soils with sufficient moisture. According to other sources, lemon balm prefers clay and sandy soils rich in humus, the heavy soils that are too acidic are totally inappropriate for this plant.
Lemon balm blooms in June-August, the seeds ripen in September.
Pliny the Old (24-79 BC) Naturalis historia and Pedios Dioscorides in Materia Medica provide the first therapeutic recommendations for the use of herbs for insect bites, abdominal pain, female diseases, inflammation, constipation and rheumatic diseases. In the “Canon of Medicine” almost 1000 years ago, Avicenna (980-1037) pointed to the healing properties of this plant, its ability to “help with brain blockages”. Avicenna called lemon balm "The Joy of the Heart". He believed that "it made the heart happy and strengthened the spirit, repelled the dark thoughts and balanced the “black longing", helps digestion and helps hiccup”.
In medieval Europe, lemon balm was one of the most popular plants. In XI century, the French scientist and physician Odo of Men in his poem "The Properties of Plants" described the healing properties of lemon balm in the following way: "And for various bites the grass immediately helps if the bite is immediately covered with grated grass. Decoction from the grass helps with dysentery and sick stomach. It is good for asthma and heals dyspnoea, heals ulcers with decoction, relieves joints. The grass must be applied with salt, – cures dog bites. "
Meaning and application
Lemon balm leaves – valuable for the production of honey, during flowering gives a lot of nectar. The honey is distinguished by its pleasant aroma and flavor, it is among the best varieties.
Application in the culinary industry
Leaves and young branches cut before flowering are used as seasonings with a spicy, refreshing lemon taste in the European and American cuisines. In fresh or dry form, the leaves are added as a savory spice to salads, grated cheese, soups, game, fish dishes, mushrooms, as well as flavoring tea, vinegar, liqueurs and beverages, in cucumber and tomato salads. In Denmark, lemon balm is used to preserve meat. To preserve the aromatic bouquet, it is not recommended to boil.
Application in medicine
- The preparations based on the herb lemon balm are used in cases of: neurosis, mild hypertension, mild forms of coronary heart disease, tachyarrhythmias, acute and chronic gastrointestinal diseases, dyskinesias, dysbiosis, fermentiopathy, gas; acute and chronic inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system (bacterial and viral genesis); eczema, dermatitis, pruritic trophic ulcers, menstrual disorders, menopausal disorders, pregnancy toxicosis; immunodeficiency conditions.
- Unlike in adults, a relatively limited set of plants is used in children, especially in preschool and school age. One of these plants is lemon balm, which is recommended for the treatment of child neurosis, hypertension, rheumatism, herbal remedy for children with heart defects, for the treatment of chronic diseases, gastritis, cholecystitis, pyelonephritis, diabetes and obesity.
- In the pharmaceutical industry, galenical preparations are made from lemon balm in the form of medicinal teas, aromatic waters, decoctions, medicines, and for the production of essential oil, which is highly valued in perfumery, chemical, pharmaceutical, distillery and food industries. Oil and leaves, as well as young sprouts, are used equally.
- Lemon balm is widely used as a spasmolytic agent that regulates digestive tract activity, especially in the case of flatulence, as a painkiller. Recommended for migraine, insomnia, painful menstruation, skin rashes. Externally – in the form of compresses for the treatment of furuncles and for rinsing in case of inflammation of the gums.
- In folk medicine the leaves and the tips of the branches of the flowers have been used internally in tachycardia, hypertension, asthma, neuralgia, migraine, insomnia, anemia, melancholia, exaggeration of sexual function, painful menstruation, laxative and prevention of sweating, cholecystitis, atherosclerosis, gallstone disease, as well as to increase lactation. The leaves and the tips of the branches are used externally for toothache, rheumatism, bruises and ulcers.
Useful properties and application of lemon balm oil
The composition of the lemon balm oil includes terpenoids: aldehydes, alcohols, complex-structure hydrocarbons; substances with pronounced anti-inflammatory action, for example beta-caryophyllene, etc. The listing and description of all these substances is not very clear to a person who is not familiar with chemistry and biology – it is enough to say that they are found in many plants and have a wide range of biological effects; They are often used in pharmacology, constantly used for creating new drugs.
Before that, aromatherapy was available only to the chosen ones, not everyone could use essential oils, only the rich and famous ones could. Of course, beautiful women were the ones who were most interested in aromatic oils (called fragrances), but men also enjoyed their medicinal effects and wonderful scents: having massages, taking baths, pouring them into aromatic lamps and aromatic medallions – just as they do today.
Healers, however, seek to apply essential oils not only for cosmetic care and awakening of sensuality, but also for the treatment of various diseases. By conducting their research, modern scientists remember the natural power of essential oils, and recommend using them for various purposes and in different directions: from treatment of depression to the elaboration of an exquisite perfume.
- At home and even at work, you can successfully apply the healing power of essential oils: relieve stress with an aromatic lamp; use a blend of oils, such as perfumes – within reasonable limits; take a bath with them, the way the ancient kings and ladies did. Of course, beautiful Cleopatra knew about the wonderful properties of lemon balm essential oil, but the Mediterranean Sea is the birthplace of this plant, as well as North Africa and West Asia – the entire history of the ancient world is concentrated in this region of our planet. The history of essential oils also began there, and lemon balm can always be found in Asian and southern European countries.
- If you put lemon balm leaves in your tea, the scent of fresh lemon will immediately spread around, and the taste of this tea will be amazing. Lemon balm leaves contain a lot of essential oil, which is now widely used in official medicine, homeopathy, cosmetology – it relieves headaches and cramps, has a calming effect, relieves cardiovascular problems, fights with oncology and other dangerous diseases – so treat it more seriously.
- Lemon balm oil reduces high blood pressure, it is used in tachycardia, infertility, female illnesses and menstrual disorders.
- Neuroscientists and psychotherapists are well aware that lemon balm oil has a beneficial effect on the psycho-emotional state of patients: improves sleep, reduces irritability, corrects thoughts and improves memory, strengthens the immune system. By the way, during flu epidemics and other viral infections, you can aromatize the air with lemon balm essential oil – its aroma is much more pleasant than the smell of garlic, traditionally used to protect against colds and viral diseases. If you are already sick, lemon balm oil will help you get rid of the virus faster, ease the course of the disease, lower the temperature, improve mucus removal during cough and speed up your recovery.
- You can breathe it in when you have a cough, the flu and acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI): add 3 drops of oil to a small amount of honey, pour the mixture into a bowl of hot water, cover with a large towel and breathe in the aromatic steam for 10-15 minutes.
- If you have a headache, you need to smear your temples with oil; if ulcers appear in the oral cavity, it is necessary to make oil applications twice a day; for removing the nervous tension a bath with lemon balm oil will help – dissolve 5-6 drops in cream and pour it in the tub with the water. In the foot bath you can add more oil – 10-12 drops.
- For many diseases, the massage with lemon balm oil also has relaxing and calming effect: 5 drops per 10 ml base – peach, apricot, etc.
- Lemon balm essential oil can be taken internally: for cardiovascular problems, increased blood pressure, tachycardia, nerve cramps, indigestion, rheumatism, loss of strength, decreased appetite, metabolic disorders, inflammation, gas and constipation and many other diseases.
- The oil (5-7 drops) is mixed with honey (50 ml) or with the same amount of jam, syrup, cream; you can add the lemon balm oil even to sauces – for example, in homemade mayonnaise, and take these mixtures twice a day, ½ tsp.
- For meat, fish, vegetable dishes, you can also add a few drops of this oil – they will become more delicious, healthier and will be better absorbed by the body.
- For colic, pain, swelling, compresses using lemon balm oil: 7-8 drops per 5 ml base; or water, warm and cold – up to 200 ml of water – 5-7 drops of oil.
- The wounds are washed with a 2% solution of lemon balm: first dissolve 30 drops of oil in ½ tsp of soda, then dilute it with clean water – 100 ml.
- In cosmetics, this oil is considered necessary because it has a bactericidal effect and it dries out the skin; Helps in enlarged pores and acne. Those who suffer from the problem of greasy hair can just start adding 2-3 drops of lemon balm essential oil to your shampoo while washing your head – after a while your hair will stop becoming greasier and will become more submissive. Lemon balm oil also beats dandruff.
- For especially oily skin, acne and furuncles, add lemon balm oil to your skin care cream – 4 drops per 5 g of cream. Most of the cosmetic recipes with this oil are specifically designed to care for oily skin – for example, 3 drops of grapefruit, 2 – bergamot, 1 – lemon balm and 10 ml neutral cream (transport oil) as a base.
- For oily skin, make steam baths of the face with the same contents, reducing the dose: for 1 liter of water, take 2 drops of grapefruit oil and 1 drop of lemon balm and bergamot. If the skin is also very porous, take 1 drop of lemon balm, lemon, oregano and juniper oil.
- In the case of enlarged pores, algae like spirulina (powder), cosmetic clay, wheat germ oil or grape seed oil can be used as a mask base. Base – 5 ml, lemon balm oil, 2-3 drops; The mask is applied on the face on a smooth layer, which is thicker on the area of the enlarged pores, and is held for about 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and rinse with cool water.
- For oily skin of the whole body, take a bath: for a full bath 4 drops of bergamot oil, 2 drops of lemon, lemon balm and rosemary.
- If the skin of the lips is pale, cracked and flaky, the lemon balm oil will return its smoothness, tenderness and natural color. You can use it in combination with rosewood oil or rose oil – 1: 1, every day, putting it on the lips in the morning and in the evening.
- Lemon balm oil treats insect bites – on a wet napkin, drop 2-3 drops of the oil and attach it to the point of bite – and skin diseases: fungal and other infections, eczema, neurodermatitis, psoriasis.
- As an anti-allergic agent, lemon balm relieves asthma attacks.
- Lemon balm oil is perfect as a deodorant, and in case of hypersecretion of the sweat glands, even lotions are prescribed.
- The bath and sauna will bring more benefits and enjoyment if 3-4 drops of lemon balm oil are used in each session. To aromatize the room and create a calm mood, the oil is poured into the aroma lamp: for 15 square meters – 3-5 drops; for the aroma lamp, 1-3 drops are enough to feel relaxed throughout the day. Lemon balm oil is also commonly used in psychological practices: helps develop self-confidence, get rid of complexes and shyness. In the old days, healers believed that it was protecting against the evil eye – for that you could only use aroma pendants.
Dosages for the use of lemon balm essential oil have to be carefully observed: although they can hardly cause serious damage, a few extra drops can cause a headache. In general, there are some contraindications to the use of this oil: it should not be used without interruption for more than 3 weeks; by singers – just before performance; pregnant women during the first half of pregnancy; if you are hypersensitive.