Lemon balm uses range from medicinal to cosmetic. It is a plant that grows to about two feet high and is a member of the mint family. It is not only used as an herb, but in other products such as furniture polish and cosmetics too.
It is known as a calming herb and has slight sedative properties.
The lemon balm herb comes in various forms and has many health benefits.
Lemon balm cream can be found in Europe but as yet is unavailable in the United States.
Lemon balm extract can be purchased as well as tea, capsules, oil, and tinctures.
In place of lemon balm cream, the tea can be made up and applied onto the affected area of skin using cotton balls.
The herb can be employed in a number of ways, and lemon balm uses include:
- Being part of the mint family, it may come as no surprise that lemon balm aids digestion, can reduce flatulence, and ease the bloating caused by trapped gas. It can be used to ease colic and is safe for children, although seeking the advice of pediatrician beforehand is advisable.
- Lemon balm tea is thought to help ease menstrual cramps.
- Lemon balm can help with insomnia. Although it is usually combined with other herbs known for calming, such as chamomile and valerian, it has its own slightly sedative properties.
- Provides stress relief and can help ease the symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety and is a good chamomile substitute.
- Anti-bacterial properties contained in lemon balm can help ease the irritation caused by insect bites. It was also used in the Middles Ages after being steeped in wine for skin irritations, stings, and bites.
- Lemon balm extract contains antiviral properties thought to reduce the swelling and redness of cold sores caused by herpes.
- Studies are taking place, as it is believed by some medical professionals that lemon balm can improve memory and increase attention span, so it may have a positive effect on diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s and ADHD.
- Effective lemon balm uses also include treatment of toothaches and headaches.
- Adding some dried leaves to a bath can help to ease aching muscles.
- Lemon balm is very good for skin care and has anti-aging properties. Adding the fresh leaves to hot water makes a steamy facial, which is also very good for acne sufferers.
- Lemon balm tea makes a very good rinse for those with oily hair.
- Lemon balm herb is also an ingredient in furniture polish, in potpourri, and as an insect repellent. The fresh herb can be added to salads, soups, and sauces for flavoring.
No side effects from lemon balm have been reported, but, as with any supplement, consultation with a medical professional prior to commencement is always advisable, particularly for those who are pregnant or on sedatives or thyroid medication.