A member of the mint family, lemon balm gets its name from the pleasant smell. It has been used since the Middle Ages as an herbal remedy that promotes calmness, boosts mood, and helps you sleep. Even before this time, ancient Romans and Greeks used it to heal wounds and for other medical treatments.
Today, Lemon Balm is a well researched plant with proven benefits and few side effects. Here are just a few of Lemon Balm's properties, all backed by science.
Helps With Anxiety
We live in a stressful world. It seems as if hardly a day can go by without disaster being reported in one area of the world or another. If you're feeling anxious about the news, a public speech, or a big test, lemon balm could help calm anxious feelings.
Studies done both in mouse and human trials have found that lemon balm can calm these feelings and help those who take it feel more relaxed and alert. Those who took it also performed better in mental performance tests after taking lemon balm, as compared to those who took a placebo.
If you've ever experienced a few nights with a colicky baby, you've probably tried every gas drop, back pat, and wrap technique known to man in an effort to soothe that sore stomach. Lemon balm is great for gastric distress, and is safe for healthy babies.
In a Swedish study conducted on 27 infants between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, lemon balm was found to reduce crying time compared to a placebo. While the researchers cautioned the evidence isn't high enough quality to come to firm conclusions, the research is still very encouraging.
Helps Prevent Dementia
Lemon balm is useful for a variety of mental health issues, and is currently being researched on how it may help with cognition. Lemon balm may help reduce the symptoms of dementia, improve memory, and may play a role in nerve cell health. When used in combination with other herbs such as sage and rosemary, it could help improve the quality of life for those suffering from dementia.
Wards Off Insomnia
We all have days when we just can't get a good night's sleep. If you're inability to sleep is turning into insomnia however, you may find reaching for a little bit of lemon balm to be the cure. Lemon balm can help you relax and sleep, so you can wake up feeling rested the next day.
Improved heart rate
Lemon balm can also slow down your heart rate, and may help alleviate heart palpitations and contribute to overall heart health. In one study conducted in rats, lemon balm in low doses was found to reduce the heart's resistance to injury.
Lemon balm has an impressive number of uses, from flavoring for foods to a useful treatment for many common complaints, lemon balm is a great tool to help calm the body, the mind, and the stomach. It has few side effects noted, and is safe for people of all ages, making it a great general herb to have on hand.