Lemon Balm

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Melissa or Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.)

 

Parts used: dried leaves

Constituents: volatile oil (including citral and citronellal), flavonoids, monoterpene glycosides, phenylpropanoids, triterpenes

Pharmacopoeia Standard: the dried herb should contain no less than 4.0 per cent of total hydroxycinnamic derivatives (rosmarinic acid)

Actions: antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, diaphoretic, relaxant, sedative, topically antiviral

Indications: restlessness, tension, irritability, flatulent dyspepsia, nervous debility and exhaustion, depressive illness

Applications: The volatile oil in Melissa has been shown to calm the central nervous system; it also has an antispasmodic action. This herb is of particular value in the treatment of agitation, nervous digestive complaints, sleeping problems, melancholy and grief. Hot water extracts of Melissa have an anti-viral action, primarily due to rosmarinic acid and other polyphenols. Applied topically, it is active against the Herpes simplex virus. Aqueous extracts appear to inhibit the division of tumour cells.

Safety: Melissa inhibits thyroid function.

Dosage: 450mg three times a day

Combinations: with Hops in dyspepsia

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Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH

Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK

Last updated 27th November 2014     ęPurple Sage Botanicals