Lemon Balm Benefits for the Body and Mind

Lemon Balm Benefits for the Body and Mind

Don't let its citrusy name fool you, lemon balm is a powerful plant packed with full-body health perks. From boosting brain power to shrinking cold sores and even luring you to sleep, this plant is a natural wonder. Keep reading for:

  • What is lemon balm?

  • The health benefits of lemon balm extracts for brain, body, and mind

  • Forms of lemon balm and how to grow your own

    grow lemon balm at home

    What is lemon balm?

    The lemon balm plant (also known as Melissa officinalis) is a lemon scented herb from the mint family. Used in teas, tinctures, tasty treats, and in our case, cold-sore-preventing lip balm, lemon balm has been used since the middle ages in herbal remedies to quell anxiety, improve sleep, speed up wound healing, treat viruses, and boost cognition.

    The best part? Lemon balm can be grown pretty much anywhere - indoors or outdoors. Our Founder Theora grows it in the backyard of her off-grid property in Northern California. Organic, sustainably grown lemon balm lip balm, anyone?

    And the second best part? Lemon balm moonlights as a mosquito repellant. Grow it in your yard and watch them scatter. Hello, itch-free summer nights!

    Health benefits of lemon balm

    Anxiety? Lemon Balm for More Calm

    A mild sedative, lemon balm is a well-known natural remedy for acute anxiety, nervousness, and excitability. 

    But how does it work? Animal studies have shown that lemon balm works by increasing GABA levels in the brain - a similar mechanism used in anxiety medications like lorazepam, except you know - 100% natural! In human studies, lemon balm has been shown to increase calmness both at rest and when subjected to stressors.

    Another study confirmed the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) power of lemon balm with a bonus of better memory. The researchers compared lemon balm to pharmaceuticals, noting "the effect is similar to that observed with more mainstream anxiolytics such as benzodiazepines. However in the case of pharmaceutical anxiolytics one might also expect impairments to performance, including reductions in psychomotor and working memory capabilities. In the case of the 0.3 g lemon balm drink, there was no impairment to psychomotor performance (as assessed by tracking scores) and working memory performance was significantly improved by the same treatment at both 1 h and 3 h."

    In English - they found similar anti-anxiety results with lemon balm without the cognitive impairment of traditional anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines. They actually found a significant improvement in memory with lemon balm. 

    Boost Your Brain with Lemon Balm

    Need a brain boost? Lemon balm has been shown to improve concentration, reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness, improve memory, and boost overall cognitive performance.

    In that same study using 0.3 g lemon balm, participants experienced lowered anxiety, better memory and improved mathematical processing vs the placebo participants. Another study showed that even half that amount of lemon balm improved both memory and calmness.

    Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties? Say No More

    Lemon balm is a natural, effective remedy for those sleepless nights. For centuries, it's been used to combat insomnia and calm restlessness. And it's even more impactful when mixed with valerian. 

    One study with children experiencing restlessness and dyssomnia found a 70 to 80% improvement in sleep after taking a combined dose of lemon balm and valerian.

    But it's not just children who are reaping the rewards. Adults grappling with anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances are also finding solace. In a compelling study, participants who took 600mg of Lemon Balm extract for 15 days saw a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms and a remarkable improvement in their insomnia.

    lemon balm lip balm for cold sores

    Cold Sores? Not Anymore

    Countless studies have shown lemon balm's effectiveness at both treating and preventing cold sores. But how does it work? Lemon balm essential oil has strong antiviral action against the Herpes simplex virus and can reduce cold sore healing time, increase time between breakouts, reduce pain and itchiness, and prevent cold sores from even happening.

    This is why we created our Lavender Lemon Balm Lip Balm - a viral (get it) sensation that's not only sustainably sourced, 100% natural, and delicious smelling, it’s incredibly effective at preventing and treating cold sores with both lemon balm essential oil and organic infused lemon balm oil.

    Use it whenever you feel those cold sores tingles - if you get it early enough, you can prevent it from even forming, and if it's already active, it will help you heal much quicker. 

    You can also drink lemon balm tea whenever stresses are high to prevent cold sore outbreaks. Read more about lemon balm and cold sores on our blog!

    Take a Break From Headaches

    Lemon balm has been used for thousands of years to treat stress-induced headaches. Lemon balm works to relax your muscles and release tension often associated with headaches. You can use a lower dose of lemon balm as a preventative treatment for headaches or a higher dose when you feel one forming.

    Soothe Your Stomach

    Thanks to its high antioxidant content, lemon balm may have a protective effect on your GI system - helping relieve constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and may even prevent gastric ulcers.

    Lemon Balm Benefits for the Body and Mind

    Menstrual Pain? Never Again, Friend.

    Researchers are studying the use of lemon balm to relieve menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms. One study with 100 high school girls found that lemon balm essence reduced the intensity of menstrual cramps and fought off fatigue. they think the rosmarinic acid is the active to thank. 

    Researchers recommend taking 1200 of lemon balm everyday to reduce PMS symptoms over time.

    Take Aim at Toothache Pain

    Just as it works for other types of pain, lemon balm may help with tooth pain both with its tension-relieving properties and its high antioxidant content which can reduce inflammation.

    Hope for Dementia and Alzheimers

    Lemon balm is one of a few plants being studied in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease - researchers are interested in its antioxidant activity and ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase.

    One study also found that the terpenes in lemon balm can calm agitation levels in dementia patients through the reactivation of certain brain circuits. Amazing, hey?

    Say Bye Boy to Overactive Thyroid

    Some natural health practitioners use lemon balm to help regulate an overactive thyroid, specifically in patients with Grave's disease. There have been multiple cases of patients successfully treating both Hyperthyroidism and Grave's Disease with lemon balm + bugleweed. 

    Forms of lemon balm

    Curious how you can integrate some of that lemony magic into your life? You can find lemon balm as teas, tinctures, essential oils, lemon balm supplements, lemon balm cream, and of course our Lavender Lemon Balm Lip Balm to prevent and treat cold sores and finally stop the dry lip cycle! 

    Grow your own lemon balm

    Sold on the benefits of lemon balm yet? The good news: it's super easy to grow your own (no green thumb required)! Get seeds or a small plant at your local nursery and keep it in a pot. Grow as a container plant as it spreads super easily (like any mint) and could soon take over your garden if you're not careful!

    Side effects and risks

    While it's generally safe for most people, like any herbal medicine, lemon balm can have side effects and risks. Talk to your doctor before integrating any supplement into your routine, and especially if you're on any prescription medications or over the counter medications, or have any known health conditions.

    Disclaimer: While we are herbal enthusiasts, we are not doctors and our content is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician and qualified medical professional. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions and before undertaking a new health care regimen.