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Lemon balm, that rhymes with calm

Lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an easy to grow herb from the mint family, known as one of the greatest anti-viral plants, with relaxing properties that are helpful for soothing nerves and improving sleep.


Texts describing Lemon Balm were found in Ancient Turkey, where it was planted near bee hives to encourage the bees to return home to the hive rather than swarm away. Its name "Melissa officinalis" is derived from the Greek word Melissa, meaning honeybee. In Ancient Greece it was planted and used by the beekeepers of the Temple of Artemis to help keep the sacred honeybees content. In the Middle Ages it was cultivated in European monastery gardens. The famous Swiss herbalist Paracelsus called it the "elixir of life" due to its supposed benefits for longer life. 

Health benefits:

  • Anxiety and stress relief. Lemon balm is best known for its calming effects. Studies have shown that it can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. The herb works by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has a calming effect on the nervous system . 
  • Improving sleep quality. For those struggling with insomnia or other sleep disorders, lemon balm can be a natural remedy.
  • Digestive health. Lemon balm has traditionally been used to treat digestive issues such as bloating, indigestion, and colic. It promotes the production of digestive enzymes and bile, enhancing overall digestive function.
  • Antiviral and antibacterial properties. The antiviral properties of lemon balm, particularly against the herpes simplex virus (HSV), are well-documented. Topical application of lemon balm cream has been shown to reduce symptoms and speed up the healing of cold sores. Additionally, its antibacterial properties help in maintaining oral health by combating bacteria that cause dental plaque.

For these particular benefits I chose it to be a hero ingredient in our Ease & Flow healing lotion bar – it adds soothing properties to the lotion bar and could help with cold sores when used as a lip balm.

My favourite way to enjoy Lemon Balm is to add it to any natural drinks for extra nutritional benefits, Ginger Lemonade for example.