Melissa, also called lemon balm, originates from the eastern Mediterranean region and is a recognised natural remedy. Many people know lemon balm because of its intense lemony smell when the leaves of the medicinal plant are crushed. The tea made from the dried or fresh leaves is considered a well-known home remedy for nervousness and difficulty falling asleep and is known for its balancing effect on the nervous system.
The effect of the medicinal herb lemon balm
Lemon balm has a long tradition as a medicinal plant and was already used in the Middle Ages against heart complaints. Today, the fresh or dried leaves are mainly used to calm the nervous system. They can be used to make tea preparations as well as finished preparations for internal and external use. The essential oil of lemon balm with the main components citral, linalool, geraniol, citronellal and caryophyllene, which triggers a number of positive effects in the body when used internally, is particularly effective medicinally. The plant also contains flavonoids, some bitter substances and tannins (including rosmarinic acid). The essential oils contained in lemon balm leaves, together with rosmarinic acid, have a influence on the GABA receptor, which is important for our stress and sleep behaviour, among other things. Thus, lemon balm calms overstimulated nerves, for example, making it easier to fall asleep, or it relaxes the gastrointestinal tract so that flatulence and bloating are relieved. Hildegard von Bingen already called lemon balm a remedy that "makes the heart joyful". British scientists have also found that lemon balm strengthens the activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Learning and memory are thus promoted.
Basic lemon balm tea recipe - Good for nerves and stomach
Pour two teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves over a cup of boiling water and let the mixture steep for ten minutes, covered. It is important that the cup or tea vessel is covered so that the volatile essential oils of lemon balm are not lost. In the morning and evening, drink one cup of the freshly prepared tea. If you have trouble falling asleep, you should drink lemon balm tea about 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed. For acute complaints, however, lemon balm tea should not be drunk for longer than 6 weeks in a row, but only for a limited period of time. Overall, however, lemon balm is a very well-tolerated medicinal plant that can only very rarely cause discomfort. If you have any further questions about the herb lemon balm, our pharmacists at the Saint Charles Pharmacy Vienna and Berlin will be happy to help.