English Name: Lemon balm
Latin Name: Melissa officinalis
What is Lemon balm?
Lemon balm is an herb that is native to Europe and belongs to the mint family. The lemon balm plant can grow to be two or three feet high with leaves that are a half inch in diameter. These greenish-yellow leaves give off a gentle lemon scent.
In the summertime, the plant attracts a large number of bees due to the small white flowers that are filled with nectar. This is how it got the genus name Melissa, which is Greek for honey bee.
Medicinal Uses of Lemon balm
Traditionally, lemon balm was believed to extend age and widely used, although its ability to do so has not been proven. More recently, lemon balm has shown to have both antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as high antioxidant properties. Studies have found that lemon balm can actually stimulate the immune system.
Other research has shown this herb to have a calming, anti-anxiety effect. This can be attributed to a compound in lemon balm called rosmarinic acid. Lemon balm has also been used for relief of bloating and flatulence.
In addition to its medicinal uses, lemon balm is often used as a culinary flavoring in ice cream and teas, paired with fruit, and used in pesto. The crushed leaves also serve as a mosquito repellant.
Photos of Lemon balm
The content provided is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a health condition, please consult a medical professional and do not use this information to self-diagnose or self-treat.