Lemon balm is starting to get more attention for its medicinal and health benefits, and for good reason. It gets its name from its natural lemon-y scent, and is easy to find in many grocery and health-food stores.
Lemon balm has been used for centuries to help quiet and calm the mind. The best way to get these benefits is to use lemon balm oil for aromatherapy. If you do use lemon balm in aromatherapy, make sure it is a pure essential oil so that you are not inhaling a bunch of additives and preservatives.
2. Sleep Aid
In addition to helping relax the mind, lemon balm can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It is even safe for use with children. Women whose sleep is suffering due to menopause especially find lemon balm to be an effective remedy.
3. Healthy Skin
Lemon balm can make your skin look healthier and younger. The use of lemon balm as a cosmetic aid goes back hundreds of years. It is effective for smoothing the skin and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
4. Improves Memory and Brain Health
Studies have suggested than lemon balm can boost cognitive awareness and improve memory and problem-solving skills. Some preliminary studies performed with Alzheimer’s patients show improvement in patient recall and functional memory. Perhaps most impressive, research also suggests that lemon balm can actually protect your brain cells, and specifically targets free radicals that feed on brain cells.
5. Powerful Antioxidant
Chock-full of antioxidants, lemon balm helps to protect your cells from free-radical damage. Lemon balm also helps detoxify the liver, which in turn helps detoxify the entire the body. Lemon balm assists your liver in removing toxins from the body, without causing extra wear and tear on the liver. In addition, it encourages the production of your body’s natural antioxidants, such as glutathione and dismutase.
6. Regulates Blood Sugar
Some research has suggested that if taken consistently, lemon balm can stabilize your blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. The antioxidant levels found in lemon balm may further support your body in its effort to regulate blood sugar.
How to Use Lemon Balm
To concoct lemon balm tea, add a handful of lemon balm leaves into one cup of water and steep this for at least five minutes. For a lemon balm bath that is soothing, place dried or fresh crushed leaves into a cloth muslin bag and let warm water run through it as the tub is filled.
To use this herb as a mosquito repellent, crush a handful of fresh leaves in your hand and then rub it onto the exposed skin.
You can also enjoy pre-made lemon balm tea, use lemon balm essential oil, or take a lemon balm softgel or capsule. Whichever way you use it, know that you will be improving your health and overall well-being by including this powerful herb into your daily routine.
There isn’t enough known about this herb to safely say it can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Avoid use during this period to stay on the safe side. Also note: if combined with other medications and used during and after surgery, lemon balm might cause excessive drowsiness.