Lemon Balm: An Often Ignored Healing Herb

Source:  Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.
— St. Hildegard of Bingen

Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. The use of lemon balm goes back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. One of its first recorded uses was as a wine infused liniment. Dioscorides a Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist practicing in the 1st century in Rome, mentions its use in this way, and it was also employed in this same manner in Ayurvedic medicine. St. Hildegard of Bingen, an herbalist and nun born in 1098 C.E. in present day Germany said, “Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.” According to Nicholas Culpepper (a botanist, avid astrologer, physician, herbalist, and author of the Complete Herbal, written in 1653), said dried lemon balm may be made into a fine 'electuary' with honey. He wrote that it was ruled by the planet Jupiter and associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer, therefore having an association with the water element and thus an effect on emotions.

Lemon balm was traditionally used to uplift the spirits. In an ancient text of the Middle East recounting Azerbaijani folk medicine practices called the Tibbname, a bath in lemon balm tea was believed to support heart health and to promote healthy skin. It was a common practice to apply lemon balm externally or to take internally for its relaxing effects.

When Candace did her herbal training many years ago lemon balm was considered to be a nice herb to use in tea but not thought to have many medicinal uses. Her eyes were opened when she read Anthony William’s book Life Changing Foods. He considers lemon balm to be an herb that has many wonderful medicinal qualities especially for calming the nerves — especially those involved indigestion.

Digestive issues can stem from nerve endings that have become hypersensitive around the digestive organs. Nerves play a role in much of the digestive distress we have in our lives. For instance, inflamed phrenic nerves which control the diaphragm and therefore influence the stomach and the vagus nerve which run through the diaphragm and govern the stomach and digestions are sometimes behind digestive sensitivities as are nerves that connect the spine and digestive tract. If your stomach or intestines are irritated for no identifiable reason, it is usually due to sensitive nerves. One common occurrence is that a food (even something that is easy to digest, rubs against the lining of the intestinal tract which causes someone with sensitive nerves to feel discomfort. Nerve sensitivity can also trigger symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, and a sudden urgency to eliminate when nervous.

Lemon balm is a gift from God and Mother Nature to deal with our frazzling world. Lemon balm has soothing properties which come from bioactive phytochemicals such as undiscovered alkaloids that calm the nerve receptors at the digestive tract so that the nerves become less sensitized and inflammation reduces. Lemon balm doesn’t stop there as it is a heal-all herb with high contribution factor to almost every part of the body. Extremely high in tract minerals such as boron, manganese, copper, chromium, molybdenum, selenium and iron. Lemon Balm also has large amounts of micromineral silica. Plus, it’s a B12 conserving herb which means that it monitors your stores of this vitamin and keeps your body from using it all up.

Lemon balm is antiparasitic, antiviral, and antibacterial throughout the body. It fights Epstein Barr virus, shingles and other herpetic viruses such as HHV-6. It is an amazing herb for tonsillitis which is inflammation caused by strep throat. Plus, lemon balm detoxifies the liver, spleen and kidneys and helps reduce bladder inflammation so great for cystitis and urinary tract infections.

It treats the following issues: bladder, kidney and urinary issues, hypertension, Epstein Barr, mono, staph infections, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, ear infections, ear  problems, hiatal hernia, neuropathy, ringworm, adrenal fatigue, migraines, ADHD, strep throat, autism, Lyme, ALS, herpes, rosacea, PCOS and Menières disease. The symptoms it treats are loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, anxiousness, nervous stomach, hot flashes, night sweats, frozen shoulder, gastritis, trace mineral deficiencies, tooth pain, seizures, brain inflammation.

When you are talking about Lemon Balm in the essential oil world, it’s actually bottled as Melissa officinalis. It received the name “Melissa” because of its sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance, which was known to attract bees (Melissa is Greek for “honey bee”). As one of doTerra’s rarest and most expensive oils at $153 per 5 millileters, Melissa has a wide range of health benefits and uses. Melissa is used as a flavor in teas and ice cream as well as with some fish dishes. Because of its positive effect on mood, Melissa has long been used to calm feelings of tension and nervousness. Diffusing Melissa at night can help initiate a restful sleep environment and promote emotional well-being. Melissa may also help to support a healthy immune system.

  • Diffuse at night or rub on forehead, shoulders, or chest to help lessen feelings of stress and promote emotional well-being.

  • Diffuse to create a relaxing environment that encourages a restful night’s sleep.

  • Add to moisturizer or a spray bottle with water and spritz on face to rejuvenate skin and refresh the mind.

  • As with many essential oils, there is a possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.


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