Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. Lemon balm is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products. Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxiety, sleepproblems, and restlessness. Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving thethyroid (Graves' disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bites.
Lemon balm, mint's citrusy cousin, has a fragrance that calms me instantly—and no wonder: Several studies have proven its value as an anxiety buster.
There are two ways to use it:
Inhale it: When you're up against a deadline, stuck in traffic, or just feeling stressed, try inhaling lemon balm to help lower your blood pressure and relax you. Shake a few drops of lemon balm essential oil onto a tissue and keep it handy to use as needed, or buy a car diffuser to infuse your ride with tranquillity. You can find both the essential oil and a diffuser that plugs into your car's lighter online and in health food stores.
Sip it: Brew a cup of organic lemon balm tea. Use one or two tea bags (or 2 teaspoons of loose tea) per cup and steep, covered, 10 minutes. Bonus: The aroma is nearly as relaxing as the tea!
Lemon balm is likely safe when used in food amounts. It’s possibly safe in adults when used in medicinal amounts short-term. It’s been used safely in research for up to four months. Not enough is known about the safety of lemon balm when used long-term. Some information suggests that lemon balm might be safe when taken in appropriate amounts by infants for up to a week and by older children under age 12 for up to one month.