common garden herb may help you prevent cold sores,
Calm anxiety, and ease digestive complaints. By
Maria Noel Mandile.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is said to heal
& prevent herpes outbreak, ease nerves and sleep disorders, &
sooth irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) & digestion problems.
native to the eastern
Mediterranean region and Western Asia, it grows wild in fields,
along roadsides &
Grows abundantly in herb gardens in America. True to its name,
it’s weedy – looking leaves taste & when rubbed, smells like
lemons. Often called Melissa, lemon balm belongs to the mint
Family of herbs.
Research suggests the phenolic
compounds in lemon balm fight herpes topically by attaching to
the virus receptor sites, inhibiting the virus’s ability to
spread. Some experts believe that the essential oils that give
lemon balm its strong scent relieve sleep disorders by calming
the nervous system.
They theorize that the herb eases digestive
complaints by relaxing the smooth muscles in the digestive
Lemon balm has demonstrated its anti – herpes
activity in several studies. In a placebo – controlled, double
blind study published in phytomedicine in 1999, 34 of 66
patients with a history of recurrent herpes on the lips and nose
applied lemon balm cream to the affected areas four times a day
for five days. Patients using lemon balm healed better and
experienced nearly ˝ the itching, burning, swelling, and
tingling of the control group.
A placebo – controlled, double – blind Swiss
study of healthy adults in 1999 tested tablets consisting of 80
mg of lemon balm & 120mg of the herb valerian (Valeriana
officinalis). Patients who took the herb tablets 3 times
daily had nearly 4 times better sleep quality than patients in
the control group.
Lemon balm’s effectiveness in preventing & treating herpes is
well documented. More scientific studies need to be done to
determine the herb’s ability to ease anxiety, sleep disorders,
IBS, & digestive complaints.
mint, bee balm, blue balm, dropsy plant, garden balm, lemon balm,
Melissa, sweet balm.
The bilabiate flowers grow in
axillary clusters & may vary in color from pale yellow to rose colored
or blue – white. The flowering time is July & August. When bruised, the
whole plant smells like lemon.
Lemon balm is
generally regarded safe by the FDA; however, women who are nursing or
expecting a baby should consult a physician before taking it internally.
Lemon balm might slow the function of your thyroid & should not be used
by those who are hypothyroid or R taking thyroid medication of any kind.
Oils can cause heartburn & upset stomach in some people.
balm does not prevent the spread of herpes infection to other people.
Source of reference: Natural Health
Magazine, Earl Mindell, R.Ph., and Ph.D.
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