Daily Dose of Lemon Balm: 1.4-4.5g
Melissa Officinalis, or more commonly “Lemon Balm,” is a medicinal herb belonging to the mint family. It is a perennial herb, which means it lives for more than 2 years. Lemon Balm got its name from the gentle lemon scent from its leaves. This medicinal herb has been used for hundreds of years to treat fevers and promote sweating. In traditional Austrian medicine, lemon balm leaves have been used in the form of tea and essential oil. Also used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile, recent studies have found it even beneficial for Alzheimer’s and Dementia because of its calming and relaxing effects. It is said to reduce agitation and improve cognitive function of patients with Alzheimer’s. The active ingredient in lemon balm is Terpenes and it is responsible for Lemon Balm’s anti-anxiety effects. Drinking lemon balm tea is also used as a treatment for insomnia because it can induce sleep. Usually used in combination with other herbs such as valerian, hops, and chamomile, it is known to improve a patient’s ability to fall asleep and quality of sleep.
Other uses of lemon balm are easing indigestion, and treating cold sores and herpes lesions. As a tea, lemon balm can be used to improve digestion and treat gastrointestinal ailments especially when combined with peppermint. As for cold sores, lemon balm can be applied topically. The flavonoids, phenolic acid, and other compounds, can fight the herpes virus. Lemon balm is available in tea, capsules, extracts, and oil form. Each type would have a different dosage. The recommended dosage for the extract, for example, ranges from 1.4-4.5g daily. If it is combined with another herb however, the dosage should be decreased. Tea is made by steeping 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of dried herb in hot water and can be taken up to 4 times a day. Tea can also be used topically by steeping crushed leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, and then applying to the skin with a cotton ball. Lemon balm may interact with thyroid or HIV medication. Consult a doctor before taking lemon balm to prevent any interactions.
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