Lemon balm, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae and native to south-central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia, but now naturalized in the Americas and elsewhere. It grows to a maximum height of 70–150 cm.
What is Lemon Balm?
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb of the same family as mint.
The herb is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia but has spread worldwide.
Lemon balm improves mood and cognitive function and helps to relieve stress.
It soothes the symptoms of stress, helps you relax, and promotes healthier, happier moods.
A 2004 study found that taking lemon balm relieves the adverse mood effects of psychological stress — participants who took lemon balm reported an increased sense of calmness and a decreased sense of alertness.
What is Lemon Balm Extract?
Lemon balm extract is a concentrated form of the plant melissa officinalis. It is found all around the world and offers a lot of potential benefits.
Lemon balm was first used as a tonic in Greece. Later, during the middle ages, it was used in Europe as a medicine to help heal flesh wounds and treat headaches and fevers.
A more traditional use of lemon balm is to make a tea that has a calming effect.
The benefits of lemon balm come from its interactions with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps to control excited neurons in the nervous system, and it also help reducing stress.
GABA allows for easy communication between the nerves and brain in mentally or physically stressful conditions.
Lemon Balm Extract helps to regulate a compound that blocks GABA known as GABA transaminase.
Lemon Balm Extract has other uses in addition to reducing stress.
Research shows that it also promotes nerve and muscle relaxation.
Benefits and Effects
What Are Lemon Balm Benefits?
- Reduces Anxiety and Stress Levels
- Boost Cognitive Function
- Supports Healthy Sleep and Sleep Quality
- Promotes Mood, Wellbeing, and Relaxation
- Supports Healthy Skin Regeneration
Reduces Anxiety and Stress Levels
Lemon balm is also used to help reduce signs of anxiety, such as nervousness and excitability.
Research published in 2014 looked at the mood and cognitive effects of lemon balm foods. The supplement was mixed with natural or artificial sweeteners into a beverage and yogurt. Participants in both groups reported positive effects on various mood aspects, including reduced levels of anxiety.
The supplement was mixed with natural or artificial sweeteners into a beverage and yogurt. Participants in both groups reported positive effects on various mood aspects, including reduced levels of anxiety. Although this is promising, more research is needed to truly determine its effectiveness.
Promotes Mood, Wellbeing, and Relaxation
Lemon balm is thought to help with different issues because of the way it interacts with a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. This neurotransmitter helps to calm down excited neurons in the nervous system, which can be helpful when you’re feeling stressed out.
GABA helps communication between the nerves and the brain when someone is feeling stressed. Lemon balm extract helps to regulate a compound that blocks GABA known as GABA transaminase.
There are more uses for lemon balm extract than just stress relief. Research has found that lemon balm extract may help promote relaxation of nerves and muscles.
Eugenol is a compound found in lemon balm. This compound has been shown to help relax muscle tissue. This may be why drinking lemon balm tea after a workout helps promote muscle relaxation.
Boost Cognitive Function
People have used lemon balm for sleep historically. However, there is not a lot of evidence to support that lemon balm actually helps with sleep. Some research has shown that organic compounds in lemon balm called terpenes can help promote the feeling of calmness.
The terpenes mixed with GABA’s ability to relax the brain are believed to be the keys to how lemon balm affects relaxation and sleep promotion.
Studies suggest that lemon balm extract can help improve concentration and focus, as well as overall cognition. Some studies show that this is because of the way lemon balm interacts with acetylcholine receptors.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps the brain to do things like reasoning, forming memories, and concentrating.
How To Take Lemon Balm Extract?
As a dietary supplement, take one 500mg Lemon Balm Extract capsule 1 or 2 times per day as necessary.