Lemon balm is a plant from the mint family that has the refreshing scent of a lemon. The plant itself is native to Europe, North Africa and West Asia but nowadays, you can find it across the globe.
This wonderful plant has many uses that originate from traditional medicine – some are for mental health, some are for the physical health and everyday problems.
However, what are the exact benefits of lemon balm?
How should you use it?
Read on to find out more!
What is Lemon Balm Good For?
Lemon balm has traditional uses in improving mood and mental function but there are many more benefits. Here are some of the most popular:
Stress relief – If you want to alleviate symptoms of stress and relax a little bit, lemon balm is your best friend. Tested in many studies, this plant has proven useful in improving mood and reducing negative thinking. To relax, drink lemon balm tea or enjoy smelling this lovely plant.
Reduced anxiety – Lemon balm is also great at reducing anxiety, especially nervousness. You can take lemon balm for anxiety in the same way you would use it for stress.
Promote cognitive function – Lemon balm is beneficial for your memory and focus as well. You can take lemon balm tea three times a day for the most benefits
Insomnia help – When you use valerian and lemon balm together you can relieve restlessness and improve disorders like insomnia.
Help with cold sores – Applying lemon balm topically can remove and relieve cold sores, thanks to antiviral properties.
Better indigestion – If you have stomach problems often, then the lemon balm can help you. The best part is that all you have to do is add a teaspoon of lemon balm powder to your favorite ice cream and enjoy.
Relieving nausea – Just like it’s good for digestion, it’s also good for nausea. However, desserts and nausea don’t play well together so you should drink lemon balm tea and save decadent lemon balm treats for when you feel better!
Helps with menstrual cramps – Research shows that you can help your cramps and PMS symptoms be easier for you if you take lemon balm essence.
Headaches – Lemon balm can help with stress headaches and relax your muscles.
Toothache – Lemon balm makes toothaches easier if you apply its oil directly to your tooth.
Is Lemon Balm Effective for Anxiety?
Lemon balm smells great and it can help with various things. This herb has numerous health benefits.
It contains flavonoids, polyphenols and other compounds that have amazing benefits for your nervous system. Lemon balm is a mild sedative too which makes it perfect for anxiety. It can help you get a better mood and reduce your stress.
Anxiety can also make you have some sleep issues and lemon balm is the perfect solution for that because you can consume it easily as a tea, or topically as a form of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is well-known as a great relief for anxiety and other similar problems.
Best Lemon Balm Benefits
Lemon balm has been grown for 2,000 years both as a medicine and as a culinary plant. Even in the renaissance period, this herb was viewed as highly useful and as something that has high abilities for healing and longevity of life. It’s used to make tea, tinctures as well as essential oils that can really boost your mood and mental state. Traditionally, people used it to calm nerves, help their digestion and calm headaches, migraines, cramps and all sorts of other issues.
As mentioned, this herb is excellent for the digestion, promoting better metabolism and easing any gasses, cramping and so on. This herb contains terpenes which relax your muscles and help with this. It also contains chloretics, cholagogues and other compounds that can help your liver, bladder and other organs. For digestion, it’s used either as a tea or as an essential oil. It can also be taken internally if it’s food grade oil.
Lemon balm has a compound called rosmarinic acid which increases neurotransmitters in your brain which prevent over-excitement. This reduces anxiety and it’s responsible for ensuring that we don’t get too stressed. This can have sedative or calming effects on your mind.
You can use it for better sleep just in higher dosage. Mix it with valerian for these purposes.
The essential oil itself can be used for aromatherapy if you put it in an oil burner. It helps with overall mood and promotes your emotional balance. You can also dab it behind your ears or on your temples and sense the smell easily.
The same rosmarinic acid also has neuroprotective properties as well. This means that it can protect your brain from ageing and reduce the risk for some of the most serious brain problems.
The research also says that flavonoids in the lemon balm have properties that can balance and regulate thyroid actions.
The most typical use of lemon balm is in the tea – use 2 teaspoons per cup of tea. Leave the tea like this for 15 minutes at the most then strain and drink. You can add it to water, juice or ice cream and then take it daily.
Finally, use the essential oil in a bath, in an oil burner or as a massage oil.
Does Lemon Balm Repel Mosquitoes?
Lemon balm has many uses for mental and physical health. The leaves have a nice smell which can be quite therapeutic. However, lemon balm can be a great mosquito repellent. The quickest way to make it is to crush some lemon balm leaves and rub them on your skin.
You can grow them in your garden and then repel mosquitos from your backdoor or grow them inside and make the mosquitos stay out of your home. You can easily grow lemon balm from the seeds, root division or rooted cuttings.
It needs some sunshine but it can also work in shade. In fact, they need some shade because they will otherwise burn if the sun is too hot.
You should plant it somewhere where it has a lot space, near perennials that will keep their space since lemon balm has a tendency to spread. It will grow up to 2 feet tall or perhaps a little taller. The root system is strong and it will survive even the harshest of winters.
As you can see, planting lemon balm in your yard isn’t so hard and yet it will provide protection from pesky mosquitoes whenever you need it to. You can also plant it near your windows and doors to prevent them from entering your home and keeping your skin itch-free.
This is also children-friendly which means that it will be great for your kids whenever you need it. The leaves can be crushed and used like that or you can brew some tea, wait for it to cool down and then spritz it on your body when you need it. It smells great and it will also protect your entire family from harmful effects.
How to Grow Lemon Balm Indoors
Lemon balm can be a houseplant as well. This is great because it can allow you to have a mosquito repellent indoors as well. You can also use it for many other purposes – mental health, as spice, for better digestion, against stress and so on.
The idea of growing this plant indoors is a great one because it smells great and you can easily add it to food and drinks. It also looks very pretty, especially in the sun. But first, you need to know what this plant needs before you start planting it.
It’s lovely to have some greenery indoors, especially in the winter when everything gets gloomy. But growing lemon balm is not just a splash of color, but rather a friend that will help you with various issues.
Since lemon balm is related to mint, it’s pretty easy to grow, especially if you give it the proper conditions. However, you have to make sure that it’s contained because it can really spread rapidly and soon you will have them everywhere.
Choose a nice pot and make it any size you want, depending on how much lemon balm you want. You can plant it in any good potting soil and make sure that the container has a drain. You should also water your plant frequently to prevent it drying out or dying.
However, don’t let it get soggy. Give your plant plenty of sunlight, at least five hours per day. Use a liquid fertilizer because it works best with house plants. Every few weeks is the best.
This plant is pretty easy to grow but you have to keep an eye on bolting on the leaves. If you find some flowers, pinch them off because the leaves won’t taste the same when the flowers grow. They will grow all year round and you will have plenty of that wonderful lemony smell to enjoy.
In essence, lemon balm is a great plant to grow in and outside of your home. You can also get it in many health stores and in various other places, either as tea, capsules or essential oils which all serve the purpose of helping you be healthier and in a better mood.