Natasha Richardson

Melissa officinalis (Lemonbalm)
Plant Profile


Peppermint must be one of the most easily found herbs in supermarket but we have really forgotten the massive medicinal uses it has.

Names: Sweet balm, Balm, Bee balm, Lemon Balsam, Sweet Melissa, Oghoul, Tourengane.

Element: Water

Planet: Moon (Cunningham), Jupiter (Culpepper)

Magical uses: Love, Luck, Past life regression.

Key words: Lemon, Light, Bright, Yellow.

Tissue type: Constriction

Qualities: Cool + Sedating

Actions: Antispasmodic, Antidepressant, Antihistamine, Antiviral, Antistress, Antiflatulent, Febrifuge, Mild Tranquiliser, Nerve relaxant, Heart sedating, Carminative, Diaphoretic,

Physical Uses: Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism, Dizziness, Migraine, Nervous heart or stomach, Nervousness, Depression, Panic attacks, Nervous headache, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Insomnia, Little energy, Stomach cramps, Urinary infection, Feverishness, Mumps, Shingles, Reaction to vaccination or innoculation, Nervous excitability, Strengthens resistance to shock and stress, Low spirits, Restlessness, Fidgety limbs, Cold and miserable, Anxiety and Neurosis, Cleanses sores, Gout pain, Hyperadrenalism, Palpitations, Atrial fibrilation, Hypertension, Aneurysm, Sweaty palms, Fertility, Menorrhagia, Leucorrhea, Hot flushes, Impotence, Blisters, Herpes, Stings and Burns.

Emotional Uses: Shock, Mild depression, Post-natal depression, Lifts you out of the dark and into the light.

Parts used: Aerial parts, mostly leaf.

Known constituents: Flavonoids, Triterpenes and Volatile oils.

Legend & Tradition

It is rare that the name of a plant is used to describe the scent of a plant but this is the case with Lemonbalm. But in Greek the name means bee. It is also sometimes called Beebalm as the smell attracts bees and is favoured by them. (Hughes and Owen, 2016)

Medicinal Uses

Lemonbalm is probably my primary anti-depressant in my dispensary. Not St. John’s Wort. But most tinctures I taste of the herb don’t really capture this action. When it is macerated for too long it has more of a nourishing taste, like Nettle and loses the precious essential oils which give it its uplifting properties. The fresh herb is, of course, the best for this. It seems in the past that fresh herb preserved in wines was common. Not only is Lemonbalm good for depression but it’s also useful for anxiety (Ghazizadeh, 2020). Paracelsus says it's revivifying. He said it’s good for all states proceeded by a disordered nervous system. I would specify that it’s especially good where the nervous system is hyperactive (or excited to speak traditionally). I would use it for nervousness, panic attacks, nervous headache, nervous excitability, restlessness, fidgety limbs, and hyperthyroidism (Pereira, 2014) (Brooke, 1992).

Lemonbalm also has an affinity for the cardiovascular system, helping with aneurysm, palpitations and atrial fibrilation (Alijaniha, 2015). Wood says it is indicated in those with sweaty palms (Wood, 2008).

Pliny and Gerard said it helps wounds to heal the oils are so high in hydrocarbons they contain so little oxygen that the atomic germs of disease are starved out (Arbastan, et al. 2014) (Grieves, 1992).

I was once taught by a great herbalist who is sadly now dead; Christopher Hedley. I had the pleasure of attending one of his talks but he taught a whole generation of herbalists. He was an inspirational fairy wisp of a man. He told me that sour tastes complement bitter. Both of which aid the digestion. Lemonbalm certainly fits that criteria. It is a sour plant which helps the digestion by calming it (Sharifi-Rad, 2021). Culpepper said that it helped digestion and brain obstructions. I love that Culpepper did not see the two organs as totally unrelated to one another as modern medicine has for so long (Culpeper, 1653).

As a febrifuge, Lemonbalm helps to sweat off a fever. It can be given as a tea for mumps, shingles and a reaction to vaccination/inoculation. It won’t kill all viruses but it will help break a fever whatever the cause (Wood, 2008).

I haven’t used Lemonbalm for sexual health before but I was pleasantly surprised to find it useful for painful periods and leucorrhea. Unsurprisingly it aids with hot flushes (Taavoni, et al., 2013). The relaxing action and cardiovascular support it gives helps with male impotence and fertility too. Perhaps most fascinating of all is its use for retained placenta by Culpeper. Something rightfully aided by emergency intervention now a days (Culpeper, 1653).

Safety Considerations
Not safe in pregnancy but fine for lactation. Some think it’s contraindicated in hypothyroidism, others don’t (Świąder, 2019).


Alijaniha, F., Naseri, M., Afsharypuor, S., Fallahi, F., Noorbala, A., Mosaddegh, M., Faghihzadeh, S. and Sadrai, S. (2015) 'Heart palpitation relief with Melissa officinalis leaf extract: Double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial of efficacy and safety', Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 164, pp. 378-384. [Online]. Available at

Arbastan, M. A., Rahzani, K., Hekmatpou, D., Alizadeh, S. A., Rafiei, M., & Malekirad, A. A. (2014). The effect of oral melissa officinalis on serum oxidative stress and second degree burn wounds healing. Health, vol. 6, no. 18, pp. 2517. [Online] https://doi:10.4236/health.2014.618290.

Brooke, E. (1992). A Woman’s Book of Herbs. Women’s Press (UK).

Culpeper, N. (2016). Culpeper's English Physician: And Complete Herbal (Classic Reprint): To Which Are Now First Added Upwards of One Hundred Additional Herbs, with a ... the Cure of All Disorders Incident to Mankind. Forgotten Books, (UK).

Ghazizadeh, J., Hamedeyazdan, S., Torbati, M., Farajdokht, F., Fakhari, A., Mahmoudi, J. & Sadigh‐Eteghad, S. (2020). Melissa officinalis L. hydro‐alcoholic extract inhibits anxiety and depression through prevention of central oxidative stress and apoptosis. Experimental physiology, 105(4), 707-720.

Pereira, R. P., Boligon, A.A., Appel, A.S., Fachinetto, R., Ceron, C.S., Tanus-Santos, J.E., Athayde, M.L. and Rocha, J.B.T. (2014) 'Chemical composition, antioxidant and anticholinesterase activity of Melissa officinalis', Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 53, pp. 34-45. [Online]. Available at

Sharifi-Rad, J., Quispe, C., Herrera-Bravo, J., Akram, M., Abbaass, W., Semwal, P and Calina, D. (2021). Phytochemical Constituents, Biological Activities, and Health-Promoting Effects of the Melissa officinalis. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2021. [Online]. Available at

Świąder, K., Startek, K., & Wijaya, C. H. (2019). The therapeutic properties of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.): Reviewing novel findings and medical indications. J. Appl. Bot. Food Qual, 92, pp. 327-335. [Online]. Available at

Taavoni, S., Nazem ekbatani, N. and Haghani, H. (2013) 'Valerian/lemon balm use for sleep disorders during menopause', Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 193-196. [Online]. Available at

Wood, M. (2011). The Earthwise Herbal, Volume I: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants. North Atlantic Books, (USA).

Cool + Calm Tea
Cool + Calm Tea | Forage Botanicals Menopause Products
Cool + Calm Tea
Cool + Calm Tea | Forage Botanicals Menopause Products

Cool + Calm Tea

A refreshing citrus-tasting natural loose leaf herbal tea for perimenopausal people struggling to keep their mind clear and their spirits up.
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