Lemon balm has a long history for calming nerves and supporting digestion.
But did you know…
- A study in China tested the constituent eugenol, a powerful antioxidant found in lemon balm, and confirmed improvement of memory-related functions. Eugenol is also known to help protect brain cells. Used shortly after a stroke, it appears to protect other areas of the brain from further damage. It also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and is often recommended by dentists to help kill gum disease and relieve the pain associated with dental surgery.
- French Carmelite nuns added lemon balm to water to use as a disinfectant and to mask the smells of bodies that were rarely able to benefit from bathing. Carmelite water, or Eau des Carmes, is a French digestive tonic made by Carmelite nuns containing lemon balm, lemon peel, nutmeg, and angelica root. It is still sold in German apothecary shops. Lemon balm tea is also popular in France and is simply called Thé de France (French Tea).
- Research conducted at Northumbria University suggests that lemon balm increases the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger linked to memory function that is reduced in Alzheimer’s disease. Lemon balm essential oil has also been found to reduce agitation associated with Alzheimer’s by 30 percent.
- A double-blind German trial used a topical cream of lemon balm extract to treat Herpes simplex labialis (cold sores) and found the ointment shortened the healing process while also easing the itching and swelling symptoms associated with cold sores.
Find out more about Lemon Balm (Xiang Feng Cao)and how to use it.