12th Jan 2018
You may be growing Lemon Balm in your garden, it is readily available in garden centres and is part of the mint family. Like mint it grows in abundance and spreads, so if you want to limit its potential it is better grown in pots.
If you rub a leaf between your fingers you will likely be taken back to a childhood smell – lemon sherbet. But what you may not know is the healing properties that this scented herb has to offer:
Studies have shown that Lemon Balm is an effective treatment for remedying anxiety, it’s active properties: rosmarinic acid and triterpenoids are thought to be why it is effective, when given a Lemon Balm extract those in studies reported an improvement in their anxiety levels.
Often anxiety and insomnia go hand-in-hand, and those using Lemon Balm as a remedy reported an improvement in their sleep quality. It is especially helpful to those that suffer nightmares as a cause for not sleeping. As a sleep aid lemon Balm is perhaps most effective when combined with other known herbs such as chamomile or valerian to enhance the potency of its sleep calming abilities.
Lemon Balm has a chemical component called tarpenes, which gives it it’s anti-viral properties. This is perhaps why it has been effectively used as an ointment to treat things like cold sores, helping to reduce swelling and redness.
For many years Lemon Balm has been used to treat a number of gastric problems, such as heartburn, indigestion, tummy ache, bloating, gas, IBS and even colic.
In this day and age supplements are widely available, it is best to take Lemon Balm in a way that would help the problem you are trying to treat. A tablet or tincture may help with sleep issues, a cream for things like cold sores or a tea for stomach problems. Seek medical advice before taking, especially if you are using prescription medications (it is known to interfere with sedatives, thyroid medications and HIV regimens) and always follow the manufactures advice reference dosages.
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