Lemon balm

Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm
© J. Jan

Also called balm, common balm or balm mint.

The story…

Lemon balm is native to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It has spread all over Europe since antiquity, and later in North America. In France, its therapeutic use has been generalized since the XIIth century, in monastery and abbeys’ gardens. Its name, from the Greek melissa, bee, comes from its very pleasant lemon scent, attracting pollinizers.



Lemon balm has calming and relaxing properties useful for anxiety, for example coming with heart palpitations, adrenaline rush, sleeping disorder, headache, anguish of known or unknown origin. It has a light sedative effect and facilitates sweating, which is useful in can of insomnia or high temperatures. Drink as an infusion.


It stimulates gastric juices production, eliminates the gas-producing bacteria and has an antispasmodic effect on stomach cramps. It also calms nausea, vomiting and migraines due to digestive difficulties. Drink a small cup of concentrated infusion or diluted tincture after the meal.


Infusion of fresh or recently dried flowers: use 2 sticks or 50-100g/L; put a lid on the container to avoid losing the essential oils. For digestion, can be combined for example with peppermint.


Contraindicated for people suffering from hypothyroidism. Use with precaution for people taking barbituric drugs, to avoid an excessive sedative effect. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

Lemon balm
© Plenuska