What's in your medicine cabinet? Sleeping pills? Antacids? What about cold sore cream? Did you know there is a natural remedy with the potential to replace all these products? The answer is lemon balm and it's worth trying.
Lemon balm should have a home in your medicine cabinet to help you rest and relax while also fighting bacteria and viruses.
The Facts on Lemon Balm
While it does have a light, refreshing lemon scent, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is actually a member of the mint family and is native to Europe, but can now be found growing all over the world. The leaves of this perennial herb are used to create various forms of medicine, dating back to the Middle Ages, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The active compounds within lemon balm believed to be responsible for its benefits are known as terpenes and tannins.
Popular Uses for Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has been used as a natural remedy for several ailments over the years, but its benefits are more widely reported for the following issues:
1. Stress Relief
Stress is a part of every person's life. Whether it's school, family, work or money, stress and anxiety can negatively impact your daily routine as well as your sleep at night. Lemon calm has been used for years to calm anxiety and stop those feelings of restlessness and nervousness. Adding some liquid lemon balm extract to water and drinking it throughout the day can keep your nerves in check so you can be productive during the day and sleep well at night. The best part about using lemon balm for this purpose is that it acts similar to prescription treatments (as a sedative) without the risk of dependency or side effects.
2. Cold Sore Remedy
One of the less pleasant side effects of stress (as well as sun exposure and a cold or the flu) is a cold sore. They can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and difficult to get rid off. Lemon balm liquid extract, when applied with a cotton ball, helps reduce the inflammation, fight the virus and clear up the cold sore in less time. This was actually a tip shared by Dr. Mehmet Oz on the September 9 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show." Dr. Oz endorsed the use of lemon balm as a topical remedy to "stop cold sores in their tracks" and prevent new ones from occurring. He recommended popping the bottle in the fridge first for even greater soothing properties.
3. Digestive Issues
If you suffer from any of the uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion -- upset stomach, gas/bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, lemon balm's calming effects can help you find relief when taken orally. You'll be better able to break down and digest food and you can kiss those uncomfortable symptoms goodbye by supporting a healthy digestive system.
How to Add Lemon Balm to Your Daily Routine
Lemon balm can be found sold on its own, typically as a liquid extract (either with or without alcohol) or as a part of a blend. You can usually find lemon balm mixed with herbs like chamomile, valerian root, passionflower or hops. You can also enjoy it as a tea.
Follow instructions carefully for the proper dose and how/when to take it. Lemon balm may cause drowsiness when combined with other medications for stress and anxiety disorders. Make sure to speak with your doctor before adding lemon balm to your routine, especially if you're currently being treated for a medical condition. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't consume lemon balm. You should also stop taking lemon balm a minimum of two weeks prior to having any type of surgical procedure.
We carry a variety of lemon balm products to choose from at eVitamins, so shop today and let us know what you think!