You've probably heard of this herbal remedy, but do you know where it comes from and what it can be used for? This article will teach you everything you need to know about lemon balm.
First and foremost, what exactly is lemon balm?
Despite its name, lemon balm is a herb that is closely related to mint. Its scent is similar to lemons, which is why it shares the same name. It is native to a number of countries in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.
What are the lemon balm health benefits?
When it comes to the benefits of lemon balm, this unique herb is thought to:
Aid cognitive and mental health
According to some studies, lemon balm can help you maintain a positive mood and improve your cognitive function. This is thought to be due to the presence of rosmarinic acid, a type of antioxidant that increases the number of neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals throughout the body) available in the brain.
Assist you in sleeping
Lemon balm has been shown to help maintain healthy and restful sleep when combined with valerian root (especially in tea).
Encourage proper digestion
Lemon balm contributes to healthy digestion and is thought to help with symptoms of tummy upset and other gastrointestinal discomfort due to certain compounds found naturally in the herb (including citral and linalool).
Three lemon balm uses
- Brew some lemon balm and valerian tea to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
- Take lemon balm in capsule form to manage your digestive troubles and support your cognitive function.
- Add fresh lemon balm to cooking, whether that’s in a marinade or as part of a dessert, to boost flavour and support healthy digestion.
Is there anyone who should avoid using lemon balm?
While lemon balm is generally thought to be safe, there are a handful of people who should be wary about using it. Young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, for example, should be cautious.
If you're taking any medications, especially for thyroid issues or glaucoma, consult your doctor first because lemon balm may interfere with their effectiveness.