Aromatic, sour, cool
Nervine, sedative, carminative, antidepressant, diaphoretic, antimicrobial
Heart, nerves, gastrointestinal
This herb was used in the Old World to attract bees to a hive for honey production, giving rise to its Latin name, Melissa. Lemon Balm makes a pleasant tasting tea or tincture that is used for its mood relieving and nervine qualities. Recent research on humans has confirmed its use in enhancing cognitive function, improving mood, and aiding sleep. Lemon Balm has a unique set of effects in improving learning, memory, attentiveness, and reaction time while also easing the mind to lessen excessive, unwanted thinking. Think of Lemon Balm in cases where the heart affects the stomach, or when emotional disturbances affect digestion. Research of its cognitive and neuroprotective effects in preventing and slowing Alzheimer's disease is promising. Used topically, the aromatic profile is quite effective at treating herpes simplex, the virus responsible for cold sores.
Avoid large amounts in those with hypothyroid conditions.