Lemon Balm Remedies for Home Health

| Modified on May 15, 2020
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a relatively common part of the mint family, one with a lemony scent and flavor. This plant is sometimes called 'bee balm', and its nectar-filled blossoms give plenty of reason for the appellation, but should not be confused with the plant in the Monarda family more commonly called by that name.

Chemical compounds in lemon balm include eugenol, antioxidants, rosmarinic acid, and citronellal. These have strong natural antiviral, antifungal, sedative, and antispasmodic properties that lend themselves to a number of natural remedy purposes.

Preparation: Medicinally, the leaves of the lemon balm can be used topically, eaten, or brewed as a tea. You can also find lemon balm extracts from some markets. Lemon balm tea can be brewed using up to 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves or 2 tsp dry leaves per cup. A lemon balm pesto is also fairly popular, if you want to incorporate lemon balm into your regular diet. Crushed or extracted into an essential oil or medicinal cream, it can also be applied to the skin.

Natural Lemon Balm Cures: Lemon balm is well regarded for calming the nerves without knocking you out completely. Indeed, in studies it has been used successfully to calm those with severe dementia. Ayurveda promotes its use for digestive disorders due to nerves, and it has been widely used to soothe the stomach in other traditions. Modern studies have found support for use of this herb (consider using 3-600mg of daily lemon balm supplement) as beneficial for cold sores, cognition among Alzheimer's patients, and for improved overall mood. Crushing the leaves against your skin can additionally be an effective repellant for mosquitoes. Also, lemon balm is often combined with valerian and other herbs as a cure for insomnia or as a general sleep aid. However, be aware that lemon balm may inhibit the action of thyroid medications.

Herpes & Cold Sores: Preventing the emergence of cold sores and quickly getting rid of herpes symptoms when they do rise up is the most studied use for lemon balm, and results are generally positive. One published study found that within two days swelling and redness were reduced by continued application of a lemon balm ointment. Another option is to dab emerging or existing cold sores with cold lemon balm tea repeatedly throughout the day. Consistent use of lemon balm against a cold sore outbreak may also prevent recurrence.

Anyhow, that's what the research says, so now it's up to you. Do you have personal experience with this herbal remedy to help the Earth Clinic Community to decide YEA or NAY on Lemon Balm?

Cold Sores

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Judy (High Point, North Carolina, USA) on 07/10/2012

In answer to your inquiry to readers on lemon balm: Years ago I had an awful cold sore and found in the health food store a cream that had melissa extract which is lemon balm as main ingredient and was sold as a remedy for cold sores and it worked like magic!

Cold Sores
Posted by Sue M. (Worden, Il, Usa) on 05/18/2012

I was also starting to get frequent cold sores... Every couple of months and I felt terrible with them. So, I was doing some research and read on Dr. Mercola's website that if you take Red Marine Algae( with gigartina/dumontacea in the formula) that this will help prevent you from getting the cold sores. So far, so good. It's been a couple of months and no signs of an episode.

Cold Sores
Posted by Angela (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) on 05/17/2012

I have tried a number of remedies for cold sores with no success: ice, apple cider vinegar, lysine (was ok), crystal salt deoderant (only helped the blister dry up). I get cold sores every couple of months so was very keen to find a good cure. I recently attended a medicinal herb workshop and was told to try lemon balm. I happen to grow it in my garden so I made a tea of it and have been drinking it 3 times per day. I found that within a day the cold sore I had went down and all pain subsided. It is now healing well. Additionally I have put some goldenseal ointment onto the healing sore and that is also clearing up a lot faster than normal. The teacher at the herb workshop said her husband use to get regular cold sores and he now drinks lemon balm tea often. He has not had a cold sore in years.

Cold Sores
Posted by Lily (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) on 07/27/2011

Beeara, Lemon balm and Melissa are the same thing. Just different names. Lily.

Cold Sores
Posted by Beeara (Corvallis, Or) on 07/27/2011

Yes, I know that. Just wondering how you've been using melissa -- in tea form, tincture, essential oil topical or what?

Cold Sores
Posted by Beeara (Corvallis, Or) on 07/25/2011

What form of melissa do you use. I'd heard that the essential oil applied to cold sore is very effective but it's also quite cost prohibitive. I've been using tincture of lemon balm since this last outbreak but am not sure it's helping.

Cold Sores
Posted by Khfromoz (Knoxville, Tennessee, United States) on 01/17/2010

I have been plauged with sores on my lips since getting kissed in high school by a guy who had a sore (I remember noticing it but didn't know what it was). I tried every prescribed medication but never really found relief, especially after the sore erupted. Over the years, I have experienced fewer outbreaks and I attribute that to: eating healthier, developing better ways to cope with stress, and including l-lysine and lemonbalm in my supplement regimine. As soon as I feel that tight, tingly spot in my lip, I load up (just about triple) my dose of the l-lysine and lemonbalm, and the outbreak doesn't come through. This has been a terrible week (including the death of a family member) and I missed that tight, tingly feeling. Today, I have blisters. I've read and read and read everyone's posts. I'm trying the hydrogen peroxide treatment and calling in sick to work. I'llbe happy to post the outcome later, but I wanted to let you guys know what I've found that prevents the sores to begin with. Research for your self to determine the best dosages and frequency of before you begin any herbal supplementation, but I personally attest to the effectiveness of this regimine.

Cold Sores
Posted by Anonymous (Alb NM)

When Lysine quits working, which for me was at about 20 years, only Lemon Balm works.

Genital Herpes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Meg (Grafton, WI) on 01/24/2009

Grow some lemon balm (melissa officianalis) in your garden. It is easy and prolific in a sunny spot. Just before it flowers, cut down about 1/3 of the plant and hang it upside down in a dry, out-of-the-sun place. When it is really dry (crumbles in you hand), crumble the leaves into a bag or dish. Discard the stems (makes good compost.)

Further chop/mince the lemon balm using a food chopper to as small as you can... this should be the consistency of ground spices or as small as you can go. If you can find gelatin capsules, get some and stuff the ground lemon balm into the capsules. You will get 1/2 to 1 teaspoon into a capsule. If you can't find capsules, take a teaspoon in some yogurt - let it soften a bit first.

At the first sign of a herpes outbreak, take one or two capsules 2 or 3 times during the day for a day or two. It will avoid or greatly minimize the outbreak. For an extra boost, take 3 to 4 garlic tablets at the same time. Both lemon balm and garlic seem to stop herpes in its tracks. Lemon balm is most effective. It helps to become attuned to your body so you can detect the subtle signs before they become a problem.

How to Make Lemon Balm

Posted by Harmonious1 (Alamogordo, New Mexico) on 09/29/2009

I have been learning from some very informed people that Lemon Balm is much more potent if used fresh, since the volatile oils are scarce compared to other herbs. I take the fresh herb and pulse in blender with vodka. Then I put it in a jar and let it sit in a dark place, shaking it up every day or so. Just as easy and you get all the oils this way.

Replied by Just Curious
(Copper Center, Aalaska)

What would you use in place of alcohol; to get the same effect.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sc (Dubai, Uae) on 04/14/2012

It has been okay until recently I have tsh low level. After one week of taking it u can feel better. Not sure about the melissa lb or lb.

Posted by Sc (Dubai, Uae) on 04/10/2012

Dear folks, after exactly one year of the first diagnosis of ht my tsh has gone to 0.243. Diagnosis was subclinical ht. So first thing I did was buy mogwort lemon balm and bugleweed. Don't take any medicine other than herbs for your ht. There is another formula lemon juice with baking soda. Ted has shared it long time. Say no no killing medicines. Never remove your thyroid. Do your best with herbs.

Posted by Maryanne (Winthrop, Massachusetts) on 12/30/2011

Sorry this is months later, but is there a difference between "melissa lemon balm" and regular old lemon balm? I have lemon balm in my freezer now, and I can easily make a tincture. Just wondering, since I thought that Melissa was an entirely different herb than Lemon Balm. I've had Grave's Disease for 5 years, and I'm so sick of them trying to kill my thyroid with RAI! So far I have vehemently refused, and I've switched over to a naturopath. We'll see how it goes. I appreciate any other tips you guys can give. I'll try them all!

Thanks! Oh, also - how long did you have to take this combo to see results? How are your thyroid levels when you don't take this?

Posted by Sc (Me, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) on 05/30/2011

Dear Folks, I was having acute hyperthyroidism with one of the days getting into almost a coma due to raise in one of the T (t3 or t4 raised to 22 normallly is around 4?. I was told... by the doctor...)

Started taking twice per day 30 drops of melissa lemon balm and 30 drops of bugleweed. After 45 days I did blood test. Totally cure as per doctor. He was amazed. Didnt take care of diet too much. I like veggies, yogurt, nuts, etc. healthy.


Posted by Earthshine (Hillsboro, Oregon, Unitedstates) on 05/09/2011

Lately I've been noticing that I do not have that sharp of a memory well pretty much I have a horrible memory and I am only 21. I haven't done to much research on things that are good for memory but the other day I was told that Lemon Balm is good for your memory. So I randomly bought some at whole food yesterday and was just woundering if anyone else has tried this and maybe knows a good dosage to take. The bottle says 30 drops equals one ml. So if you have any information that would be great. I feel like having a bad memory has stopped me from pursuing alot in my life and I think it is a big part of my nervousness and social anxiety.

1 2