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Lemon balm

Lemon balm: A smooth, soothing herb

Wednesday, October 09, 2013 by: P. Simard
Tags: lemon balm, herbal medicine, stress and anxiety

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(NaturalNews) Lemon balm should be considered as the plant that brings back joy. It energizes without causing nervousness and is a great tonic for the stomach, as it smoothly calms the intestinal tract. This plant also has incredible antiviral properties, and it will add a bit of a lemon-like aroma if you elect to add it to your homemade teas.

This special herb, also known as Melissa officinalis, is native to Europe and part of the mint family. Knowledge of its calming effects goes as far back as the Middle Ages, and it seems that people were happily adding it to wine if only for the purpose of positively affecting moods. In ancient Greece and Rome, the populace would use lemon balm to treat insect bites and stings. Many people from our times actually use it as an insect repellent by first boiling the leaves in water and then letting the mix cool before applying the liquid on the selected body parts.

The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry reported in one of its issues that lemon balm may enhance cognitive functions in patients suffering from mild levels of Alzheimer's disease. There are numerous studies that demonstrate how lemon balm can help people suffering from stress and anxiety, which too often results in insomnia. It seems to be just as efficient as valerian and chamomile at providing much needed quality sleep.

Help your children get rid of stress and anxiety

A study using a total of 918 children under the age of 12 who were given a valerian and lemon balm preparation was performed in order to evaluate the effects it has on restlessness and difficulties in falling asleep. The tests demonstrated that, in practically all cases, the original symptoms of restlessness and dyssomnia drastically diminished.

In another study conducted with individuals having sleep issues, 81% of those who took a combination of valerian and lemon balm presented much better sleeping patterns versus those only given a placebo. The only remaining question regarding these studies is to figure out which herb has the greater effect on the participants.

In Germany, it's recommended to use lemon balm in order to prevent the formation of intestinal gas, while, in Great Britain, it's regarded as a good alternative to use as a topical anti-herpes remedy.

In regards to herpes, some studies confirm that topical lemon balm ointments can help heal cold sores which are the result of having the herpes simplex virus (HSV). One of these studies involved 116 participants suffering from HSV. By simply applying a lemon balm cream on their sores, the majority of them noticed major improvements within the first two days, as redness would consistently fade away. It was obvious for the patients and doctors that lemon balm was highly effective under such circumstances.

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About the author:
After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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