The origins of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) date back to ancient Turkey where it was planted to attract honey bees to hives. Lemon balm, from the mint family, gets its name from the ancient Greek word meaning Melissa, who was the Goddess of the Bees. The Temple Keepers in ancient Greece also used the herb to appease the bees.
Mythically, the plant was used to ward off evil and promote good cheer. Medicinally, it promotes a balanced mood, and reduces stress.
Charlemagne who later became known as Charles the Great revered the herb for its beauty and scent. The Shakers and early settlers to the Americas also knew Lemon Balm to support a positive mood, along with many other uses.
Benefits of LEMON BALM
Lemon Balm is a carminative herb which helps to dispel gas. It also is an herbal nervine, meaning that it supports the nervous system, and therefore reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, it is a natural antihistamine, so it can reduce swelling in the sinuses around cold and flu season. Lemon Balm also offers the following benefits:
How Does LEMON BALM Work?
The primary active compounds in Lemon Balm are terpenes. These give the herb its soothing qualities.
Rosmarinic acid in Lemon Balm has been found to inhibit GABA transaminase, an enzyme that works to remove GABA (an important neurochemical) in the brain. Low levels of GABA have been linked to depression and even schizophrenia.
By inhibiting the transaminase enzyme, Lemon Balm can effectively increase GABA availability in the brain.
Lemon Balm affects nicotinic and muscarinic receptors in the brain which makes it a great way to support high brain functioning.
These receptors respond to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is vital for our working memory capacity, memory formation, logical analysis, and basic cognition skills.
The suggested dosage is between 600 and 1800 mg. Some studies show that a larger dose will have more profound effects.
Side Effects of LEMON BALM
Side effects of any kind are usually rare and mild, but some people report acid reflux, or stomach upset if the dosage is too high. There are no safety advisories despite widespread use.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.
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