The Plant Named Melissa
One little plant can do much.
We make these articles to give you a glimpse of what is possible when you introduce herbs into your life as a practice and not just a supplementary tool. The benefits are through the roof when it comes to adding plants to your everyday activities. You would be surprised at the incredible things that are possible just by making a few minor adjustments.
So, lets delve into Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and see what this humble (and quite delicious herb) has to offer us!
Lemon balm, with its antiviral properties, appears to speed the healing of cold sores and reduce symptoms when applied topically as a cream. A cream containing an extract of lemon balm has been shown in double-blind trials to speed the healing of cold sores.
The antioxidant properties of this plant and the effects on the tumor cell growth have been known since long ago. It had been used traditionally for different medical purposes such as a tonic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, surgical dressing for wounds, sedative hypnotic, strengthening the memory and relief of stress induced headache.
We all get headaches sometimes right? A little anxious over an important event coming up? Maybe you recently suffered a loss that has you feeling down and having a hard time finding your happy?
Lemon balm significantly reduces excitatory transmission in the brain by inhibiting an enzyme called GABA-T that breaks down GABA, thus increasing the amount of GABA available in the brain. By inhibiting neural activity, GABA facilitates sleep, reduces mental and physical stress, lowers anxiety, and creates a calmness of mood. GABA also plays an important role in regulating muscle tone.
GABA is a pretty big deal! How cool is it that this wonderful herb can help us in such a powerful way. Our brains need all the help they can get right?
There are some other really important things that Lemon Balm can do for us. Topically, it has many practical uses.
With its antiviral properties, it appears to speed the healing of cold sores and reduce symptoms when applied topically as a cream. Researchers found that lemon balm inhibited the in vitro growth of the viruses that cause herpes simplex, influenza, and mycoviruses.
Other potential benefits of Lemon Balm include:
to calm the nervous system
reduce stress and anxiety
is used as an aid for people suffering from depression.
can improve appetite
surgical dressing for wounds
strengthening the memory
relief of stress induced headaches
sexual dysfunction: arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain, were improved using M. officinalis.
may lower your blood pressure and therefore should be used with caution if you are taking medications with similar properties.
It can also lower your blood sugar levels and people with diabetes should use lemon balm with care.
Some Contraindications to be aware of:
Those with thyroid conditions should be careful with consumption of this plant.
Lemon balm may interact with sedatives and thyroid medications. If you are taking sedatives (for insomnia or anxiety) or medications to regulate your thyroid, ask your doctor before taking lemon balm.
Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking lemon balm along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
In a nutshell, Lemon Balm has a long list of pros and a few cons that are need to be considered. This plant isn't for everyone and it's really important to remember that even though plants are natural, they can also pose some health risks to certain individuals, so doing your research and working with a healthcare professional to find out what is best for you is always advised by Plant People Heal. We can only bring you education, and teach you about what is available, but it is your responsibility to act according to your specific health needs and limitations. Plants are wonderful allies, and when we use them responsibly, we get the most benefit. Some plants, even with contraindications can be used safely in small doses. That is why its very important to work closely with the professionals you trust who are already assisting in your care.
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