Where does she come from ?
Originally from the Near East, lemon balm grows today in temperate regions of both hemispheres. This herbaceous plant, 30 to 80 cm high, gives off a lemony scent that attracts foraging insects. Moreover, its name refers to Melissa, the nymph who found a way to collect honey to feed Zeus, in Greek mythology.
A little history
Lemon balm was already used in Antiquity by the Greeks. Hippocrates used its leaves to calm intestinal disorders. In the 17th century, Carmelite lemon balm, made by monks, was used at Court, notably by Marie de Médicis and Richelieu, for its stimulating, antispasmodic and sedative properties. This lemon balm water which, in reality, contains 14 plants and 9 spices, is the oldest product still sold in pharmacies.
What are its virtues?
Lemon balm is a plant renowned for its relaxing properties. It is recommended in case of sleep disturbance. Alone or associated with other plants such as lime or verbena, it helps to find calm to fall asleep peacefully. Traditionally, lemon balm is also known to promote digestive well-being when the discomfort is linked to a state of stress: colitis, nausea, vomiting, motion sickness …
What are the contraindications?
As with most herbal remedies, lemon balm is not recommended for pregnant women and children under 12. People with thyroid disorders should seek medical advice before taking it because it inhibits TSH, the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland.
How to take it
In pharmacies, we find lemon balm in the form of dry extracts (capsules) or fluid extracts (in sticks).
It can also be used as a mother tincture: take 20 to 30 drops, 2 to 3 times a day, for the duration of digestive pain.
In aromatherapy, lemon balm essential oil is used for skin application but in areas other than sleep and digestion, mainly for its antioxidant effect and free radical scavenger.
10 drops of essential oil diluted in liquid soap allows you to create a relaxing bubble bath.
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