Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb native to Europe, North Africa, and West Africa and is from the same family as mint. Lemon balm powder has been traditionally used to help improve mood, foster relaxation, ease digestion, insomnia, stress headaches, and more. In this article we are going to explore the question, what is lemon balm used for and if supplementing with lemon balm is right for you. Lemon balm will be a prominent ingredient in Easy Sleep™, our all-natural sleep aid which will be released in July.
Lemon balm powder has been shown to help reduce symptoms of stress, boost mood, and foster relaxation. In a 2004 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced crossover experiment 18 healthy individuals were given two separate single doses of standardized M. Officinalis extract (lemon balm) and a placebo on separate days separated by a 7-day washout period. The results found that those who supplemented with 300 - 600 mg of lemon balm had significant feelings of calmness and reduced feelings of alertness with no reduction in accuracy.
Lemon balm may be able to also help reduce symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, and excitability throughout the entire body. Recent research published in 2014 studied the mood and cognitive effects of food containing lemon balm. Participants in the study reported positive effects on "various aspects" of mental well-being including improved mood and reduced feelings of anxiety and excitability shortly after supplementing with lemon balm. Similarly to the study done on if lemon balm can help reduce stress, the participants in this study were also given 300-600 mg of lemon balm.
Lemon balm has shown a promising ability to improve sleep quality and duration and help ease insomnia. In a 2006 lemon balm-related study, researchers found that children who took lemon balm experienced a 70 to 80 percent improvement in sleep and lack of sleep symptoms. Both the researchers and parents regarded lemon balm as being a "very good" treatment to help ease insomnia.
If you experience frequent abdominal pain and or discomfort, lemon balm may have a beneficial effect on your digestion. In a small 2010 study, researchers gave participants a dessert similar to sobert with or without lemon balm. Participants who ate the sobert with lemon balm experienced less (or not at all) of an upset stomach than those who did not. Although this study has been replicated multiple times and results look promising, more research is needed in this regard.
Lemon balm may not only help relieve and aid in indigestion but also may effectively help treat nausea. A 2005 review assessing the results of several studies on lemon balm found that it can be useful in helping treat gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea. Drinking a cup of lemon balm tea at the first sight of nausea may be more effective than consuming a lemon balm capsule in regard to nausea.
A 2015 study researched the effect lemon balm had in reducing the intensity of cramps in 100 high school girls and found the girls who supplemented with lemon balm rather than the placebo reported a significant reduction in symptoms. The intensity of PMS symptoms was analyzed one, two, and three months before and after the trial. More research is needed to confirm the results of this study but the results and research to date are extremely promising.
Indigestion of lemon balm can help ease headaches caused by stress, also known as stress headaches by relaxing tight blood vessels which can further contribute to headaches. If you frequently experience stress headaches you may find it beneficial to consume 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm up to three times per day.
For most healthy individuals lemon balm is safe to use, is natural, and comes with a variety of benefits. A few possible anecdotal side effects of lemon balm consumption include:
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