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Scientific Name:
Melissa officinalis
Family Name:
Lamiaceae
Common Name:
lemon balm
Safety Data
Adverse Effects & Toxicity
The presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloid levels in herbal teas, including Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), ranged from 13.4 to 286,682.2 μg/kg d.m., and assuming daily consumption of one cup of tea during a lifetime may raise concern. Chen 2022
Oral administration of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) essential oil (citronellal, 21.2%-21.8%; neral, 17.8%-18.4%; and geranial, 22.9%-23.5%) induced pathological changes in the organs of rats at doses higher than 1 g/kg. Stojanovic 2019
Lemon balm has been safely and effectively used with in the treatment of infant colic and diarrhea, therefore may be safe during breastfeeding, despite no data existing on the excretion of any of its components into breastmilk, according to the review. [No authors listed] 2018
Melissa officinalis was among the ten plant foods/food supplement ingredients most frequently associated with reports of adverse events, according to the multicentre retrospective review of data from selected European and Brazilian poisons centres. Lüde 2016
An aqueous extract of Melissa officinalis showed genotoxic activities in vitro. Abudayyak 2015
A case of a 30-year-old patient admitted to an emergency room with restlessness, tremor, distractibility, and sweating following a discontinuation of Melissa officinalis consumption. Report suggests symptoms may be related to the dependence effect caused by long-term use of Melissa officinalis. Demirci 2015
Minor adverse effects, noted for Melissa officinalis, are reviewed in the overview of systematical reviews of adverse effects in herbal medicines. Posadzki 2013
The presence of Cronobacter sakazakii, an emerging food-borne pathogen, in dried Melissa officinalis herbal tea was evaluated. Stojanović 2011
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Michael C. Tims, PhD. Candidate
March 2002
MAJOR REVISION BY: J Mohanasundaram, MD, PhD
October 2007
LATEST UPDATES BY: Julie Dennis
November 2022