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Scientific Name:
Melissa officinalis
Family Name:
Lamiaceae
Common Name:
lemon balm
Evidence of Activity
Literature Reviews
Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is included in a review of botanicals which may help reduce post-COVID-19 cardiovascular, neurological, and respiratory complications which may cause depression, anxiety, irreversible dementia, and mixed anxiety-depressive syndromes and can negatively affect the circulatory and respiratory systems, as well as heart functioning. Nawrot 2022
New developments in controlled release systems can potentially be applied to Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) essential oil or extracts. Petrisor 2022
Out of 465 essential oils evaluated, Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) was included among the most promising against SARS-CoV-2 activity based upon physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and toxicity properties. Torres 2021
Synthetic compounds and natural substances including Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), lycopene, sodium butyrate, high-density lipoprotein nanocarrier gel, thymoquinone, sea buckthorn oil and cyclosporine were reviewed for potential topical therapy for psoriasis. Nițescu 2021
A review of the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), with a focus on effects on the cardiovascular system as seen in animal studies (e.g. anti-arrhythmogenic, negative chronotropic and dromotropic, hypotensive, vasorelaxant, and infarct size-reduction), is presented. Draginic 2021
An extensive review of solvents and extraction methods, including green solvents and novel extraction methods, that have been studied in relation to lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and other common herbs is presented. Oreopoulou 2021
A review of the studies of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) on the cardiovascular system lists effects on heart palpitations as the only ones confirmed in human subjects, while proposed mechanisms include β1 receptor antagonism, blockage of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, and induction of endothelial nitric oxide production, with one of the main constituents, rosmarinic acid, also showing substantial benefits. Draginic 2021
A review of the therapeutic potential of herbs in Alzheimer's disease includes Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) among those widely used for the relief of neurological symptoms. Soheili 2021
A narrative review of evidence for safety and effectiveness of medicinal plants in the treatment of sleep disorders includes lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) among the most comonly used products. Lelli 2021
A variety of herbal remedies, including Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), are reviewed for their possible effect on the GABAergic system and insomnia with some evidence suggesting hypnotic and anxiolytic activity. Bruni 2021
A review of the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties of herbal materials, including lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), is presented. Parham 2020
A review of experimental studies on ethnopharmacologic, essential oil-producing medicinal plant species from the Balkan peninsula, including Melissa officinalis, supports the use of the essential oils for the treatment of metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia. Heghes 2020
A review of evidence for herbal drugs in skin disorders presents evidence for lemon balm use against herpes simplex. Hoffmann 2020
A review of intervention options for bruxism reduction in children and adolescents found the evidence for Melissa officinalis extracts inconclusive. Chisini 2020
A review of the role of phytochemicals for cognitive function support in ageing discusses the potential of turmeric, saffron, sage, rosemary, and lemon balm. Howes 2019
A review sums up the evidence of inhibitory effects of extracts of plants rich in polyphenols, including Melissa officinalis, on platelet aggregation. Bojic 2019
A review of pharmacological evidence for the dietary products recommended in traditional Persian medicine as remedies and preventives for dementia and memory impairment supported the indication for lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), among other foodstuffs, including garlic, saffron, fish, honey, etc. Iranshahy 2019
Essential oils with clinical data regarding their potential efficacy in Alzheimer's disease are reviewed, including Melissa officinalis. Benny 2018
Traditional usage of Melissa officinalis, (lemon balm), includes antimicrobial, antispasmodic, and anti-insomnia activity. Melissa also possesses abundant antioxidant activity through chemical compounds including a high amount of flavonoids, rosmaric acid, gallic acid and phenols with potential in preventing and treating oxidative stress-related diseases. Miraj 2017
Melissa officinalis was among the medicinal plants deemed effective in the treatment of acute menopausal syndrome, according to the review. Kargozar 2017
The article reviews the antiviral potential of Lamiaceae plants, including lemon balm, with a special emphasis on anti-HIV properties. Bekut 2017
A systematic review identified lemon balm among the ten phytomedicines possessing both preclinical and clinical evidence of GABA-modulating activity that may be relevant for anxiety. Savage 2017
Recent advances in infant feeding product development include addition of medicinal herbal products, notably lemon balm. Pina-Pérez 2017
Usefulness of Melissa officinalis in cardiovascular diseases, purported by Avicenna, has been corroborated by modern pharmacological studies, according to this review. Sobhani 2017
Terpenes from Melissa officinalis are presented as one of the potentially safer and more effective alternatives, compared with the currently widely used alkaloids, with known cholinesterase-inhibitory and other activities relevant for Alzheimer's disease therapy. Wightman 2017
Treatment of infantile colic by combination(s) of herbs, e.g. lemon balm (see keywords), and probiotics is discussed, following presentation of results of an Italian trial. Staiano 2016
The beneficial effects of several traditional Iranian plants, including Melissa officinalis, on memory have been confirmed in clinical trials. Shojaii 2016
The traditional usage of Melissa officinalis in Iran, its chemistry, and aspects of cultivation are reviewed, with a particular focus on the antioxidant properties of the plant. Miraj 2016
The growth condition, chemistry, and traditional usage of Melissa officinalis in Iran are reviewed, with a particular focus on its antioxidant properties. Miraj 2016
Traditional and scientific evidence of the beneficial effects of Melissa officinalis on learning and memory is reviewed. Shojaii 2016
A review of traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Melissa officinalis is presented. Shakeri 2016
The evidence of the chemopreventive potential of apigenin, found in lemon balm, against breast cancer is reviewed. Nabavi 2015
Melissa officinalis was found to be one of the primary herbs, of those used in Iranian herbal medicine, to have experimentally relieved opioid withdrawal symptoms. Ebrahimie 2015
Clinical and pre-clinical support for the use of Melissa officinalis in anxiety disorders was reviewed in the review of the evidence for the effectiveness of plant-based medicines for the disorders. Sarris 2013
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors from European medicinal plants, including Melissa for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's disease are reviewed. Russo 2013
Various herbal extracts that may improve brain function, including those of Melissa officinalis, are discussed in the context of the relationship between these effects and the plants' ecological roles. Kennedy 2011
The knowledge of the benefits of lemon balm for dementia is reviewed. Perry 2011
The effects of Melissa officinalis, relevant for the Alzheimer's disease, and their mechanisms are reviewed. Obulesu 2011
Clinical evidence for the effectiveness of Melissa officinalis for dementia is reviewed. Howes 2011
Lemon balm--Melissa officinalis; also known as lemon balm, bee balm, garden balm, Melissa, melissengeist. [No abstract] Rasmussen 2011
A review of empirical studies on the use of herbal and dietary treatments for psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents includes a mention of quality studies using lemon balm. Soh 2008
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