Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

Lemon Balm is a heavenly, yet versatile herb, with a floral and lemony flavour. 

For best effect, add this raw to salads, or boil gently for a few minutes to make a tea. Can be added to smoothies to boost dietary diversity. 

It can also simply be nibbled as a snack. I eat a few leaves every time I hang out the washing!

Though it can be eaten as a food, it has received a lot of attention for its health supportive effects, so is often used medicinally too. 

I have often recommended people consume this herbs when they are suffering with coughs and colds, as there is some evidence to suggest it may possess antiviral properties. I also find this herb to very supportive for people during stressful periods like taking exams, moving house or starting a new job. It has been shown to contain compounds that exhibit anxiety relieving effects. 

Do not use the this plant for medicinal purposes without consulting a credible herbalist, or suitably qualified person first. There may be better herbs for you. If however you are simply eating it to add to the diversity in your diet then you will likely get additional benefits :)

Quoting from a scientific paper:

Crude extracts and pure compounds isolated from M. officinalis exhibited numerous pharmacological effects, from which only anxiolytic, antiviral and antispasmodic activities of this plant as well as its effects on mood, cognition and memory have been shown in clinical trials. AChE inhibitory activity, stimulation of the acetylcholine and GABAA receptors, as well as inhibition of matrix metallo proteinase-2 are the main mechanisms proposed for the widely discussed neurological effects of this plant.   

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27167460/

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