Natural remedies derived from herbs have been used for centuries in various traditional medicines. Modern medicine is more cautious and relies on research and scientific-based evidence. However, you will find that herbal solutions are still used for various health problems.
Lemon balm leaf extract is a popular natural remedy for anxiety and stress.
It may help the user to relax and achieve a positive mood and relaxation.
What does science have to say about that claim? That is what we want to figure out, which is why we looked into scientific evidence related to lemon balm.
What You Should Know About Lemon Balm
The scientific name of lemon balm is Melissa officinalis. There is information that speaks about ancient Romans and Greeks using this herb medicinally. The first mentioning of lemon balm in Europe goes back to the 7th century when it spread throughout the region of Spain.
Lemon balm is a herbaceous perennial that belongs to bushy plants. It belongs to the family of mint plants, and it is relatively easy to grow. They reach an approximately two-feet height and three-feet length.
Leaves are the edible part of the plant, and they can be used for herbal and medicinal purposes. You will often find lemon balm added to dishes as a spice. Lemon balm leaf extract is a part of various supplement formulas. That especially applies to products that clam the nerves down and provide a soothing effect.
What Does the Science Say About Lemon Balm Leaf Extract?
Numerous studies have focused on the effectiveness of lemon balm leaf extract in managing anxiety and stress.
It is believed that this herb interacts with the human body to support GABA production. GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid assists in managing stress, boosting positive mood, and providing relaxation. Lemon balm keeps an enzyme in charge of breaking down GABA from working, and it supports the amino acid’s effectiveness.
Research Study 1 (Lemon Balm & Stress)
Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) can work on its own, but also in combination with other herbs. For example, a study published in 2006 described the joint anxiolytic properties of lemon balm and valerian root. The research involved 24 volunteers who agreed to go through stress induced in a laboratory. The test used was the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation and anxiety ratings.
According to the results, a dose of 600 milligrams of these herbs combined was enough to mitigate the influence that DISS had on anxiety scores.
Research Study 2 (Lemon Balm & Anxiety)
Researchers tested the effectiveness of lemon balm leaf extract on managing anxiety in 2011. The study focused on participants with mild or moderate anxiousness. A portion of the 20 subjects also reported sleep disturbances.
The results showed that 95% of participants had some response to the treatment. A total of 14 had a complete anxiety remission, and 17 reported lemon balm leaf extract helped them to deal with insomnia.
The study lasted for 15 days and showed encouraging results regarding lemon balm and managing stress.
Research Study 3 (Lemon Balm & Depression)
An animal study was conducted in 2012 in India. The goal was to observe the potential antidepressant and anxiolytic properties of lemon balm. The idea was to administer lemon balm over ten days. The researchers used an open field, forced swimming, and elevated plus-maze tests.
The conclusion was that the length of administration and gender could affect the effectiveness of lemon balm. However, the researchers suggest it could be an alternative treatment for anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
Research Study 4 (Lemon Balm & Stress)
In 2004, scientists from the United Kingdom tested acute administration of this herb. The idea was to test the effectiveness of lemon balm for managing stress. A total of 18 volunteers received placebo and lemon balm doses from 300 to 600 milligrams.
The study confirmed that the users reported an improved calmness, but enhanced alertness when consuming lemon balm compared to placebo.
Research Study 5 (Lemon Balm & Heart Palpitations)
Anxiety and stress are often followed by heart palpitations. It is what inspired Iranian scientists to consider lemon balm for providing relief from this problem. A total of 55 participants were given either a placebo or Melissa Officinalis. The study lasted for two weeks, and the subjects received two times the 500-milligram dose of lemon balm daily.
The results indicated that lemon balm could decrease the rate at which palpitation occurs.
Additionally, it indicated that the number of patients experiencing anxiousness decreased since most of them had a calming effect from lemon balm.
Research Study 6 (Lemon Balm & Dyssomnia & Restlessness)
Children were the focus of a study published in Phytomedicine in 2006. The researchers evaluated 918 children dealing with dyssomnia and restlessness. The results were more than encouraging.
A mixture of lemon balm and valerian managed to reduce dyssomnia in four out of five children. Additionally, 70% of participants experienced a reduction in restlessness. They reported feeling calmer and more relaxed.
Research Study 7 (Lemon Balm & Agitated Behavior)
Agitated behavior was the topic of a study whose results were published in 2002. It was a placebo-controlled trial that involved 71 older patients with severe dementia. Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory was the tool the researchers used to measure the agitation levels.
The results indicate that aromatherapy that included lemon balm secured a 30% average reduction in CMAI ratings.
Research Study 8 (Lemon Balm & Sleep)
The usefulness of lemon balm and valerian combination was the topic of a study conducted in 2013. The research focused on women going through menopause and having trouble sleeping. The participants were divided into two groups, with each consisting of 50 women.
The ones who received lemon balm and valerian mixture reported a reduction in problems related to sleeping optimally.
Lemon balm might be effective on its own, but it works best when combined with other herbs and ingredients.