The scientific name of lemon balm is (Melissa officinalis) means honey bee, which has Greek roots. Since the bee is very fond of the small white flowers of this plant, this name seems quite appropriate. Lemon balm is from the mint family. It grows rapidly and is originally native to southern Europe, various regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. However, it is now cultivated in America and many parts of the world.
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Nutrients in lemon balm
The most useful part of this plant is its leaves. lemon balm leaves give off a tangy lemon-like aroma that you can use as a flavoring in tea. Aromatic oil can be made from this plant and used to repel insects. Some people even make homemade toothpaste from it.
Lemon balm tea benefits
Lemon balm tea has amazing healing properties. Medieval doctors prescribed it for various purposes, from a sleeping tea to relieve sleep problems, to reduce anxiety, heal wounds, and increase longevity. Today, scientists have done many studies on lemon balm. Most of these studies have been carried out in Europe and the Middle East, as the main origin regions of this plant.
The benefits of lemon balm are used in traditional medicine, especially in European countries such as Austria. This plant is very useful for headaches and nerve pains.
But the uses of lemon balm are not limited to these. In this article, we mention 9 of the amazing benefits and properties of this plant.
It protects the heart and liver
Inhaling the essential oil of this plant helps reduce blood fat
One of the most important benefits of lemon balm tea, which has been studied a lot, is protecting the heart and liver.
Using lemon essential oil in aromatherapy lowers blood triglycerides (blood fat) and helps cholesterol synthesis in the liver. A 2012 study showed that inhaling lemon balm oil prevents factors that lead to the permanent growth of liver cancer cells.
In a 2016 study, researchers found that heart palpitations and high blood pressure were greatly reduced in animals that were given this herb orally.
It seems that lemon balm tea has a significant effect on the mechanism and electrical pulses of the heart.
In the past, in traditional Iranian medicine, this plant was used as a treatment for heart palpitations. After an experimental period of using lemon balm leaf tea extract on people, researchers found that their heart rate decreased to a great extent. Of course, on the one hand, calming the heartbeat may be related to the effect of lemon balm on human mood. We will talk about this a little later.
Another benefit of lemon balm tea is its effect on cardiac arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats faster or slower than normal or at regular intervals. Lemon balm appears to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats, tachycardia (high or fast heart rate), and heart fibrillation (heart rhythm problems) without causing side effects.
According to research, lemon balm tea extract produces significant changes in electrocardiogram (heart strip) results that appear to increase electrical intervals. However, its clinical benefits are still not clear. But an experimental study in Iran, which confirmed these results for the first time, actually made a great discovery.
It is a natural antibacterial agent
Lemon balm has a long history in traditional medicine. For this reason, researchers have studied how effective it is in protecting the body against disease-causing agents such as harmful bacteria. It seems that lemon balm has antibacterial properties and can protect the body against infectious bacteria.
Lemon balm oil has antibacterial activity especially against Candida fungus. Candida is a type of fungus that causes fungal infections, including vaginal yeast infection. This mushroom plays an important role in the occurrence of symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, digestive problems and weakening of the body’s immune system.
It may be useful in the treatment of diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases worldwide. While many traditional healers usually prescribe drugs with dangerous side effects to treat diabetes, lemon balm tea extract is one of the effective natural methods to treat diabetes.
To test the effect of lemon balm on high blood sugar, researchers gave both its extract and its essential oil to a group of patients. The results showed that both products had a similar effect in reducing blood sugar levels and reducing oxidative stress related to diabetes.
The information obtained was so convincing that it influenced researchers at the Free University of Berlin. They stated: “Ethanol extract of lemon balm may be useful in addition to the drug treatment of type 2 diabetes or in its prevention.”
Improves mood, concentration and sleep
One of the well-known properties of lemon balm tea is its calming effect. For this reason, in the past, it was used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
This plant has a great effect in improving hyperactivity, concentration and irritability in children over 7 years old. A study on young people showed that using this plant in food helps to improve their mood and cognitive performance.
Lemon balm tea is very effective in improving sleep quality, reducing symptoms of insomnia and sleep disorders, especially during menopause.
It is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
lemon balm tea can fight free radical damage. Perhaps the most important advantage of this plant is its possible effect on a certain type of cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. This type of cancer, which spreads very quickly, starts in the brain and there is still no known cure for it. However, in a 2014 study, researchers found that lemon balm essential oil causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells and stops the production of MRP1 (multidrug resistance protein). This protein is to some extent the main cause of drug resistance of cancer development to traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Anticancer benefits of lemon balm tea
Other studies have also shown that lemon balm tea has apoptotic effects on cancer cell lines such as MCF-7 (breast cancer cell line), colorectal cancer cell line, liver cancer cells and two different types of blood cancer (leukemia) cells.
Researchers in a study by investigating the effect of antioxidants in lemon balm tea on oxidative stress caused by low levels of radiation in radiotherapy, achieved significant results. One of these results was the improvement of blood levels in other antioxidant cells. A study conducted on medical professionals who are constantly exposed to low levels of radiation in radiotherapy showed that including lemon balm in their diet may be an effective way to protect them against oxidative stress. This study also showed that this plant plays a role in regulating a very important enzyme called superoxide dismutase.
This enzyme (abbreviated as SOD) is critical for preventing diseases associated with oxidative stress, as dysregulation of this enzyme leads to various types of cell damage. lemon balm tea is one of the natural ways to control this enzyme.
Another property of lemon balm tea is to prevent neurodegenerative disorders caused by excessive exposure to manganese.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, lemon balm oil is also anti-inflammatory. By reducing chronic inflammation, this plant protects the body against diseases and reduces pain.
Regulates an overactive thyroid
According to statistics, more than 12% of the population of the United States of America and of course many people around the world are facing thyroid problems. Among thyroid-related diseases, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are more common than others.
According to research, lemon balm tea is useful for regulating hyperthyroidism. This herb prevents some compounds from binding to thyroid receptors (especially in patients with goiter).
It helps the health of the digestive system
lemon balm extract helps the health of the digestive system due to its antioxidant activity. This plant can probably prevent stomach ulcers, although it has not been fully studied yet. There is also evidence that lemon balm, like mint and hyacinth, may help with constipation.
It relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
In a 2015 study, it was shown that the consumption of lemon balm tea is effective in reducing the pain and symptoms of PMS in high school girls.
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Side effects of lemon balm tea
The consumption of this plant is not at all dangerous for many people. But because it affects thyroid activity, people who use thyroid medication or have hypothyroidism should not take it.
Some patients have also reported mild side effects after treatment with lemon balm extract.
If you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before using it regularly.
How to prepare lemon balm tea (Recipe)
If you live in the tropics, you can probably grow lemon balm yourself. The soil of this plant should always be moist and have proper fertilizer. It is better to be in the shade. Since it sprouts and grows very fast, if it is next to other plants, it occupies their space. Therefore, harvest it as soon as possible.
Lemon balm has a pleasant aroma that is similar to the smell of lemon. You can use it to flavor meat and seafood or pour it into fruit drinks and enjoy. Infuse lemon balm leaves tea with regular tea for 15 minutes or more to make a refreshing tea. Then use natural honey to sweeten it. You can also chop it and put it in a salad.
Due to the aromatic and useful nature of this plant, many people use it to prepare homemade lip oil or home cosmetics.
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This article was prepared by an expert. But this is for general information only. Before any action, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
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