Lancaster-Berks Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Feed Feed

Lemon Balm Provides Soothing Relief

Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis is a perennial herb from the mint family.  It is native to southern Europe. Lemon balm attracts bees to the garden and emits a lovely lemony scent when the leaves are bruised.

Historically, it has been used for its sedative, fever-reducing, antibacterial and thyroid related effects. According to research shared in the 2005 Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, lemon balm is considered by some to be a cure-all herb.

Lemon balm is used to treat a plethora of ailments including calming colicky babies and hyperactive children, soothing frayed nerves and relieving anxiety. The leaves can be used in a poultice to promote healing of small wounds and insect bites. As a salve, lemon balm soothes the burning of cold sores and herpes. A cup of tea made from either dried or fresh leaves, or a few drops of the essential oil in a diffuser, may create a calming experience.

Lemon balm contains flavonoids, tannins and Rosmarinic acid, which are believed to provide its antiviral properties. The cream has been found to produce a rapid interruption of the herpes infection and promotes faster healing of herpes blisters. When patients with recurring cold sores used the cream regularly, the recurrence either ceased or the frequency of cold sores was reduced.  

According to one random, double-blind trial, authored by R.H. Wolbling and K. Leonhardt in Phytomedicine,the Melissa cream was just as effective in treating genital herpes as it was in cold sores. It has been noted that the effectiveness increases with an early treatment of the infections.

Catherine O’Donnell, owner of Kulprit, LLC, has created a recipe for lemon balm salve. For more information, call 610-392-8239 or visit

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Help with Allergies through Functional Medicine

Dr. Thomas Wachtmann focuses on correcting underlying imbalances and deficiencies.

Rodale Institute is Growing the Organic Movement

The national organic movement that is still shaping our health and food-growing values, was started in our very own Berks County.

Relax and Breathe At The Salt Lounge

Halo therapy offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties for optimal health.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life offers a variety of services to help clients address holistic health concerns.

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen is a restaurant that brings the terms sustainable, community and wellness to a whole new level.