Lemon balm: what it is, benefits and uses of this medicinal plant
This medicinal plant has been widely used for centuries in countries all over the world.
Today we have a large number of drugs that allow us to combat various diseases and ailments.
These are products elaborated and synthesized by man, but their properties and the active principles on which they are based often come from or are based on the properties of different elements present in nature, such as animals and plants.
In this sense and from the most remote antiquity we can highlight the use of different types of plants or vegetables, due to the medicinal and positive properties for our health that many of them have. But this is not something that belongs to the past or that only serves as inspiration.
In fact, some plant species have such beneficial effects and/or are so nutritious that they are still commonly consumed today. Examples include lime blossom, valerian, lavender... or lemon balm. The latter may not be as well known as the others mentioned, but it is nevertheless a highly appreciated product due to its interesting properties. And it is about him that we are going to talk throughout this article.
What is lemon balm?
We know popularly as lemon balm a herbaceous plant or herb, of scientific name Melissa officinaliswhich is highly valued for its medicinal properties, especially in terms of its effects and contraindications.especially in terms of relieving digestive problems and/or causing relaxation and relief from anxiety and nervousness.
Also called lemon balm, this herbaceous plant comes from the lands bathed by the Mediterranean and can reach up to one meter in height. It is a robust and perennial vegetable, which flowers during the summer and can be easily identified due to its lemon scent (something that has caused the and that can be easily identified due to its lemon scent (something that has caused that other names by which it is usually known are lemongrass or lemon leaf).
Lemon balm can be used in multiple ways. It can be ingested, dried leaves or even made infusions with it, something usually linked to a rather medicinal use, although it is also used to make oils associated with cosmetic uses, to perfume or flavoring or to create anti-mosquito products or toothpaste.
It is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs, especially in Latin America.
Beneficial properties of this plant
Lemon balm has a number of beneficial properties for health and for the treatment of certain ailments, which come from its chemical composition (it is rich in eugenol, caryophyllene or germacrene as well as citral or citronella). Some of its best known properties and uses are listed below.
1. Calming and sedative
One of the most relevant properties of lemon balm is its sedative and relaxing effect, helping to reduce altered moods or agitation, such as depression or anxiety. Also helps to promote sleep, which is useful in cases of insomnia..
Lemon balm can also have an interesting anesthetic effect, by reducing and blocking the signals of discomfort that would normally travel quickly through our nervous system.
It is often used to reduce headache or migraine discomfort, digestive discomfort or even muscular pains..
Another useful property of lemon balm is its ability to lower Blood Pressure levels, which can be useful in cases of anxiety and in people with hypertension.
4. Relieves gastrointestinal problems
Lemon balm is often used for the treatment of discomfort from intestinal problems, since it it can reduce gas levels and prevent situations such as colic.. It also favors the protection of the liver and the secretion of bile (promoting it).
It has been observed that the intake of lemon balm, especially when it is made in infusions, contributes to calm, soothe and reduce the levels of cough and throat irritation..
Lemon balm is a natural product with multiple positive properties, but despite this, it must be taken into account that some people may suffer side effects or pose a certain risk to the welfare of those who use it.
First of all, it is necessary to it is necessary to be especially cautious in cases of pregnancy.In the first place, it is necessary to be especially cautious in cases of pregnancy, since in high quantities it can cause miscarriages. It is also contraindicated in patients with thyroid problems (especially hypothyroidism). Excessive consumption may cause pain, allergies, nausea and vomiting. It should also be noted that the essential oil can be dangerous if ingested.