Common Names: Common Balm, Balm Mint
Latin Name: Melissa officinalis
Plant Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Parts Used: Leaf, flower
Habitat: Native to southern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa; grows in common garden soil
Uses: Traditionally used to lift the spirits, as well as heal wounds, relax the heart, and treat toothaches and cold sores. Modernly used to treat anxiety, nervousness, mild depression, and irritability. Because of its antithyroid effect, the herb is also given to people with an overactive thyroid.
Actions & Constituents: Antiviral due to polyphenols, relaxant and antispasmodic because of the plant’s volatile oil, inhibits thyroid function
How to Prepare: Can be prepared into an essential oil, tea, or tincture.
Lemon Balm’s botanical name, Melissa, comes from the Greek word for bee, referring to the great attraction the plant holds for bees.