Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Traditional Indications

Lemon balm is antianxiety,antibacterial, antidepressant, antiemetic, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. Lemon balm is a commonly grown household remedy with a long tradition as a tonic remedy that raises the spirits and lifts the heart.
It is traditionally indicated to treat fever and colds, indigestion associated with nervous tension, excitability and digestive upsets in children, hyperthyroidism, depression, mild insomnia, headaches. Traditional indications also include as a natural anti-viral. (1)


Lemon balm has been used historically and contemporarily as a modulator of mood and cognitive function and displays anxiolytic effects. (2) Lemon balm’s anxiolytic and antidepressant-like properties have potential psychoactive properties and may provide a pharmacological alternative for certain psychiatric disorders. (3)

Various studies have shown that Lemon balm’s active constituents include high amount of flavonoids, rosmaric acid, gallic acid, phenolic contents and displays large antioxidant qualities. (2)

The use of lemon balm as natural and potent remedy for treatment of viral infections is gaining popularity since influenza viruses are developing resistance to the current antivirals. Lemon balms main constituents were identified as monoterpenaldehydes citral a, citral b. Lemon balms Antiviral activity is comparable with that fo the drug against avian influenza A virus (H9N2). (4)


1. PFAF. Melissa officinalis. 2019.
2. Miraj S, Rafieian K, Kiani S. Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study With an Antioxidant Prospective. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine. 2017;22(3):385-94.
3. Taiwo AE, Leite FB, Lucena GM, Barros M, Silveira D, Silva MV, et al. Anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) extract in rats: Influence of administration and gender. Indian journal of pharmacology. 2012;44(2):189-92.
4. Pourghanbari G, Nili H, Moattari A, Mohammadi A, Iraji A. Antiviral activity of the oseltamivir and Melissa officinalis L. essential oil against avian influenza A virus (H9N2). Virusdisease. 2016;27(2):170-8.