Traditionally, people use lemon balm tea to help improve mood, slow cognitive decline, and decrease anxiety levels.
It may also help individuals with certain conditions. In traditional medicine, people use lemon balm for a variety of purposes, ranging from digestive health to healing wounds.
There is limited research on how lemon balm tea specifically may help individuals. This article focuses on lemon balm alongside the uses and benefits of this plant. It also considers the risk factors and side effects of lemon balm.
Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis L., is a herbaceous perennial with oval, aromatic leaves. In the summer, small white flowers bloom.
It is straightforward to grow from a seed in spring. There are many different varieties of lemon balm plants, including:
People can purchase lemon balm tea in most grocery stores, drug stores, and online. People can also make it at home if they have access to a lemon balm plant.
To make lemon balm tea from the plant, a person should use the following instructions:
- Remove fresh leaves and rinse well.
- Lay the leaves on a baking sheet until they dry — people can store dried lemon balm for several months and still maintain their flavor.
- Boil water and add dried leaves.
- Allow them to steep, or soak, for about 5 minutes, and then add sugar or honey if desired.
Numerous studies discuss the benefits of lemon balm extract, oils, or capsules.
A 2016 study investigated the benefits of lemon balm tea made from lemon balm extract.
The researchers concluded that the hot water extract of lemon balm leaf may provide health benefits to glycation-associated tissue damage in blood vessels and skin of healthy adults. Glycation-associated damage links closely to the onset of various diseases and aging phenomena.
There may be some therapeutic uses for lemon balm, but the efficacy may change when a person consumes this as a tea made with dried lemon balm.
Additional studies are needed to better understand the potential benefits of lemon balm tea.
Lemon balm may offer some health benefits, which we outline below.
Improve mood and cognitive function
The findings suggest that lemon balm may be effective in improving anxiety and symptoms of depression in some people. However, the researchers note that further high quality studies are needed to firmly establish the clinical efficacy of the lemon balm. These findings also relate to lemon balm supplements — not lemon balm tea.
Another study also demonstrated that chronic administration oflemon balm
Help with insomnia
Ingesting lemon balm may help individuals who experience insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
Other studies have found lemon balm to have positive effects on insomnia when combined with other herbs and nutrients. For example, IQP-AO-101 contains asparagus extract, saffron extract, lemon balm extract, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
The clinical study results show that IQP-AO-101
Support gastrointestinal health
Individuals who experience frequent gastrointestinal discomfort may benefit from consuming lemon balm.
Further research is needed to conclude how effective lemon balm is for the GI.
Help relieve menstrual pain
Menstrual cramps, known as dysmenorrhea, can be extremely painful for some people.
A study in
May help with Graves’ disease
A study in
Individuals with Graves’ disease should discuss the use of lemon balm as a therapeutic agent with their doctor before they start regularly consuming it.
Lemon balm can act as a powerful antioxidant.
However, a review article from
The study also mentioned that lemon balm may be a risk factor if:
- a person is pregnant or breastfeeding
- a child
- individuals taking sedatives
- Individuals with thyroid disorders
Lemon balm may interfere with the action of thyroid hormones. A person should consult their doctor before taking these herbs with thyroid hormones.
There is currently insufficient research on the side effects of lemon balm tea specifically. Therefore, people with any underlying conditions should consult a doctor before using lemon balm or tea therapeutically.
Lemon balm tea is made of dried lemon balm leaves.
Some people use lemon balm to treat a number of conditions such as anxiety, stress, insomnia, and menstrual cramps, but it is unclear if lemon balm tea will elicit the same response.
While more studies are needed to determine how lemon balm tea may help individuals, it does appear that the tea is safe for most people to consume.
A person should consult their doctor if they have an underlying condition, such as a thyroid issue, before regularly consuming lemon balm tea.