Because Lemon Balm is an antioxidant and a mild sedative, it has the properties to help
the body fight free radicals that cause aging and disease. The antioxidant in Lemon Balm
makes it ideal for skin care. Medical studies have determined that Lemon Balm, a
traditional herbal medicine used widely as a mild sedative, spasmolytic and antibacterial
agent, has antioxidant, anti-aging, and disease fighting properties.
In one such study, an in-vitro cytotoxicity assay using MTT (Lemon Balm) oil indicated that
this was very effective against a series of human cancer cell lines (A549, MCF-7, Caco-2,
HL-60, K562) and a mouse cell line (B16F10). This (Lemon Balm) oil possessed
antioxidant activity, as evidenced by reduction of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH).
These results pointed to the potential use of lemon balm essential oil as an antitumoral
agent. (Melissa officinalis L. essential oil - lemon balm oil : antitumoral and antioxidant
activities. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2004 May; 56(5):677-81).
Lemon Balm relaxes the blood vessels and is also credited with an antiviral effect.
Mentioned often in Greek and Latin classics, the ancients used lemon balm to treat fevers
and to calm nerves. During the Middle Ages, it was used for sleeplessness, lack of appetite,
stress and digestive disorders. In America, the Cherokee Indians used the herb as a remedy
for fevers, colds, chills and typhus. It was also grown in Thomas Jefferson's garden at
Monticello, where his cooks used it for jams and jellies when lemons became scarce. Today,
lemon balm holds therapeutic value as a soothing treatment for anxiety, wounds, chicken
pox, cold sores and acne.
The leaves of lemon balm contain potent astringent and antibacterial properties useful for
many things including cleansing pores to reduce blackheads. Due to rosmarinic acid, one of
lemon balm's key antioxidant ingredients, herbal face toners, like our Earth Tone, containing
the herb may also benefit the complexion. The acid has a slightly drying effect that helps
reduce oily, acne-prone skin. In addition, Dr. Heather Boon, a licensed pharmacist and
author of "55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs," says studies indicate that rosmarinic acid
exerts an anti-inflammatory action that may prove useful for alleviating redness and swelling associated with acne outbreaks.
The essential oil, which is its most prized asset, plays a huge role in soothing the body as well as skin and nerves around the area on which it is applied. Being a member of the Mint family, Lemon Balm decrease stress and anxiety. It is a mild sedative that promotes sleep, antiviral activity, particularly against the herpes virus (HSV) that causes cold sores, it has the ability to absorb UV light and so can play a role in protecting the skin against UV damage, mood lifting and can be used for mild depression.