Lemon Balm Tea Background
Lemon balm is a type of mint that has a lemon like smell that came from Southern Europe. The leaves, flowers and stems of the lemon balm plant are used for medicine in some cultures. The lemon balm plant is related to the mint family.
Traditionally one of the main medicinal uses of lemon balm tea was to help treat problems with the central nervous system. The Greeks used lemon balm tea thousands of years ago for medicinal purposes, so it has been known as such since ancient times (also read about Banaba Leaf tea here).
Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea contains a substance called terpenes that help give the herb the ability to relax someone, as well as to relieve gas buildups. It also contains beneficial flavonoids, and polyphenolics which help it to be used to treat herpes and thyroid problems.
Sometimes the Lemon balm is mixed with other things to make lemon balm tea that has valerian in it to help fight insomnia and to relieve nerve pain. Or, you can add peppermint to it to help relieve stomach issues.
The basic lemon balm tea is made by infusing the lemon balm leaves in boiling water for several minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea to be.
There are no known side effects of lemon balm tea.
All in all, Lemon Balm Tea is used to treat:
- Sleeping problems such as insomnia (Case studies have proven that it induces sleep)
- Digestive problems such as gas, cramps or bloating
- Thyroid problems such as Graves disease (blocks secretions and releases hormones)
- Memory problems
- Brain functions
- Mood problems such as depression
- Cold, flu, cold sores and influenza due to its anti-viral capabilities
- Treats the HSV-2 (Herpes) virus
- Helps to lower blood pressure
- Helps to treat menopausal symptoms
- Acts as a muscle relaxant
- Helps to treat female PMS symptoms
The oils in the lemon balm tea are in part what make up the ingredients that help treat the above issues. The dosage will change depending on the problem being treated.
Studies using Lemon Balm Tea
Research studies have been done using 18 people to see if lemon balm tea actually worked to treat sleeping problems like insomnia. During the study the volunteers used lemon balm with Valerian added and 81 percent of the participants got relief compared to the control group in the study.
Studies are also ongoing to see if lemon balm tea can help treat Alzheimer’s disease. Lemon balm tea is rich in antioxidants, which are found to reduce disease and are known to reduce the degenerative process of the nerves that may cause this disease.
The beginning stages of this study are showing positive results, but no conclusion has been made at the time of this writing. During one of these studies a group of 42 senior citizens took this lemon tea or a placebo for four months on a daily basis.
The ones that got the real lemon balm showed improved cognitive functions over the ones that didn’t get the real lemon balm.
Tests are also being done to see if it can be used to treat certain types of cancers as well. It helps to get rid of free radicals and these are known for causing some types of cancers such as those that mutate DNA and cause cancer cells to grow.
Dosage of Lemon Balm Tea
For sleeping or stomach problems you can use one and a half to four and a half grams of lemon balm to make as tea. You should only give children about a third of the adult dosage for lemon balm tea.
It is simple to make lemon balm tea in order to use it for the above problems or for other benefits. It can be made with either dry or fresh lemon balm leaves. You can buy lemon balm leaves in a health food store or you can grow your own lemon balm plants and use the leaves.
Here is a recipe to make lemon balm tea:
Take one large batch of lemon balm leaves, hot water and lemon or honey to taste. Add the leaves to boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Then, strain the tea and add honey or lemon if desired. It can be drunk either hot or cold.
The bottom line is that lemon balm tea is a very beneficial drink that can be used to treat a multitude of ailments and tests are pending to see if it is good for treating additional ailments. If you are thinking about trying lemon balm tea, talk to your doctor for more information.