Lemon balm tea Preventing or treating Alzheimer's medicinal uses benefits
Medicinal uses of lemon balm
Lemon balm tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea made from the plant, Melissa officinalis. Melissa officinalis is one of many herbs which have a natural lemony fragrance without the sourness and acidity caused by citric acid in lemons. This article explores the health benefits and medicinal uses of lemon balm, and the benefits of drinking an herbal tea brewed from this herb.
Lemon balm is very easy to grow in temperate climates with adequate rainfall. It can be made into a hot drink, or steeped and then chilled to form an iced herbal tea. It can be consumed either on its own or blended with other herbs or even with caffeinated teas.
There is some suggestive preliminary evidence that lemon balm may be effective for treating or reducing anxiety. The effects do not seem to be as strong as those from other herbs, such as passionflower, but they are large enough to be measurable and significant in the few studies that have been conducted.
Lemon balm, being naturally caffeine free, is a good alternative to caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, for people who wish a natural, plant-based hot drink later in the day. Its caffeine free nature, combined with its mild calming effects makes it an ideal evening or bedtime drink.
Preventing or treating Alzheimer's and/or dementia:
Lemon balm has also been tested as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Although it has not been shown in thorough studies to be able to actually prevent or reverse these conditions, it has been shown to alleviate agitation and improve cognitive function in people suffering from these conditions.
Antimicrobical effects: antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activity:
Lemon balm has been demonstrated to have a variety of antimicrobial effects, including action against bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. The essential oil of the plant was found to be effective against the HSV-2 (Herpes) virus, even when used at safe levels. The effectiveness of the oil against bacteria and fungi has been shown for a variety of different strains.
Lemon balm tea is a pleasing drink that can be consumed either hot or iced. Although there is not enough scientific research to firmly establish that it is effective for thoroughly treating any conditions, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the herb may have a variety of positive impacts on health, including antimicrobial activity (against bacteria, fungi, and viruses), relaxing or calming effects, and possibly neuroprotective effects, improving cognitive function in people suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.
Alex Zorach is the founder and editor-in-chief of RateTea, an online community where anyone can rate and review teas, and the web's authoritative source for information about tea and herbs. Visit RateTea's page on lemon balm tea to find citations to the studies mentioned here, and locate sources of buying this herb.