Synonyms in the broader sense

herbal synonyms: The lemon balm belongs to the labia (family Lamiceae). Because of their lemony odor, it is usually called "lemon balm". In addition, there are still popular names such as lemon zest, Nervenkräutel, women's herb, garden lemon balm, heart and lemon herb.

Latin name: Mellissa officinalis

The plant

The melissa also called melissa officinalis, can grow up to about 90 cm high. She loves sunny, sheltered places. Their homeland is the eastern Mediterranean and West Asia. Today, however, it is grown in Central, Western and Eastern Europe. The egg-shaped leaves of lemon balm smell and taste lemony before flowering. The melissa grows as a perennial herb with erect, branched almost bare stems. The pedunculated leaves, serrated on the edge, are arranged opposite each other. The small, white to yellowish lip-shaped flowers sit in dummy whorls in the leaf axils of the upper leaves. The flowering time of melissa is from June to August. For medical use, however, only the leaves and shoot tips before flowering, as the flower affects the taste and smell of the balm plant negative.


The lemon balm, also called lemon balm for its lemony taste, is a herbaceous growing plant brought to Spain by the Arabs from the eastern Mediterranean in the 11th century. Their attractiveness to bees was noticed early on. It is usually a garden plant today. For medicinal purposes it is cultivated in cultures. But also in the kitchen, it is very popular for sweets and drinks because of its lemon flavor. The undemanding plant can be planted very well, in your own garden or on the balcony. Only the young shoot tips and leaves are used before flowering. Ingredients include essential oils.


For medicinal use come the fresh or dried leaves of melissa, which are collected before flowering. The essential oil of the balm leaves comes in creams, gels or bath additives for external use.
Characteristic ingredients of melissa are flavanoids, essential oil, caffeic acid compounds and rosmarinic acid. Furthermore, tannins and bitter substances are included.
One finds the ingredients of melissa in many finished medicines against restlessness, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal disorders.

Therapy / indications / effect

First and foremost are the anticonvulsant, relaxing properties of lemon balm, which are contained in the essential oils. The soothing effect of lemon balm on the nervous stomach is not to be overlooked. It is especially suitable for sensitive people who often complain of irritable or irritable bowel syndrome. The vegetative nervous system in the digestive tract is calmed and relaxed by the melissa. Gastric pressure, flatulence and discomfort are alleviated. Here you can also combine the lemon balm with peppermint.
Even when falling asleep melissa spreads a beneficial effect. In combination with valerian and hops it is used for restlessness and insomnia. In recent scientific, clinical trials dementia patients (dementia = memory weakness in old age) were treated with lemon balm. It was found that the restlessness improved and the brain power increased.
In clinical studies, an antiviral effect, especially in herpesviruses, has been laid. The melissa prevents the virus from docking with the cells.
For external use, ointments are used which are used for the treatment of herpes infections of the skin. For successful therapy, it must be applied to the skin as soon as the first symptoms appear. The so-called "cold sores" disappear very quickly.

Dosage Form

The melissa is used in folk medicine internally for nervous disorders, stomach disorders on a nervous basis, abdominal disorders, chronic bronchial catarrh, nervous palpitations, vomiting, nerve weakness, migraine, pain and high blood pressure.

Externally, it is used for rheumatic complaints (rheumatism), nerve pain and stiff neck.
The melissa can be used in the form of finished preparations, teas, drops such as melissa spirit and bath products.
For tea and infusions, the daily dose of melissa is 2 to 3 g, for tinctures (1: 5 in 45% Ethernol) 2-6 ml, three times a day.
For the preparation of tea, five teaspoons of leaves are poured over with 150 ml of boiling water. Cover for 10 minutes and drink as needed.
Melissa oil is used for aromatherapy and should only be used externally.

The cream with 1% dry extract of melissa (70: 1) 2-4 times a day.
Please always read the package leaflet and ask your doctor. Melissa extracts are also available as non-alcoholic solutions and capsules without a prescription in the pharmacy.

Side effect and interaction

So far, there were no more serious side effects of Melissa's income. However, an effect of individual ingredients of melissa on the thyroid gland was found.
In the treatment of thyroid disease, the doctor should be consulted in any case, before taking lemon balm.
The use of melissa, in high doses, can reduce the reactivity. Attention in traffic and when using machines!
Allergic reactions to components of lemon balm are conceivable.

Manufacturer / trade name

Manufacturers are named as examples and were randomly selected. We have no personal connection with any manufacturer!

Melissengeist Hofmann's ® | N2 50ml | 3, 39 €

Melissengeist Hofmann's ® | N3 100ml | 4, 94 €

As of January 2004

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