One of the more unusual essential oils turns out to be one of the most well-known medicinal herbs. This herb is one of the most soothing herbs, and is well known by Western herbalists. It is so amazing and since it is good for practically everything its use is well sought after. It is definitely one of the earliest known medicinal herbs of all, in fact, it is suspected that the “balm” mentioned in the Book of Genesis in the Bible is none other than this herb. This herb is found all over the Americas and Europe, and is found in both cultured and wild states. Although it is used in food and as a flavoring, its most important use is as an herbal medicine.
This herb is commonly known as Lemon Balm, or Melissa. The reason it is called lemon balm is because of its lemony aroma upon crushing the fresh leaf, and its lemony flavor when made into tea. Also, it is so soothing that it was called a balm. The word Melissa came from the Greek, meaning honey bee, as it was often planted near bee hives in order to get delicious honey flavors. Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna) even called Lemon Balm the elixir of life! Scientifically this herb is called “Melissa officinalis”. The essential oil is derived by steam distillation, and it is extremely expensive due to its low yielding plants. In fact, you need 3.5- 7.5 tons of the plant in order to make only 1 pound (less than half a kilo) of the essential oil! Native to the Mediterranean region, it is most commonly produced in Italy and France, although, in a recent investigation, the only oil found to be sold “pure” and authentic came from Ireland! Due to its very high cost, it is often blended with base oils and sold as pure, so you must be very careful when purchasing it, in order to make sure that you are not paying for the base oil. This is not a problem as long as you are aware of it. Often oils that are labeled Melissa are actually a blend of other essential oils, so be sure to read the label very carefully).
Melissa is well known for its amazing healing powers. It is considered good for practically everything, including all sorts of nervous disorders, including those considered emotional, or caused by anxiety. This herb is, in fact, so soothing that it is amazing, and because it works so subtly its benefits are more important than some of the other stronger herbs that are out there. (I personally prefer the “weaker” herbs over the stronger ones any day, because, although their action is subtler, they are usually better, without the risks that stronger herbs have). The great thing about this herb is that it is not only great for anxiety, and calming, but it is also uplifting at the same time. This makes Melissa important in fighting Attention Deficit Disorder, which seems to be so prevalent these days.
Although Melissa is soothing and calming for the hyperactive, it is also stimulating for those who suffer from mental under-activity, such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The Melissa can actually increase the mental activity, and help rejuvenate the cells. It will be interesting to see the outcomes of the studies that are underway in this field.
Melissa is extremely antibiotic and antiviral, and of late there is some really interesting research being done that will certainly bring some exciting results! According to one study the power of Lemon Balm is so strong that its single application to herpes lesions leads to completely combating it. The use of Melissa seems to be useful for AIDS, and there is research being done in this right now.
Melissa is also known for its great blood pressure reducing qualities. It lessens the effects of depression and shock, and even helps with panic or attacks of hysteria.
It is great for use with the flu, colds, fever, asthma, bronchitis, coughs and other respiratory problems, including sinus congestion, and other allergy induced complaints. Melissa is also great for headaches and migraines (which are usually brought on by allergic sinusitis anyway).
Melissa is great for stomach problems, and is extremely soothing to the digestion system. It is good for gassiness and colic. It is also good for nausea.
It is good for menstrual problems as well, and helps with irregularity. If you suffer from painful periods, then Melissa can help you. All you have to do is to rub some Melissa oil blended into a base oil onto your lower abdominal area, and you will get instant relief.
Melissa is a tonic for practically every organ in the body, including the liver, the gall bladder, the heart, and more. It is good for heart palpitations
For skin problems, like acne, Melissa will work wonders. It is also great for fungal outbreaks, cold sores, and even more serious problems like shingles, mumps, and small pox!
If you suffer from muscles problems, or rheumatic pain, there is practically nothing better than Melissa essential oil.
There is also talk of Melissa being a solution to some of the problems involved with cancer. This is especially due to an action that has been found in anti-tumor activity. This full extent of this discovery remains to be seen, but certainly has significant ramifications.
So, although Melissa is expensive, it is worth its weight in gold, literally. Its amazing curative powers have been known for centuries, and now even more medicinal uses are coming to light with modern research. This is definitely one of the most important herbs known to man.