Because of its lemon-like odor, the plant is usually called "lemon balm". But other popular names such as Nervenkräutel, women's well-being, Herztrost point to the manifold use in the past and present. As a gentle medicine for body and soul, the balm is good for lay people.
Health effect of melissa
Melissa has a relaxing, soothing, antibacterial and antiviral effect. Wherever rhythmic processes are disturbed, this medicinal plant is used, for example:
- heart problems
- Gastrointestinal ailments
- menstrual cramps
- sleep disorders
- a headache
Recent scientific research in the UK has found that melissa enhances brain performance, potentially helping dementia sufferers.
Use of melissa
The Melissentee - applied externally - can eliminate blemishes. A steam bath is effective against oily skin. In addition, this medicinal plant is an effective alternative to synthetic antivirals for cold sores. This is mainly due to the present in the plant tannin-like rosmarinic acid.
The essential oil obtained by steam distillation is processed in various pharmaceutical preparations, but also in liqueur factories, perfumeries and natural cosmetics companies. If you want to use high-quality balm oil of natural origin for aromatherapy at home, you should seek advice from a pharmacy or an aromatherapist.
Melissa as a kitchen herb
Melissa is also popular in the kitchen. It can flavor and optically refine desserts and drinks and is a refreshing spice for salads.
History of melissa
Like many other medicinal plants, the balm has migrated from southern areas. In antiquity, lemon balm was valued not only as a medicinal herb for heart disease, animal bites and mint disease, but also as bee food:
- Pliny (24-79) wrote 2, 000 years ago: "The bees are no better flowers than the balm."
- Charlemagne (747-814) ordered that lemon balm be grown in the state estates.
- Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) wrote: "Melissa is warm, and a person who eats it likes to laugh because its warmth affects the spleen and therefore the heart is pleased."
- Paracelsus (1493-1541) also applied the plant in the sense of the doctrine of signatures because of its heart-shaped leaves in heart disease: "Melissa is the best herb for the heart of all things, the earth produces." He also used balm to cure "contractions and paralyzes, " podagra, leprosy, asthma, and "renewing the body's powers."
Worth knowing about the plant
The lemon balm belonging to the family Melissa is up to 80 inches high and loves sunny, sheltered places. The undemanding plant can easily be planted in your own garden.
The active ingredients of melissa are to be found especially in the on the top of fine hairy leaves. Therefore, they should be harvested before the flowering period, which usually extends from July to August.