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Uses for a Lemon Balm Tincture

by
author image Caroline Jackson
Caroline Jackson began freelancing in 2005 with a stint as an editor for a respected small publisher. She soon switched to writing, where she found her niche creating health, sports and wellness content for various websites. Jackson attended Miami University where she studied comparative religion and English literature.
Uses for a Lemon Balm Tincture
Use lemon balm tincture to improve your health. Photo Credit lemon balm flowers image by Lytse from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Lemon balm, botanically known as Melissa officinalis, is part of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family. The herb's medicinal value lies mostly in the terpenes, tannins and eugenol found in its leaves. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 2 to 3 ml of lemon balm tincture three times a day. Though lemon balm is generally safe to take, be sure to consult a health care professional for proper dosage and safety information.

Insomnia

Terpenes, parts of the volatile oil that gives lemon balm its distinctive smell, are also responsible for its efficacy as a sleep aid and sedative. Lemon balm tincture is especially potent in treating insomnia when blended with valerian root. A study published in "Fitoterapia" by A. Cerny and K Schmid found that patients who took a combination of valerian and lemon balm slept significantly better than patients who took a placebo.

Stomach Ailments

"The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines" lists lemon balm as a carminative--a substance that prevents or eases gas. The University of Michigan Health System attributes the carminative property of lemon balm to the terpenes constituents. The herb may help dyspepsia, calm nervous stomachs and relieve colic.

Infection

The terpenes and tannins in lemon balm have antiviral properties, while eugenol kills bacteria. The herb's antimicrobial properties are specifically linked to the constituents neral, citronella, trans-caryophyllene and geranial. One study in "Revista Medico-Chirurgicala A Societatii De Medici Si Naturalisti Din Iasi," a Romanian journal, found that lemon balm is particularly effective against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections.

Alzheimer's Disease

Lemon balm may be a possible aid for improving cognitive function and decreasing agitation in Alzheimer's patients. Lemon balm extracts may bind directly to specific receptors in the brain that make it an effective and relatively safe treatment for dementia.

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