Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm, balm, Melissa, sweet balm)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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What is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Lemon balm is a plant used as an herbal supplement. It may have antiviral activity against some viruses, for example, the herpes virus as well as calming effects. It active compounds in lemon balm are caffeic acid and tannins.

What brand names are available for lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

Lemon Balm, balm, Melissa, sweet balm

Is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?


What are the uses for lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

Lemon balm may be used digestive aid, increase appetite, flatulence, genital herpes, and insomnia and anxiety.

Discuss all herbs and supplements you are currently taking with your health care professional.

What are the side effects of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

Side effects of lemon balm are:

  • hypersensitivity reactions,
  • sedation, and
  • skin irritation.

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What is the dosage for lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

  • Tea: Use 1.5 to 4.5 gram leaf in 150 ml water to prepare 1 cup of tea, as needed.
  • Tincture: Take 2 to 6 ml by mouth 3 times a day.
  • Cream/ointment: Apply 1% of a 70:1 extract to the affected area(s) 2 to 4 times a day for up to 14 days.

Which drugs or supplements interact with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

Lemon balm might interact with thyroid medications and sedatives.

Is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant women should not take or use lemon balm. Women who are breastfeeding should not take or use lemon balm.

What else should I know about lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral?

What preparations of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral are available?

Lemon balm is available in tea, tincture, and cream or ointment formations.

How should I keep lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)-oral stored?

Due to many manufacturers producing each formulation, storage requirements may vary based on individual product.


Last Editorial Review: 3/4/2016

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Reviewed on 3/4/2016

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