GENERIC NAME: Melissa officinalis
BRAND NAME: Lemon Balm, balm, Melissa, sweet balm
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Discuss all herbs and supplements you are currently taking with your health care professional.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of lemon balm are:
- hypersensitivity reactions,
- sedation, and
- skin irritation.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Lemon balm might interact with thyroid medications and sedatives.
PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Pregnant women should not take or use lemon balm. Women who are breastfeeding should not take or use lemon balm.
PREPARATIONS: Lemon balm is available in tea, tincture, and cream or ointment formations.
STORAGE: Due to many manufacturers producing each formulation, storage requirements may vary based on individual product.
- 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.
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD
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