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.

Heartburn Pictures Slideshow: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid

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?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

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

No

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.

Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs

Prescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs

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.

REFERENCE: Science.gov.

Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs

Prescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs

Summary

Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) is a plant used as an herbal supplement used as a digestive aid, increased appetite, gas and bloating, genital herpes, insomnia, and anxiety. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this supplement.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/4/2016
References
REFERENCE: Science.gov.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors