Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Health Benefits and Side Effects

http://www.heavenandearthessentials.com/images/Lemon-Balm.jpg

Lemon Balm is is a perennial plant in the genus Melissa, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treat nervous complaints, lower abdominal disorders and as anti-inflammatory, antivirus, antibacterial agent.

Health Benefits
1. Herpes simplex virus
Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) (lemon balm) has exerted the antiviral activity as the component of hydroalcoholic extract of lemon balm leaves inhibited the Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), according to "Inhibitory activity of Melissa officinalis L. extract on Herpes simplex virus type 2 replication" by Mazzanti G, Battinelli L, Pompeo C, Serrilli AM, Rossi R, Sauzullo I, Mengoni F, Vullo V.(1)

2. Anti-HIV-1 activity
In the investigation of extracts from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.), peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.), and sage (Salvia officinalis L.) and theirs exhibited a high and concentration-dependent activity against the infection of HIV-1 in T-cell lines, found that Aqueous extracts from Lamiaceae can drastically and rapidly reduce the infectivity of HIV-1 virions at non-cytotoxic concentrations. An extract-induced enhancement of the virion's density prior to its surface engagement appears to be the most likely mode of action, according to "Aqueous extracts from peppermint, sage and lemon balm leaves display potent anti-HIV-1 activity by increasing the virion density" by Geuenich S, Goffinet C, Venzke S, Nolkemper S, Baumann I, Plinkert P, Reichling J, Keppler OT.(2)

3. Herpetic infections
In the assessment of essential oil of Lemon Balm and its antiherpetic effect, found that Applying diluted essential oils three to four times daily for the antiherpetic treatment of affected areas is recommended. Some companies have marketed plant products, e.g. from Melissa, for the treatment of recurrent herpetic infections, according to "[Efficacy of plant products against herpetic infections].[Article in German]" by Schnitzler P, Reichling J.(3)

4. Type II diabetes
In the evaluation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) essential oil (LBEO) on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals and its hypoglycaemic effect found that LBEO administered at low concentrations is an efficient hypoglycaemic agent, probably due to enhanced glucose uptake and metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue and the inhibition of gluconeogenesis in the liver, according to "Anti-diabetic effects of lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis) essential oil on glucose- and lipid-regulating enzymes in type 2 diabetic mice" by Chung MJ, Cho SY, Bhuiyan MJ, Kim KH, Lee SJ.(4)

5. Anxiety-like reactivity
In the determination of the effects of chronic (15 consecutive days of treatment) per os administration of Melissa officinalis L. extract (Cyracos, Naturex) on anxiety-like reactivity in mice, found that the Cyracosdose at which it exerted anxiolytic-like effects in the elevated plus maze did not alter exploratory or circadian activities. Therefore, our results demonstrate that Cyracos has anxiolytic-like effects under moderate stress conditions and does not alter activity levels, according to "Effects of chronic administration of Melissa officinalis L. extract on anxiety-like reactivity and on circadian and exploratory activities in mice" by
Ibarra A, Feuillere N, Roller M, Lesburgere E, Beracochea D.(5)

6. Anxiety disorders and insomnia
In the assessment of Cyracos(®), a standardized Melissa officinalis L. extract and it anti-stress and anxiolytic effects found that Cyracos(®) reduced anxiety manifestations by 18% (p < 0.01), ameliorated anxiety-associated symptoms by 15% (p < 0.01) and lowered insomnia by 42% (p < 0.01). As much as 95% of subjects (19/20) responded to treatment, of which 70% (14/20) achieved full remission for anxiety, 85% (17/20) for insomnia, and 70% (14/20) for both, according to "Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances" by Cases J, Ibarra A, Feuillère N, Roller M, Sukkar SG.(6)

7. Anxiolytic effects
In the identification of the mild sedative, anxiolytic and hypnotic effects of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) and Valeriana officinalis (valerian) found that a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis possesses anxiolytic properties that deserve further investigation, according to "Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress" by Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB.(7)

8. Amoebicidal activity
In the classification of amoebicidal activity of the methanolic extracts of Satureja cuneifolia and Melissa officinalis. In the presence of methanolic extracts (ranging from 1.0 to 32.0 mg/ml) found that At the same concentration value, the extract was found effective against the cysts at a rate of 46.3% within 72 h of the experimental process. At 16 mg/ml extract concentration, no viable trophozoites were also observed in the 24th hour of the experiment. At the end of the experimental process, 34.7% of the cysts were killed by the extract. M. officinalis showed moderate amoebicidal effect. At the concentration of 32 mg/ml, 44.3% and 30.0% of the trophozoites and cysts were killed by the extract, respectively, according to "In vitro amoebicidal activities of Satureja cuneifolia and Melissa officinalis on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites" by Malatyali E, Tepe B, Degerli S, Berk S.(8)

9. Antioxidant effects
In the investigation of the efficacy of aqueous extract of Melissa officinalis in attenuating Mn-induced brain oxidative stress in mice, found that M. officinalis aqueous extract possesses potent antioxidative properties, validating its efficacy in attenuating Mn-induced oxidative stress in the mouse brain, according to "Protective effect of Melissa officinalis aqueous extract against Mn-induced oxidative stress in chronically exposed mice" by Martins EN, Pessano NT, Leal L, Roos DH, Folmer V, Puntel GO, Rocha JB, Aschner M, Avila DS, Puntel RL.(9)

10. Etc.

Side effects
1. The herb may interact with other herbs or medication, such as thyroid, sedative and antiretroviral medicine.
2. Do not use the herb in children or if you are pregnant without approval from the related field specialist
3. Do not take the herb with alcohol as the combination can intensify the side effects
4. Etc.


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For the world most popular herbs list, visit http://theworldmostpopularherbs.blogspot.com/2011/10/world-most-popular-herbs-health.html
other health articles, please visit http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.com

Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19023806
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18355409
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21607799
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20487577
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171069
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22207903
(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16444660
(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22160280
(9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22020131

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