Melissa essential oil, commonly referred to as lemon balm oil, is widely used in traditional medicine to address a wide range of health ailments, such as anxiety, migraines, insomnia, dementia, diabetes, herpes, and hypertension. It can be taken internally, applied topically, or diffused.
One of the best known benefits of this lemon-scented oil is its ability to treat herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, without the need for antibiotic treatment. Melissa essential oil acts as potent antimicrobial and antiviral agent, offering a wide array of therapeutic qualities.
11 Benefits of Melissa Essential Oil
1. Improves Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Melissa is one of the most explored among essential oils for potential to serve as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. A team of researchers at Newcastle General Hospital’s Institute for Aging and Health did a placebo-controlled trial to rule out the value of Melissa essential oil in terms of treating agitation in people with dementia, which is extremely difficult to deal with, particularly for those with severe cognitive impairment. 72 patients with clinically agitation were randomly put into Melissa essential oil or placebo group.
It was found that up to 60% of the Melissa oil group and 14% of the placebo-treated group noted a 30% reduction of agitation scores. Specifically, there was an improvement in agitation in 35% of those receiving Melissa oil and 11 % in those treat with placebo, showing that essential oil treatment notably improve the quality of life of these patients.
2. Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Activity
It has been scientifically shown that Melissa oil can be used to address diseases associated with pain and inflammation. According to a 2013 study published in Advances in Pharmacological Science, the anti-inflammatory properties of oral use of Melissa oil exhibited a notable reduction and inhibition of edema, a swelling caused by excess fluid in the bodily tissues.
With this being said, it`s no wonder that Melissa oil can be applied topically or taken internally to ease pain and reduce swelling thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory activity.
3. Prevents and Treats Infections
The long-term use of antimicrobial agents causes resistant bacterial strains, which eventually diminishes the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments. It has been shown that using herbal medicines is a good way to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
Melissa oil has been studied by researchers for its potential ability to inhibit bacterial infections. Citral, citronellal, and trans- caryophyllene have been shown to be the most important compounds in Melissa oil known for their antimicrobial properties. According to a 2008 study, Melissa oil showed a higher degree of antimicrobial agent against bacterial strains like candida when compared to lavender oil.
4. Possesses Anti-diabetic Properties
Multiple studies show that Melissa oil serves as an effective anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic agent, mostly due to the boosted glucose uptake and metabolism in the liver, along with the inhibition of gluconeogenesis in the liver.
According to a 2010 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, mice given Melissa essential oil for six weeks experienced reduction in blood glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance, and had higher serum insulin levels than the control group.
5. Promotes Skin Health
Melissa oil is used to treat acne, minor wounds, and eczema, due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. In studies done on the topic, healing times were shown to be better in the groups treated with Melissa oil. Being gentle, you can safely apply it onto the skin to treat skin conditions caused by fungus or bacteria.
6. Treats Herpes and Other Viruses
As discussed earlier, Melissa herb is often used to treat cold sores, since it`s effective at combating viruses in the herpes virus family. It can be safely used to stop the spread of viral infections, which is particularly beneficial for those who have developed a resistance to antiviral agents.
According to a 2008 study published in Phytomedicine, higher concentrations of Melissa essential oil eradicated herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 when tested on monkey kidney cells using a plaque reduction assay. Due to its antiviral effects and ability to penetrate the skin, this oil serves as an effective topical treatment for herpes.
7. Serves as a Potential Anti-Tumor Agent
According to a 2004 study, Melissa essential oil acts as anti-tumor agent, as shown by a reduction of human cancerous cell lines when assessed in an in vitro study.
Another, more recent study published in Cancer Investigation, showed that Melissa essential oil can be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), tumors that turn up from the supportive tissue of the brain. The study explored the activity of lemon balm and its component citral in GBM cell lines. Both the oil and citral induced apoptosis of GBM cells with their antioxidant properties.
8. Boosts Mood and Aids in Fighting Depression
Melissa essential oil has sedative, antidepressant, and hypnotic properties, which make it able to create a feeling of calmness and peace. It has uplifting components and promotes emotional balance. According to a 2013 study done at the University of Melbourne, Melissa essential oil improved depression, anxiety, cognition, and neuroprotectivity.
It has been also found to modulate cognitive performance and mood of healthy volunteers, who didn’t report any side effects. Melissa essential oil elevated calmness even at the lowest doses!
9. May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
Thanks to its antiarrhythmic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, antihyperlipidemic, and hepatoprotective properties, Melissa essential oil has the ability to lower blood pressure levels. According to a 2015 animal study published in Research in Cardiovascular Medicine, Melissa essential oil is linked to notable electrocardiogram changes in rats.
Another study done in 2016 showed that Melissa essential oil lowers the heart rats of injured rats while increasing heart`s resistance to an injury.
10. Reduces Triglyceride Levels
According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, taking Melissa oil orally has beneficial metabolic effects. When used on mice, it slowed down the synthesis of fatty acids, which in turn reduced triglyceride levels.
Another study, done in 2009, found that Melissa oil possesses alkaloids that have the ability to stop cholesterol synthesis, and thus lower total cholesterol levels, lipid peroxidation levelsm and total lipid levels.
11. Relieves PMS and Menstrual Symptoms
A 2015 study published in Nursing and Midwifery Studies explored the effect of Melissa oil capsules on the intensity of PMS symptoms. About 100 high schools girls took part in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The intervention group was given a capsule with 1,200 milligrams of Melissa oil from the first to the last day of their cycle. The second group was given placebo. It was found that the intervention group exhibited notable reduction in PMS symptoms, meaning that Melissa oil is effective in alleviating PMS symptoms.
How to Use Melissa Essential Oil
Here are a few ways to use Melissa essential oil in your home:
- To treat herpes and cold sores, apply 2-3 diluted drops of Melissa topically to the affected area
- To fight off depression and anxiety, diffuse or apply the oil topically to the ears, back of the neck, or the wrists
- To lower blood pressure levels, apply topically to the back of the neck or the chest, or take 1-2 drops orally
- To relieve nervousness and vertigo, apply 2-3 drops to the back of the neck or ears. It can be taken orally by adding a drop to tea or water
- To promote healthy glucose levels, take a few drops internally
- To alleviate symptoms of dementia, inhale it from the bottle or diffuse it
- To treat skin conditions like eczema, use 5 drops per ounce of carrier oil, particularly when using on the face