Health Guide

Lemon balm

What is it?

Lemon Balm is an herbal medicine that has been used for hyperthyroidism, herpes simplex infections, upset stomach, gas and bloating, insomnia (not able to sleep), and nerve pain.

Other names for Lemon Balm include: Melissa officinalis, Melissa, Balm Mint, Bee Balm, Blue Balm, Cure-All, Garden Balm, Sweet Balm, Honey Plant, and Balm Plant.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breast feeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Lemon Balm you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Lemon Balm. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Lemon Balm, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Persons with glaucoma should avoid Lemon Balm essential oil, as animal studies show that it may raise the pressure in the eye (2)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

2. Lininger S (ed): The Natural Pharmacy. Prima Health Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.

3. Auf'mkolk M, Ingbar JC, Dubota K et al: Extracts and auto-oxidized constituents of certain plants inhibit the receptor-binding and the biological activity of Graves' immunoglobulins. Endocrinol 1985;116(5):1687-1693.

4. Wohlbling RH, Leonhardt K: Local therapy of herpes simplex with dried extract of Melisssa offininalis. Phytomed 1994;1(1):25-31.

5. Murray MT, Pizzorno J: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.

6. Weiss RF: Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, Gothenberg, Sweden; 1985: 31-33, 125, 286-287.

7. Anon: New treatments from plants. Pharm J 1994; 253: 578-579.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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