Medicinal plant used internally as a sedative and digestive, and externally to treat cold sores.


Portuguese names: melissa, lemon balm, lemon balm, “bee honey herb”
Binomial name: Melissa officinalis L.
French name: mélisse
English name: Lemon Balm (Melissa)
Spanish name: melisa
German name: mélisse
Italian name: melissa




Essential oil (citral, citronellal, geraniol), phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid (effect against cold sores), caffeic acid, triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins, bitter substance, mucilage.

parts used

Dried leaves (aerial parts)

melissa effects

Internal use (drops, tablets):
Sedative, calming, spasmolytic, digestive, sleep aid, bacteriostatic (for essential oil)

External use (ointments):
Virustatic (against the herpes virus)


Internal use (drops, tablets):
Sleep problems , stress , anxiety , nervousness, digestive problems, heartburn and stomach burning ,  Alzheimer’s disease (increased memory, improved learning), bronchitis .
Melissa has an effect on the thyroid gland (see also the contraindications below).

External use (ointment):
Cold sores , mosquito bites

Secundary effects

we do not know


In case of hypothyroidism or treatment with thyroid hormones (melissa increases the effect of these hormones, note that when lemon balm is stopped, the symptoms disappear).


we do not know

Lemon balm preparations

– Melissa tea (melissa infusion – lemon balm infusion)

– Melissa-based capsules

– Melissa essential oil

– Melissa tincture

– Melissa cream (against cold sores)

– lemon balm water

– melissa syrup

– melissa bath

– melissa wine

– Lip protector (against cold sores)

Where does melissa grow?

Originally from the East, melissa currently also grows in Europe and the Americas.
Melissa is a perennial plant. This plant needs very moist soil.

When to harvest lemon balm leaves?

Melissa leaves are harvested in summer (preferably at the beginning). To make a tea, it is preferable to harvest melissa leaves before flowering, as after this period the leaves lose some of their flavor and smell. It is possible to harvest the leaves right after flowering.

Plant it yourself!

Plant easy to grow, it can even become invasive if you let the seeds mature. Unused flowers, fold in half to remove clumps.
The species supports living in pots.

Efficacy of melissa (lemon balm):
In its indication for internal use, melissa offers some effectiveness against mild sleep disorders and digestive disorders of nervous origin. It is often associated in herbal medicine with valerian and hops for its calming effect, especially against sleep disorders and stress. However, a special edition of the French journal Science & Vie on medicinal plants published in July 2020 estimated that the effect of melissa leaves against sleep disorders and nervousness has not yet been demonstrated, due to the lack of published scientific studies. Linden, passionflower and bitter orange were not considered better by Science & Vieagainst sleep disorders and nervousness (for passionflower also against anxiety), again for lack of serious published studies, citing in particular a research paper dated 2019 by the French newspaper Prescrire , known for its independence.

– Melissa is characterized by an aroma close to lemon, in fact the essential oil of melissa contains substances found in lemon, such as citral.

– Melissa in Greek means bee, but it is also used as a first name.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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