This plant has been known of since the 1600's and studies are going on to this day to discover the many effects and benefits of this herb.
Lemon balm contains eugenol, tannins, and terpenes. It also contains (+)-citronellal, 1-octen-3-ol, 10-α-cadinol, 3-octanol, 3-octanone, α-cubebene, α-humulene, β-bourbonene, caffeic acid, caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, catechin, chlorogenic acid, cis-3-hexenol, cis-ocimene, citral A, citral B, copaene, δ-cadinene, eugenyl acetate, γ-cadinene, geranial, geraniol, geranyl acetate, germacrene D, isogeranial, linalool, luteolin-7-glucoside, methylheptenone, neral, nerol, octyl benzoate, oleanolic acid, pomolic acid ((1R)-hydroxyursolic acid), protocatechuic acid, rhamnazin, rosmarinic acid, stachyose, succinic acid, thymol, trans-ocimene and ursolic acid.Lemon balm may contain traces of harmine.
Rosmarinic acid appears to be the most important active component, but the interaction of chemicals within lemon balm, and with chemicals in other herbs with which it has been commonly used in traditional medicines, is poorly understood.Lemon balm leaf contains roughly 36.5 ± 0.8 mg rosmarinic acid per gram.
The results showed that the 600-mg dose of Melissa ameliorated the negative mood effects of the DISS, with significantly increased self-ratings of calmness and reduced self-ratings of alertness. In addition, a significant increase in the speed of mathematical processing, with no reduction in accuracy, was observed after ingestion of the 300-mg dose.
These results suggest that the potential for M. officinalis to mitigate the effects of stress deserves further investigation.
Anti-Depressant - The behavioral effects of an acute or subacute (10-day course) orally administered M. officinalis (MO; 0, 30, 100 or 300 mg/kg) ethanol extract were evaluated in male and female Wistar rats in elevated plus-maze (EPM), forced swimming (FS) and open field (OF) tests. The effects of diazepam (DZP; 1 mg/kg) and fluoxetine (FXT; 10 mg/kg) were also assessed.
A 10-day treatment with FXT induced the same antidepressant response, regardless of gender, and was more effective than the M. officinalis extract.
The potential psychoactive properties of M. officinalis may provide a unique pharmacological alternative for certain psychiatric disorders; however, the efficacy appears to be dependent on both gender and administration length.
Cognitive Boost - Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is a traditional herbal medicine, which enjoys contemporary usage as a mild sedative, spasmolytic and antibacterial agent. It has been suggested, in light of in vitro cholinergic binding properties, that Melissa extracts may effectively ameliorate the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease.
To date, no study has investigated the effects on cognition and mood of administration of Melissa to healthy humans. The present randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced-crossover study investigated the acute effects on cognition and mood of a standardised extract of M. officinalis.
Results, utilising the cognitive factors previously derived from the CDR battery, included a sustained improvement in Accuracy of Attention following 600 mg of Melissa and time- and dose-specific reductions in both Secondary Memory and Working Memory factors. Self-rated “calmness,” as assessed by Bond–Lader mood scales, was elevated at the earliest time points by the lowest dose, whilst “alertness” was significantly reduced at all time points following the highest dose.
100 women aged 50–60 years who complained of sleep disorders were studied. Subjects were selected randomly in a sampling method utilizing two groups of 50 people (intervention group with valerian/lemon balm and placebo group). The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was administered pre and post-intervention.
A significant difference was observed with reduced levels of sleep disorders amongst the experimental group when compared to the placebo group.
Anti oxidative - The leaf material of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) was extracted with 450 ml/l aqueous ethanol by medium pressure liquid–solid extraction. The total phenolic content of the extract was estimated as gallic acid equivalents by Folin–Ciocalteu reagent method and a qualitative–quantitative compositional analysis was carried out using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detection.
The extract demonstrated antioxidant activity in all the assays. However, it was not as potent as the positive controls except in the β-carotene–linoleic acid bleaching assay, where its activity was superior to that of gallic and caffeic acids and statistically indistinguishable from quercetin and BHA.
The exceptionally high antioxidant activity and the fact that this assay is of biological relevance warrants further investigation of lemon balm extract in ex vivo and in vivo models of oxidative stress.
Anti-Proliferative on Cancer- Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) is consumed as a traditional herbal tea in the Mediterranean region. The cytotoxic effect of the 50% ethanolic and aqueous extract, determined by the MTT and NR assays, was evaluated in vitro on Human Colon Cancer Cell Line (HCT-116), using Triton 10% as positive control.
It's structural elucidation was performed by HPLC/DAD/ESI/MS analysis. High dose of rosmarinic acid (1,000 μg/ml) was clearly cytotoxic against HCT-116 cells, with a significant decrease in cell number since the earliest time point (24 h).