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Lemon Balm/Melissa

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

Melissa is commonly used in Europe as a tea, liquid extract, and topical preparation. Ancient Greeks and Romans used melissa in surgical dressings for wounds and in preparations to treat venomous or infectious bites and stings such as with dogs and scorpions. Today, melissa’s primary use involves the treatment of cold sores and teething. It is also commonly used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Topically: Apply 2 to 4 times daily or as often as desired during an outbreak. For best results, apply at the first signs (burning, tingling, itching) of a cold sore or fever blister. If condition worsens or does not improve in 7 days, consult a physician.

Hydroalcoholic liquid extract: Mix and take 30-60 drops of a 1:1w/v extract in favorite beverage 2-3 times a day. For teething, mix and administer 2-5 drops of a liquid extract diluted in beverage 3-4 times a day as needed.

Most Common Dosage

Topically: Apply 3 times daily or as often as desired during an outbreak. For best results, apply at the first signs (burning, tingling, itching) of a cold sore or fever blister. If condition worsens or does not improve in 7 days, consult a physician.

Hydroalcoholic liquid extract: Mix and take 30 drops of a 1:1w/v extract in favorite beverage 3 times a day as needed. For teething, mix and administer 3 drops of a liquid extract diluted in beverage 3 times a day as needed.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be to 5% rosmarinic acid in a topical preparation of 70:1w/w dried extract.

Reported Uses

A cream preparation of melissa may be useful for the treatment of cold sores. (1) In addition to shortening the healing period of cold sores, melissa may aid in the prevention of spreading the infection. Studies suggest that it may also have a soothing effect on typical symptoms of cold sores like itching, tingling, burning, and swelling.

Scientists have looked at a few other potential uses for melissa extracts. For instance, it may function as an antioxidant when taken internally. (2) , (3) Melissa has also seen much use in Europe as supportive therapy for the nervous system, possibly helping to decrease stress and improve sleep.

Laboratory studies have shown that rosmarinic acid, the active ingredient to which melissa is standardized, has been reported to inhibit cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) to an extent comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. (4) This may indicate the ability to reduce inflammation.

A study suggests that melissa may support normal function of the thyroid gland. (5)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

When using this dietary supplement topically, if the condition worsens or does not improve in 7 days, consult a physician.

Health Conditions

If you have Graves disease talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

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  1) Medicinal Herbs

  2) South Central America Herbs

References

  1. Kovtchev R, et al. Balm mint extract (Lo-701) for topical treatment of recurring herpes labialis. Phytomedicine. Oct1999;6(4):225-30.
  2. View Abstract: Hohmann J, et al. Protective effects of the aerial parts of Salvia officinalis, Melissa Officinalis and Lavandula angustifolia and their constituents against enzyme-dependent and enzyme-independent lipid peroxidation. Planta Med. Aug1999;65(6):576-8.
  3. View Abstract: Lamaison JL, et al. Medicinal Lamiaceae with antioxidant properties, a potential source of rosmarinic acid. Pharm Acta Helv. 1991;66(7):185-8.
  4. View Abstract: Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM. Antioxidant and Cyclooxygenase Inhibitory Phenolic Compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine. Mar2000;7(1):7-13.
  5. View Abstract: Auf’mkolk M, et al. Extracts and auto-oxidized constituents of certain plants inhibit the receptor-binding and the biological activity of Graves' immunoglobulins. Endocrinology. May1985;116(5):1687-93.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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