Melissa officinalis (lemongrass)

Perennial herbaceous plant, softly pubescent, with a lemon smell, 15-125 cm tall. The rhizome is strongly branched, with underground shoots. Stem erect, tetrahedral, branched. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, ovate, crenate-serrate along the edge. The flowers are zygomorphic, collected 2-10 in false whorls in the axils of the upper leaves. The calyx is two-toothed, the upper lip is three-toothed, the lower one is two-toothed. Corolla two-lipped, whitish or pink; stamens four, pistil with upper four-parted ovary and longish 2-part style. The fruit is a quadrupole. Blooms from June to September.

Distributed in the Caucasus, in the southern regions of the European part of Russia and Central Asia. It grows among thickets, shrubs and along forest edges.

Medicinal raw material is grass – leaves and tops of shoots, collected at the beginning of flowering. The smell of fresh raw materials lemon. Dry in the shade, air dry or tumble dry.

Lemon balm grass contains essential oil containing citral, citronellal, myrcene and geraniol, ascorbic, caffeic, oleanolic and ureolic acids, tannins. The seeds of the plant contain fatty oil.

The essential oil of lemon balm has low toxicity and has a sedative effect. There is evidence of a beneficial effect of lemon balm products on those with heart disease: shortness of breath disappears, tachycardia attacks stop, pain in the heart area is relieved. When taken orally, there is a slowdown in breathing, a slowing of the heart rate and a drop in blood pressure.

It is recommended for nervous weakness, migraine, insomnia, increased sexual excitability, painful menstruation, skin rashes.

In folk medicine, lemon balm is successfully used as a soothing heart pain, stimulating the central nervous system, anticonvulsant, dizziness, severe pain in the stomach, poor digestion, fainting and hysterical seizures, all kinds of neuralgia, insomnia, anemia, shortness of breath, asthma, painful menstruation, female diseases, as a laxative and diaphoretic.

In addition, lemon balm has a beneficial effect on the stomach, brain, especially with nervous spasms, dizziness and noise in the ears. Lemon balm oil is used for palpitations, rheumatism, pain in the region of the heart, as a diaphoretic, taken orally (no more than 15 drops each).

Melissa is recommended inside and as a carminative, laxative, diuretic, with stomach neurosis and vomiting in pregnant women.

Tea is prepared from fresh flowers, which is drunk cold as a refreshing drink, it is also given hot as a diaphoretic that improves metabolism, with dizziness and with delayed menstruation.


As an infusion: 25-50 g per 1 liter of boiling water, 200 ml 3-4 times every day.

Decoction: 10-15 g per 200 ml; 1 st. spoon 3 times every day.

Tincture (on alcohol or vodka): 25 g for external use, for internal use, 15 drops 3 times every day.

Outwardly, lemon balm is used for aromatic baths, not often together with other herbs.

Leaves and young shoots of lemon balm, fresh and dry, are added to food as a spice to add flavor to tea resins and liqueurs. They have a lemon smell and a slightly astringent bitter pleasant taste.

Hot infusion: 20 g per 1 liter of boiling water, for all nervous diseases, stomach neurosis, strong mental shocks, from fear, grief, longing, and many others. others

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