Lemon balm tea, also known as Melissa tea, is a well-known natural remedy worldwide. It has a mild and smooth flavor with a hint of lemon and mint, making it delicious to drink. Not only does it taste great, but it also offers extensive health benefits, making it a popular choice for curing ailments. Additionally, lemon balm tea is easy to make using fresh leaves from your garden and has few side effects. In this ultimate guide, you can discover the health benefits, side effects, and proper brewing techniques for lemon balm tea.
What is Lemon Balm Tea?
Lemon balm tea is made from the leaves of the lemon balm plant, also called balm mint or common balm, which belongs to the mint family. The plant is native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia, but is now commonly grown in North and South America as a popular garden plant. The leaves of the lemon balm plant have been used for herbal medicines historically to treat digestive disorders, alleviate pain, including menstrual cramps and headaches, and offer a mild calming effect. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for people with sleep disorders or those looking for a bedtime tea.
Lemon balm tea is frequently sold as Melissa tea, with both the beverage and plant leaves deriving their name from the Greek word meaning ‘honey.’ The tea has a slightly sweet flavor with a hint of lemon, and the combination of tart and sweet flavors offers a unique taste. Additionally, a herbal aroma rounds out the tasting profile, and the gentle, lemony mint flavor pairs well with honey and a slice of lemon.
Health Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea: A Comprehensive Guide
Lemon balm tea is a fragrant and delicious drink that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various health conditions. Here are six health benefits of lemon balm tea that you may want to consider:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Lemon balm tea has a calming effect that can help lower stress levels and alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that lemon balm extract is particularly effective in reducing stress, and regular consumption of lemon balm tea has been linked to improved mood and cognitive function.
Lemon balm tea may help improve sleep quality, making it an excellent choice for people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. Studies have found that the combination of lemon balm and valerian root is just as effective as sleep disorder drugs without the associated side effects.
Supports Brain Health
Regular consumption of lemon balm tea may improve mental cognition and alleviate some symptoms of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that lemon balm tea can increase memory recall and offer therapeutic value to Alzheimer’s patients.
Alleviates Digestive Problems
Lemon balm tea has been used historically to treat colic in infants and can help reduce discomfort caused by common digestive system ailments such as upset stomach and cramps. Research has also found that lemon balm can prevent the development of new stomach ulcers and decrease symptoms of nausea.
Lemon balm tea can help speed up the healing time and minimize symptoms of the herpes simplex virus. Topical use of lemon balm as a cream or essential oil can also reduce itching and burning associated with the virus. The tannins and polyphenols in lemon balm are particularly effective in treating cold sores.
Prevents Heart Disease
Lemon balm tea may help protect overall heart health by reducing triglycerides, improving the synthesis of cholesterol, and suppressing arrhythmias. These benefits are likely attributed to the anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of lemon balm tea.
The Side Effects of Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea is a popular herbal drink that is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation. However, like many other natural remedies, it can pose certain risks and side effects for some people. Here are some important things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about trying lemon balm tea.
Allergies: Watch Out for Mint Sensitivity
If you are allergic to plants in the mint family, including basil, oregano, and thyme, you may also be sensitive to lemon balm tea. Allergic reactions to lemon balm can range from mild skin rashes and hives to more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. To avoid potential allergic reactions, avoid drinking lemon balm tea if you have a history of mint allergies.
Pregnancy: Consult with Your Doctor
While lemon balm tea is not known to cause harm during pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedies. Some studies suggest that lemon balm may have a mild sedative effect and could potentially affect the fetal brain development, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. As a precaution, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to use lemon balm tea with caution and in moderation.
Contraindications: Be Cautious if You Have Diabetes or Thyroid Problems
Lemon balm tea has a natural ability to lower blood sugar levels, which may be beneficial for people with diabetes. However, if you are taking diabetes medications, you should monitor your blood sugar closely and consult with your doctor before using lemon balm tea. In some cases, lemon balm tea may interfere with diabetes medications and lead to hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by low blood sugar levels.
Similarly, if you have thyroid problems or take thyroid medications, you should avoid using lemon balm tea. Lemon balm may interfere with thyroid hormone levels and affect the effectiveness of thyroid therapies. Always talk to your doctor before using any natural remedies, including lemon balm tea, if you have a thyroid condition.
Surgery: Stop Drinking Lemon Balm Tea Two Weeks Prior
If you are planning to undergo surgery, you should avoid drinking lemon balm tea at least two weeks before the procedure. Lemon balm tea has mild sedative properties and may interact with anesthesia and other medications used during surgery. To prevent potential complications and side effects, it’s best to stop using lemon balm tea well in advance of any surgical procedures.
How to Make and Enjoy Lemon Balm Tea
If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of lemon balm tea, there are a few things you need to know. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious and healthy tea.
Choosing Your Leaves You can use fresh or dried leaves to make lemon balm tea. If you choose to grow your own plants, make sure to cultivate them away from pollutants and avoid using pesticides and fertilizers.
- 1 handful of fresh lemon balm leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried leaves
- 8 oz boiling water
- Optional sweeteners such as honey, sugar, or lemon
- Place the lemon balm leaves in a tea strainer or infuser and put it in a large tea cup.
- Heat the water in a kettle to 212°F or bring it to a boil in a pan on the stove.
- Pour the hot water over the lemon balm leaves in the tea cup.
- Steep the tea for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your preference for strength. Remove the tea strainer and discard the leaves.
- Add sweeteners if desired and enjoy!
Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea is not only delicious, but it also has numerous health benefits. It has antiviral properties that can boost your immune system and help fight off infections. Drinking lemon balm tea regularly can also improve mental cognition and increase sleep quality. In addition, lemon balm leaves are a popular medicinal plant that can be used to treat anxiety and prevent heart disease.
Whether you’re looking for a warm beverage to enjoy in the fall or a refreshing drink to sip all year long, lemon balm tea is a great choice. The mild, lemony mint flavor will tantalize your taste buds, and the soothing aroma can help you relax after a long day.