Melissa essential oil, or lemon balm oil, treats a variety of health concerns. For example, it can help treat anxiety, diabetes, herpes and dementia. Furthermore, it’s known for its antiviral, antibacterial, antidepressant and antispasmodic properties. The oil is made by means of distilling the twigs and flowers of the lemon balm plant. And, as its alternative name and plant origin suggest, melissa essential oil has a lemony scent. It can be applied topically, taken internally or diffused at home. You can learn more about melissa oil by reading the section below.
Here are 10 health benefits of melissa essential oil:
1. May Improve Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Melissa oil is widely studied for its ability to treat Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, it’s one of the most effective natural essential oil treatments for the disease.
Scientists conducted a placebo-controlled trial. In the trial, they tested the effectiveness of melissa oil on treating agitation in people with severe dementia. For patients with severe cognitive impairment, agitation is a common problem. They randomly assigned seventy-two patients to the Melissa oil or placebo treatment group.
Here’s what they found:
Sixty percent of the melissa oil group experienced a 30 percent reduction of agitation scores. In comparison, 14 percent of the placebo-treated group also experienced a 30 percent reduction. Furthermore, there was an overall improvement in agitation in 35 percent of patients receiving melissa oil. For those in the placebo group, the overall improvement in agitation was 11 percent. (1)
However, in 2011, a follow-up study may have have refuted the evidence. It showed that melissa oil had no more impact on the patients than medication or placebo. The researchers blinded more factors in the study. Additionally, they used a more “rigorous design.” (2) While the research is conflicting, it seems melissa oil, in some cases, performs potentially as well as medication.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Activity
If you’re struggling with inflammation and pain, you may want to give melissa oil a try.
Advances in Pharmacological Science published a study in 2013. In the study, researchers investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of melissa essential oil on rats. Oral administration of melissa oil showed a significant reduction of swelling caused by excess fluid. (3)
3. Prevents and Treats Infections
Researchers have evaluated melissa oil for its ability to stop bacterial infections. It contains compounds well-known for their antimicrobial effects. And a 2008 study showed that melissa oil showed a higher degree of antibacterial activity than did lavender. This was against gram-positive bacterian strains, including candida. (4)
Furthermore, melissa oil is great for treating acne and other skin wounds. For example, a series of studies tested topical use of melissa oil on lesions. The study found healing times were significantly better in the groups treated with melissa oil. (5)
You need to mix most essential oils with a carrier oil for safe use. However, melissa oil is gentle enough to apply directly to the skin! That makes it the perfect option for ridding of acne and treating other cuts and wounds.
4. Has Anti-Diabetic Effects
Melissa essential oil may also help manage glucose levels.
For example, in 2010, researchers gave mice melissa oil for six weeks. The mice showed significantly lowered blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they showed improved glucose tolerance and higher serum insulin levels. And the good news is that all of these developments can reduce diabetes symptoms. (6)
5. Treats Herpes and Other Viruses
Melissa essential oil inhibits the spread of viral infections. This can be particularly helpful for those who have a resistance to other antiviral treatments.
Consider a 2008 study published in Phytomedicine. It found that higher concentrations of melissa oil nearly wiped out herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 completely. This is when it was tested on monkey kidney cells using a plaque reduction assay.
Melissa oil is great for treating herpes because for one, it can penetrate the skin. This is due to its lipophilic nature. And for another, melissa oil has antiviral effects. These traits make it a suitable treatment for herpes. (7)
6. Potential Anti-Tumor Agent
As you can see, melissa oil can pack a powerful punch. And with all it can do, it may also be a potential cancer-fighting treatment.
For example, in a 2004 in vitro study, researchers study saw a reduction of human cancer cell lines with melissa essential oil. (8)
And another study found that melissa oil may be a plausible treatment against GBM tumors. These are tumors that arise from the supportive tissue of the brain. (9)
7. Boosts Mood and Helps Fight Depression
Many essential oils can help fight depression symptoms. Melissa oil is one of them, however, it also has hypnotic and sedative properties. It’s truly a phenomenal contender in the world of depression treatments. (10)
Additionally, Melissa oil can modulate mood and cognitive performance. In fact, healthy young volunteers reported no side effects or symptoms of toxicity when using it. Even in low doses, self-rated “calmness” was elevated with melissa oil use. This makes is a potentially great option to treat depression. (11)
8. May Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
Melissa oil has a laundry list of properties that help lower blood pressure.
A 2015 study found that melissa oil is associated with significant electrocardiogram changes in rats. The electrocardiogram is a test used to check for problems with the heart’s electrical activity. (12)
Another study, conducted in 2016, found that melissa oil reduces the heart rate of injured rats. The study also found that melissa oil increases the heart’s resistance to injury. (13)
9. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Studies show that melissa oil might also help fight high cholesterol.
Consider a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition. It suggests that ingesting melissa oil could have beneficial metabolic effects. When used on mice, for example, melissa oil slowed fatty acid build up. This in turn reduced triglyceride levels. (14)
Furthermore, another study conducted in 2009 found melissa oil contains properties that can unclog arteries, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce lipid peroxidation levels in the liver. (15)
10. Relieves PMS and Menstrual Symptoms
In 2005, Nursing and Midwifery Studies assessed the effect of melissa oil on PMS symptoms. A hundred high school girls took part in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
The intervention group participants received a capsule of melissa oil. The trial lasted from the first to the last day of their menstrual cycles for three consecutive cycles. The second group were given the placebo. The results showed a significant reduction in PMS symptoms for the intervention group. The next time you’re suffering from PMS symptoms, give melissa oil a try! (16)