Lemon balm

History of Ingredient

Lemon balm’s history stretches back over 2,000 years, with its use recorded by ancient Greeks and Romans for its calming and mood-enhancing properties. In the Middle Ages, it was cultivated in monastery gardens for its supposed ability to improve longevity and cognitive function. 

Its name, Melissa officinalis, originates from the Greek word for ‘honey bee,’ reflecting its attractiveness to bees and its sweet, lemony scent. This herb’s enduring appeal lies in its versatile applications, ranging from culinary uses to its incorporation into traditional medicine across various cultures.

Scientific Make-Up

Lemon balm contains many active compounds that contribute to its health benefits. These include terpenes responsible for their distinct aroma and tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids such as rosmarinic acid. 

These compounds work synergistically to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. The presence of rosmarinic acid is mainly linked to lemon balm’s ability to enhance cognitive function and mood.

Benefits of Ingredient

Mood Enhancement

Studies suggest that lemon balm can positively affect mood and cognitive function, reducing anxiety and improving symptoms of mild to moderate depression. The calming properties of lemon balm make it popular for those seeking natural stress relief solutions.

Cognitive Function

Research indicates lemon balm’s potential to enhance memory, focus, and cognitive agility. This makes it a valuable ingredient in supplements aimed at mental health and performance enhancement.

Sleep Quality

Lemon balm is often used in herbal blends to promote restful sleep. Its sedative effects can help alleviate insomnia and improve sleep quality, making it a cornerstone of sleep support supplements.

Digestive Health

The herb has traditionally been used to relieve digestive issues, such as bloating and indigestion. Lemon balm’s antispasmodic properties can soothe the digestive tract, enhancing overall digestive wellness.

Antiviral Properties

Emerging research highlights lemon balm’s efficacy in combating certain viral infections, particularly those affecting the skin, such as herpes simplex virus. Its antiviral capabilities offer promising avenues for topical and oral therapeutic applications.

Forms of Consumption

Lemon balm can be incorporated into supplements in various forms, each offering unique benefits and applications:

  • Powders: Ideal for versatile supplement formulations, including drink mixes and food enhancements. 
  • Tablets: A convenient, controlled dosage form, perfect for those seeking ease of use. 
  • Capsules: Offering a taste-neutral option, capsules are well-suited for those sensitive to the herb’s flavour. 
  • Liquid Gels: Fast-absorbing and easy to swallow, liquid gels provide an alternative for rapid effect. 

Safety + Dosages

Lemon balm is generally considered safe when used in appropriate dosages. However, it’s essential to consult healthcare professionals before incorporating it into dietary supplements, particularly for pregnant or breastfeeding women and individuals on medication. 

Dosages can vary based on the form of lemon balm used and the specific health concern being addressed. Still, a typical dose ranges from 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm extract for cognitive and mood enhancement, taken up to twice daily.

Use and Legality in the UK, EU, US, and Globally

Lemon balm is legally available and widely used in dietary supplements across the UK, EU, US, and many other countries worldwide. Regulations governing its use and marketing may vary, with a general emphasis on safety and efficacy claims. In the EU and UK, lemon balm supplements must comply with relevant safety standards and regulations. 

In the US, the FDA regulates lemon balm supplements as dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Manufacturers and suppliers should ensure compliance with local and international regulations to ensure the safe and legal marketing of lemon balm-containing products.

As a leading manufacturer of supplements, Supplement Factory is equipped to help brands develop high-quality lemon balm supplements tailored to their specific needs. 

To learn more about how we can assist in bringing your lemon balm supplement to market or to explore our range of manufacturing services, contact us.