Lemon Balm (Melissa)DESCRIPTION

Names: Balm, Lemon Balm, Melissa, Balm mint, Bee Balm, Blue Balm, Cure-All, Dropsy Plant, Garden Balm, and Sweet Balm.

Botany: An aromatic perennial herb with yellowish or white flowers, growing up to approximately 1 m in height, mostly in the Mediterranean region, western Asia, SW Siberia and northern Africa. It is widely cultivated. Parts used are the dried leaves often with flowering tops.

History and/or folklore: The lemon scent attracts the bees, hence the Greek name Melissa for “bee.” This was the favoured herb of the great medicinal herbalist Paracelsus, who sold the remedy to kings as an elixir of life. The plant is said to safeguard against early senility and impotency. The Arabs loved this plant and extracted a pungent oil, from which they made a perfume. It is a well-known monastery herb, and monks and nuns use it to prepare a fragrant cologne and healing salves.

Melissa officinalis botanical extract:

Melissa officinalis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves and tops of the balm mint, Melissa officinalis.

Melissa officinalis essential oil:
An essential oil is obtained from dried leaves and flowering tops by steam distillation. It is probably one of the most frequently adulterated essential oil.

Biochemistry: The major characteristic constituents are hydroxycinnamic acids (rosmarinic [up to 6%], p coumaric, caffeic and chlorogenic acids), and an essential oil (0.02-0.37%) composed of more than 40% monoterpenes and more than 35% sesquiterpenes. The most significant terpenoid components are citral (a mixture of the isomers neral and geranial), citronellal, geraniol, nerol, linalool, farnesyl acetate, humulene (α-caryophyllene), β-caryophyllene and eremophilene. Other constituents include flavonoids, tannins and acidic triterpenes (e.g. ursolic and oleanolic acids).


Melissa officinalis botanical extract
Traditional use: Historically Melissa was used for sores, insect bites and to aid soothing in creams and lotions. Melissa is used externally for the treatment of wounds, rheumatism, headaches and abscesses.

It is classified as Skin Conditioning Agent – Occlusive. Melissa officinalis leaf extract offers soothing, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in skin care.

It is used as a component in perfumes, and is commonly used in lip balms. Leaf extract is useful for bath preparations and for skin care applications for blemished and sensitive skin.

Melissa officinalis essential oil
It can be used in creams or lotions as it is useful to fight fungal infections, and to check blood flow from wounds. In some quarters it is used to counteract baldness and hair loss.



Melissa officinalis essential oil
Xi – Irritant
Irritating to skin and eyes
May cause sensitisation by skin contact.
Avoid contact with skin and eyes.

Melissa is extremely potent and should be used with caution. Melissa oil is non-toxic but could cause sensitization and irritation and should always be used in low dilutions. Melissa oil may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals, because of the high aldehyde content.

There is a concentration restriction in the fragrance compound. This applies to the supply of fragrance compounds (formulas) only, not to the finished products in the market place.