- lemon balm">infused lemon balm
Lemon balm is a plant known since ancient times for its remarkable healing properties. Currently it is sold in herbal medicine - pure, that is, in dried daughters, intended for the home preparation of infusions and decoctions - or in the form of herbal teas and pills, often together with lime and valerian, with partially similar effects. The popular name of lemon balm is "limoncina" because the leaves of this plant, when rubbed together, release a characteristic smell that vaguely recalls that of lemon. Lemon balm is widely used in phytotherapy, the science that aims to cure minor pathologies by exploiting the beneficial properties of plants, herbs and flowers. Lemon balm can be harvested in all seasons: it is in fact a perennial plant that grows spontaneously and does not require special care; in Italy it is common to find it among the bushes or in cooler and shady areas. Intense green in color, lemon balm has a similar appearance to that of nettle, smells of lemon and can be up to one hundred centimeters high. In addition to being used in herbal medicine, lemon balm is sometimes used in the preparation of some liqueurs, used to enrich salads or to flavor some dishes. This plant has been known and used since ancient times: the Greeks even used it two thousand years ago, but it was in the Middle Ages and then in the 15th century that its use became established, spreading among the population: lemon balm was in fact called " elixir of long life "or" nectar of life "since its known antidepressant properties by improving the mood extended the life of those who took it.
- lemon balm infusion">The beneficial effects of lemon balm
The beneficial effects of lemon balm are mainly calming, soothing and antispasmodic. Excellent for soothing menstrual pains, lemon balm can also be taken in the days before your period to combat PMS and related disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability, nervousness and crying spells). Lemon balm - as well as valerian, to which it is often combined - in fact acts directly on the central nervous system, fighting all the disorders derived from it: this herb particularly fights anxiety, insomnia and depression, promoting a restoration of the natural sleep-wake rhythm and mitigating mood swings. Lemon balm is also excellent in the case of stomach pain or abdominal pain, since its antispasmodic action affects the intestinal muscles, significantly relaxing them. This is because lemon balm leaves contain flavonoids, essential oils, and apigenin. Furthermore, thanks to the phenolic acids contained, lemon balm performs an effective action against free radicals, avoiding the risk of cell damage. However, the main property of lemon balm is that of a natural sedative very useful against anxiety and insomnia, able to fight stress not only in the form of herbal tea or infusion to drink: the lemon balm infusion, in fact, can also be used to prepare a relaxing bath in which to immerse yourself in the evening to relieve stress and daily tensions. To enhance the effect of lemon balm, it is often combined with other herbs with the same calming power: synthesized in tablets, these herbs are a valid alternative to medicines in those cases in which you suffer from anxiety and mild depression.
- lemon balm infusion">How to prepare the lemon balm infusion
To prepare the lemon balm infusion, the dried leaves and flowers of lemon balm are used, available in any herbalist's shop. Boil three liters of water in a pot: once boiling temperature is reached, pour one hundred grams of dried lemon balm into the pot, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for about half an hour. After half an hour, the infusion is carefully filtered using a fine-grained sieve, then you can pour the infusion into a mug and drink it. The normal dosage is to drink one or two cups of infusion of lemon balm a day to effectively counteract anxiety, nervousness and insomnia; women with pre-menstrual syndrome, however, will be able to drink up to four cups a day to adequately counteract mood disorders (insomnia, agitation, mood swings, panic attacks) and physical disorders (breast tenderness, pain in the lower abdomen) , headache, etc.). It is better not to take the infusion if you have to drive or if you have to carry out activities that require a high level of attention, as the relaxation induced by lemon balm could interfere with this activity.
Risks associated with the use of lemon balm
Before embarking on a treatment based on lemon balm, you must consult your doctor, since there are categories of people who cannot take this herb: first of all, those who suffer from glaucoma. Even those with thyroid problems (especially those suffering from hypothyroidism) should carefully consider the use of herbal products based on lemon balm, since this plant slightly inhibits the thyroid gland. Finally, it is important to pay attention to possible skin allergies and not to administer lemon balm to pregnant or breastfeeding women, as hypersensitivity phenomena could occur.