©2007 Publications International Lemon balm is used in herbal remedies to sharpen and stimulate the senses.

Crush a single lemon balm leaf, and rub it on your skin or clothing -- it will smell lemony for hours. The smell of the fresh plant is described as sharp, vibrant, and stimulating, which is why it's used in herbal remedies to sharpen and stimulate the senses.

Uses of Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is classified as a stimulating nervine, or nerve tonic, and though it has a soothing effect on the nervous system and alleviates anxiety, it is not a simple sedative. Lemon balm is particularly indicated for nervous problems that have arisen from long-standing stress and for anxiety accompanied by headache, sluggishness, confusion, depression, and exhaustion. Researchers have found that a mixture of lemon balm and valerian is as effective as some tranquilizers, without the side effects.

Lemon balm also is credited with an antiviral effect, and it seems particularly effective against the herpes virus. Lemon balm alleviates stomach gas and cramps and has a general antispasmodic effect on the stomach and intestines. It also relaxes the blood vessels, which helps to reduce blood pressure.

Keep reading to learn about lemon balm warnings and preparations, including a recipe for lemon balm sorbet.

To learn more about treating common medical conditions at home, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.