What Is Lemon Balm, And How Can You Use It?

From anxiety to cold sores, this herb is a helper.

When it comes to natural remedies, it can be hard to tell which are really useful, and which are, frankly, kind of overblown. But with lemon balm, history seems to reveal that this herb is one you'll want to keep around for a variety of reasons.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, and sometimes referred to just as "Melissa"), is a member of the mint family, and has been used for millennia for its calming effects — it was believed by the ancient Greeks to attract bees, as well as promote a long life, according to an academic paper from Hamilton College.

Sold as capsules, teas, essential oils, creams, and ointments, lemon balm is easy to find on the market. Recently, it's seen a surge in popularity, most likely due to its association with helping with anxiety. But due to its sedative effects, it's important to note never to use lemon balm with prescription medications that can cause drowsiness, or when drinking alcohol.

We took a look at the many uses that have been linked to lemon balm and determined just how valid they are based on scientific evidence — and we're happy to say, this herb is (mostly) legit. Check out the slideshow below:

How To Use Lemon Balm