Melissa herb

Melissa herb

Melissa herb

Specification & Spread

Melissa herb — herba melissae officinalis
Melissa — melissa officinalis l.
Labiate family – lamiaceae (labiatae)
Other names: balm, balm lemon, lemon balm.

It is a perennial herbaceous plant with 50-120 cm tall.
The stems are tetrahedral, erect, branched.
The leaves are opposite, petiolate, ovate, with a city edge, 5-8 cm long and up to 3 cm wide.
The flowers are located in the axils of the upper leaves of 3-10, forming the apical inflorescence – thirs.
The calyx is double-lipped, the rim is 1.5–2 times longer than the calyx, two-lipped, whitish, pinkish or light purple, 13–15 mm long.
The fruit – cenobium, disintegrating into 4 ovate light brown lobes 1.8-2.0 mm long.

Spreading. Melissa is found throughout the Mediterranean region, in the countries of the Near and Middle East. In the former USSR, wild lemon balm can be found in the Crimea and the Caucasus, rarely in Central Asia. It is cultivated in many countries. Industrial plantations are available in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Habitat. On the forest edges, afforested ravines, shady ravines in the lower mountain belt.


The chemical composition of Melissa

The raw material contains essential oil (up to 0.2%), which included:

  • citral (up to 62%),
  • citronellal,
  • geraniol,
  • linalool.

In addition, there are:

  • tannins,
  • vitamins B1, B2, C,
  • various organic acids
  • coumarins,
  • flavonoids.

The main components of the essential oil of melissa are citral and citronellall, on which the lemon scent of leaves depends.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The herb is removed in the phase of budding and the beginning of flowering. The harvested leafy tops of the shoots.

Drying. It is dried in the shade, in attics or under sheds, with good air circulation and at a temperature not exceeding 35 °C.

Storage. According to the rules of storage of essential oil raw materials.

Whole raw materials

The tops of stems are up to 35 cm long with opposite petioles, buds or flowers, individual leaves, flowers, and pieces of stems.
The stems are tetrahedral, longitudinally grooved, slightly pubescent, with a loose greyish-white core, up to 3 mm thick.
The leaves are twisted, thin, ovate with a wedge-shaped base, with an edged margin and feathery venation, slightly pubescent.
The flowers and buds are in false whorls in the axils of the upper leaves.
The bracts are elliptical, acuminate or oblong, the calyx is double-lipped, pubescent, with flat upper lip.
The leaves are green, greyish-green, sometimes greenish-brown, the stemsare from light green to greenish-grey. The corolla is yellowish white.
The smell is weak, fragrant.
The taste is slightly bitter.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of stems, leaves, flowers and buds passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter.
The colour is from greyish-green to green.
The smell is weak, fragrant.
The taste is slightly bitter.


The pieces of stems, leaves, flowers and buds, passing through a sieve with holes 2 mm in diameter.
The smell is weak, fragrant.
The taste is slightly bitter.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Sedative agent.
The pharmacological properties of melissa

The melissa preparations possess:

  • sedative
  • antispasmodic and
  • antibacterial action.

It takes off:

  • shortness of breath and
  • pain in the heart,
  • slow breathing
  • stop tachycardia attacks,
  • soothe and tone up the nervous system.

The therapeutic effect is due to the essential oil.

Melissa herb affects a number of functional disorders of the digestive system –

  • stimulates the secretion of gastric juice,
  • whets the appetite
  • relieves spasms caused by flatulence, dyskinesia,
  • eliminates fermentation abnormalities,
  • improves metabolism.

Application of melissa

Melissa herb is used as an infusion as a sedative when:

  • neurosis,
  • insomnia,
  • vegetative-vascular dystonia (irritability, irritability, palpitations),
  • increased sexual excitability.

Melissa preparations are also effective in:

  • dyskinesia of the intestine and biliary tract in hypertensive type,
  • intestinal spasms,
  • cholecystitis
  • cholangitis,
  • kidney disease,
  • bladder inflammation,
  • angina pectoris,
  • menopausal syndrome.

Outwardly, melissa preparations are used as antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory preparations for:

  • furunculosis,
  • herpes,
  • stomatitis,
  • periodontal disease.

The extracts, tinctures and essential oil of melissa are included in the combination preparations of sedative, antispasmodic, analgesic, hypotensive, digestive improvement.
The young leaves, cut before flowering, are used as seasoning in cooking.
Lemon-scented essential oil is used in perfumery and for flavoring beverages.

  • Hypersensitivity,
  • drowsiness,
  • lethargy,
  • pregnancy,
  • lactation,
  • children up to 12 years.