Lemon Balm Extract is sourced from the leaves of the Melissa officinalis plant. The Melissa plant is known for its unique lemon-like fragrance. The presence of polyphenols, such as rosamarinic acid, increases the availability of neurotransmitters in the brain. Rosamarinic acid also inhibits the activity of various microbes.

Botanical Name– Melissa officinalis

Plant Part Used– Leaves

Active Constituents– Rosamarinic Acid

Specifications–Melissa Extract (1% – 8% Rosamarinic Acid)

Benefits–

Boost Cognitive Functions

Relieve Stress And Anxiety

Aid In Digestion

Help In Insomnia

Relieve Menstrual Cramps

Extraction Methods:

Essential oil of Melissa officinalis can be extracted from its flowers, leaves, and stems using steam distillation and chemical extraction methods.

Edible Development:

Melissa officinalis is a wild plant with both medicinal and culinary uses. Its entire herb is used in medicine, while its tender stems and leaves can be used as a seasoning in culinary dishes. Melissa officinalis is popular in various Western countries as a culinary seasoning due to its lemon-like fragrance. Typically, its tender stems and leaves are washed, chopped, and mixed with sesame oil, salt, etc., for cold salads. It can also be used as a seasoning for dishes like salads and meat soups, imparting a fragrant and delicious taste. In Europe, Melissa officinalis leaves are also used as flavoring ingredients in liqueurs, cooling sugars, chewing gums, etc. In some Western countries, Melissa officinalis leaves are steeped in hot water to make calming and sleep-inducing beverages. James Back’s book “Encyclopedia of Practical Family Nutrition Therapy Prescriptions” mentions hundreds of plants that can be used for both medicine and food, including Melissa officinalis. He believes that “Melissa officinalis, Hibiscus cannabinus, bottle gourd, wild rose, and slippery elm” are beneficial herbs for those with gastrointestinal disorders. Melissa officinalis can also be used to extract aromatic oils for use in food, cosmetics, and other fields.

Pharmacological Actions:

  1. Sedative, anxiolytic: Melissa officinalis extract can be used as a mild sedative or tranquilizer for anxiety relief, and improving psychological mood. Research suggests that its ethanol extract has anxiolytic effects on rats under appropriate stress conditions. Lemon balm extract is found to be a potent inhibitor of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transaminase, an important neurotransmitter involved in inhibitory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system, which is a significant target in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders and the development of new anti-anxiety drugs. Rosmarinic acid (RA) inhibits GABA transaminase, thereby inhibiting GABA degradation and increasing GABA concentration in the brain, resulting in sedative and anxiolytic effects.
  2. Cognitive improvement: Melissa officinalis extract also has the function of improving psychological mood and cognitive ability, which is believed to be related to muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Lemon Balm Extract has acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity. AChE inhibitors can protect neurons by inhibiting the activity of acetylcholinesterase in the synaptic cleft, reducing acetylcholine breakdown, and increasing acetylcholine activity. Melissa officinalis extract also exhibits protective effects against apoptosis of primary hippocampal neurons induced by 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), possibly due to its free radical scavenging properties and inhibition of monoamine oxidase (MAO), indicating its potential use as a neuroprotective agent in preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
  3. Antibacterial: Melissa officinalis demonstrates antibacterial properties, especially its ethanol distillate, which has significant antibacterial and antifungal effects when combined with sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate. Other components in the extract, such as rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, and flavonoids, exhibit antibacterial activity against various bacteria and fungi.
  4. Antiviral: Many studies have shown that Melissa officinalis essential oil has antiviral properties, particularly against herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2). MazzantiG (2008) found through virus binding experiments that Lemon Balm Extract does not prevent HSV-2 from entering host cells, suggesting that its mechanism may act after viral entry into the host.
  5. Antitumor, antioxidant: Melissa officinalis extract inhibits the proliferation of human colon cancer cells and exhibits resistance to a range of human tumor cell lines and mouse cancer cell lines. It can scavenge DPPH radicals and has high antioxidant activity. Antioxidant activity is related to phenolic aldehydes such as citronellal and nerol, as well as flavonoids. Melissa officinalis essential oil can serve as a natural antioxidant for lipid and fat-rich foods.
  6. Hypoglycemic: Melissa officinalis essential oil significantly reduces blood glucose levels and plays an important role in regulating blood glucose and lipids in type 2 diabetic mice. It enhances glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetic patients and significantly increases insulin levels in the serum. Melissa officinalis essential oil reduces blood glucose levels by promoting glucokinase (GCK) activity in mouse liver cells and inhibiting glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) activities in cells, thereby inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis. Its hypoglycemic effects may be achieved by enhancing glucose uptake in the liver and adipose tissue and inhibiting gluconeogenesis in the liver.
  7. Anti-adipogenesis: Adipose tissue formation involves adipocyte differentiation, angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix remodeling, with angiogenesis often preceding adipocyte differentiation. Melissa officinalis distillate extract reduces mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) in adipose tissue while increasing mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth inhibitors (TSP-1 and TIMPs), exhibiting anti-angiogenic and MMP-inhibiting activities, and inhibiting preadipocyte differentiation into adipocytes, significantly reducing fat tissue accumulation in genetically obese mice, indicating that Melissa officinalis, as an angiogenesis inhibitor, can prevent obesity.
  8. Lipid-lowering: Melissa officinalis essential oil significantly reduces blood lipid levels. After oral administration of Melissa officinalis essential oil (12.5μg/d) for 2 weeks in human APOE transgenic mice, plasma triglyceride concentrations are significantly reduced compared to the control group. The study found that oral administration of Melissa officinalis essential oil alters bile acid synthesis and fatty acid metabolism pathways; after treatment with Melissa officinalis essential oil, HepG2 cells induce bile acid synthesis and downregulate nuclear transcription factor SREBP-2, leading to significant decreases in triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations (decreasing by 400 and 800mg/L, respectively) compared to the control group. By upregulating glucose metabolism-related genes such as SREBP-1C, PPAR-γ, and GLUT4 in the liver and adipose tissue, Melissa officinalis essential oil regulates blood lipid metabolism. Therefore, plasma TAG concentrations in the experimental group (essential oil treatment group) are significantly lower than those in the control group. The results suggest that Melissa officinalis essential oil regulates lipid metabolism.

Lemon Balm Extract