|INCI: ||Melissa officinalis|
|Flavouring according to EC regulation 1334/2008|
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LEMON BALMMelissa officinalis (Lamiacee)
Origin: FRANCE (Provence)
Also known simply as "Melissa" or also "Balm mint" is a plant originally from the Mediterranean region. Lemon balm is now widely found all over Europe, central Asia, Siberia and North America. It is a herbaceous plant that grows to a height of sixty centimetres or more. It's delicate and bushy with a seductive fragrance. The leaves are shiny green, dentate; the tiny flowers are white or pink.
There are many subspecies of Lemon balm, all of them found in cool, shady environments.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and flower heads. It is a light yellow liquid with a fresh, citric fragrance.
It combines well with all the other citrus oils (especially Neroli and Grapefruit), and with the essential oils of Geranium, Lavender, Ravensara and Verbena.
(according to popular herbalist tradition)
Lemon balm was one of the first plants to be used for medicinal purposes, particularly as a remedy for anxiety and depression, although also as a sedative and digestive. Switzerland’s celebrated Renaissance physician, Paracelsus, described Melissa as an "Elixir of life".
The precious essential oil of Melissa is totally non-toxic, a proven remedy for allergic reactions and a soothing balm for insect bites. In low concentrations (dissolved in almond or sesame oil, for instance), this natural oil is remarkably effective in the treatment of eczema and other skin ailments; a good insect repellent, it also has anti-depressant, bactericide and parasiticide properties.
Lemon balm oil was widely used in medicines and cosmetics in the past, but is now difficult to find and prohibitively expensive, severely limiting its use.