This article has been updated as at May 2021
In the modern world stress and conditions affecting the nervous system are increasing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2007, almost half (45% or 7.3 million) of 16 million Australians (aged 16-85 years) met the criteria for a diagnosis of a stress or mild anxiety related condition at some point in their life1.
With such a growing number of people suffering from stress or mild anxiety related conditions you may wonder what the most suitable herbal ingredient would be to assist with the symptoms of stress and mild anxiety.
One of my favourite herbs to recommend for mild anxiety and stress is, Lemon Balm. Not only has it been used for centuries in Western herbal medicine, but it has countless scientific evidence supporting its benefits for mild anxiety and stress.
How does Lemon Balm work?
Melissa officinalis commonly known as Lemon Balm, a plant from the mint family, has been used for centuries and has been proposed by some, as the “cure all “remedy. Traditionally, Lemon balm has been used as a sedative, anxiolytic, antibacterial and spasmolytic and to assist in reducing fevers and enhancing memory.
Research has shown that Lemon Balm has positive mood lifting benefits due to a specific extract known as rosmarinic acid. Rosmarinic acid can stop the breakdown of GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) metabolism. By increasing the stimulation of GABA receptors, a calming and sedative affect will take place which then allows you to feel relaxed and happy.
When would you recommend Lemon Balm?
Lemon Balm is recommended to those who are experiencing mild anxiety, stress and restlessness. Lemon balm can help reduce associated symptoms of mild anxiety and stress such as irritability, nervousness, poor mood, and digestive complaints associated with nervous tension. Lemon balm can also assist with restlessness by promoting relaxation contributing to a restful sleep.
So, if you are feeling stressed or a little overwhelmed, try Lemon balm.
Australian Bureau of statistic : http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4125.0main+features4310Jan%202013