Melissa officinalis, “Lemon balm” in English and “Mélisse officinale” in French, belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. Originally native in the eastern Mediterranean region and in western Asia, this herb can grow 1 m tall.
Because of its scent and flavor, it is used to make teas and in culinary preparations.
Medicinal balms have sedative, spasmolytic and antibacterial actions. They are used for gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin, in psychosomatic cardiac disorders and against migraine.
The main components of its essential oil (0.02 to 0.03%) are monoterpenes (citronellal, geranial and neral), sesquiterpenes (bêta-caryophylene, germacrene D). Also, monoterpene glycosides and rosmarinic acid.