Common Name: Lemon Balm. Scientific Name: (Melissa officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Description: Lemon Balm is a psychoactive member of the mint family with a lemon flavour and aroma.
Ethnobotanical History: Lemon balm has long been used in herbal medicine as an anxiolytic, a sedative and a calming agent. Studies suggest it may be effective at reducing stress and anxiety due to it being a potent inhibitor of GABA transaminase. The major compound responsible for GABA transaminase inhibition activity in lemon balm is thought to be rosmarinic acid. Lemon balm has also been shown to improve mood and mental performance. These effects are believed to involve muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Lemon Balm was one of the main psychoactive herbs used alongside Wormwood (Artemisia absinthem) in the infamous 18th century liquor Absinthe. Lemon balm is often combined with other sedative herbs such as Valerian and Chamomile.
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