Lemon balm is a well known herb, a member of the mint family that’s used both as a cooking ingredient and as a herbal medicine.
It’s also well known for its ability to promote better sleep. It has been documented as far back as the Dark Ages as a means of relieving anxiety, promoting sleep, a painkiller as well as a cure for indigestion.
Later on, during medieval times, it was even believed that lemon balm, when mixed with wine, could heal wounds and relieve insect bites. These days, lemon balm is often mixed with other ingredients, like chamomile or hops, to create a relaxing formula which can help people sleep.
Lemon balm is also widely used as a sedative as well as an antibacterial agent. It’s used in some medicines as an ingredient in medicine because of its properties as an antioxidant.
In one research study, it was discovered that around 80% of those who consume a concoction of valerian root extract and lemon balm experience fewer sleeping problems than those who simply took a placebo. However, although several studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of lemon balm as a sleeping aid, the results are still not conclusive.
The key ingredient behind lemon balm’s sleeping aid properties is eugenol, a natural oily substance that can also be found in other plants, including basil, cinnamon and clove oil. Aside from being an anti-bacterial agent, eugenol also acts as a numbing agent, and is commonly used by dentists to relieve pain.
Lemon balm and other similar natural sedatives are often used as an alternative to barbiturates, which can often cause speech slurring, impaired memory and other side effects. When mixed with other relaxing substances and ingredients, it can help prevent muscle spasms and sleeping problems.
You can even prepare your own lemon balm sleeping remedy on your own. Just soak the leaves in boiling water for around 10 minutes and drink it as a kind of tea.
Jeff is the founder and editor-in-chief at Sleep Junkies . A passionate sleep advocate, he started the site in 2012, reaching millions of readers across the globe. Jeff also runs the product curation platform SleepGadgets.io . He is often asked to speak at about current trends in consumer sleep technology at various events.