John Evelyn (1620-1706) articulated that lemon balm’s long tradition as a tonic remedy which can raise ones spirits and bring comfort to the heart. He wrote - “Balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy”.
Its principle actions are that of a a diaphoretic, a relaxing nerve tonic, an antispasmodic, a carminative and employed in treating viral infections such as cold sores. It is in essence both cooling and calming so can be used to ameliorate many hot inflammatory conditions which in Ayurveda are referred to as excesses of pitta. It is a fantastic medhya herb, enhancing memory and calming anxiety and depression. It is trophorestorative, as it tonifies and repairs the nervous system and is antioxidant. It helps to regulate the thyroid.
It can be applied externally to skin conditions such as herpes, shingles, hives and urticaria. Lemon balm leaves make a delicious refreshing tea.