Introduction of Balm:Bee Balm or Melissa officinalis.
✵The article gives records of the herb Balm, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Melissa officinalis L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Balm, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Balm(Bee Balm or Melissa officinalis).
English Name: Balm.
Latin Name: Melissa officinalis L.
Common Names: Balm, Bee Balm, Blue Balm, Garden Balm, Common Balm, Sweet Mary, Honey Plant, Cure-All, Lemon balm, Dropsy Plant, Melissa, Oswego tea, Sweet balm.
Property and flavor: before flowering, the taste and smell is lemon-like, later becoming astringent to balm-like and warming.
Brief introduction: Melissa officinalis is an important economic plant in its production area, and it is used as a stimulant or laxative. Its decoction has long been commonly used in families in its production area, and it is mostly used to treat headaches and toothache. It is also a good honey source plant; It is also rich in vitamin C, which is mostly used in food processing, seasoning, and winemaking. The plant is rich in aromatic oil, the main component of which is citral, which is a good aromatic oil plant.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Balm as the leaves of the species (1). Melissa officinalis L. It is a plant species of the Melissa genus, the Labiatae family (Lamiaceae, mint family). The lemon-scented leaves and essential oil are used medicinally. In Europe, the oil extracted by distillation, the dried leaves, the fresh leaves, and the whole plant is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Melissa officinalis L.
Botanical description: The Melissa officinalis is a perennial plant, stems are upright or nearly upright, with many branches. Most branches spread in the middle or below the stem in a tower shape, four-angled, with four shallow grooves, pilose, and the lower part gradually becomes glabrous. With petiole, slender petiole, 0.5~4 cm long, villous, oval leaves, leaves on stems are usually 5 cm long and 3~5 cm wide, smaller on branches, 1~3 cm long and 0.8~2 cm wide, sharp or blunt apex, the base is round to nearly heart-shaped, sparse or sharp, serrated or obtuse teeth on edges, and nearly membranous or grassy. Cymes are axillary, shortly pedunculate, 2~14-flowered; Bracts are leaflike, much smaller than leaves, villous, and ciliate; Pedicle is about 4 mm long, villous. The calyx is bell-shaped, about 8 mm long, its outer surface is knobby villous, its inner surface is villous above the middle, it is two-lipped, its upper lip is wide, and it has 3 extremely short teeth or nearly shallow undulations, its tooth tips are short-pointed, its lower lip is slightly longer than its upper lip, its teeth are 2-lobed, triangular, and its apex is long with spikes. The corolla is milky white, 12~13 mm long, pilose, with a two-lipped crown, the upper lip extending straight, the apex missing, the lower lip is 3-lobed, the middle lobe is the largest, spreading obliquely, and the apex is rounded. 4 stamens, included or nearly protruding. Style apex is equal, 2-lobed. Disk shallowly 4-lobed, lobes alternate with ovary lobes. Nuts are ovoid. The plant flowering period is from June to August.
Ecological environment: The plant is indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean region, Central Asian countries and Western Asia, Iran to the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast, and is cultivated in Central Europe or established in the wild. It is also introduced and cultivated in other areas. Melissa officinalis plant is strong and easy to cultivate and manage, which is different from other vanilla plants introduced in the temperate zone. Because it likes moist soil, it has the characteristics of heat resistance and water resistance. It can be cultivated in sunshine or semi-shade and has wide soil adaptability. Therefore, it is quite suitable for growth in various climates and can be cultivated in fields, gardens, and potted plants. Or cultivated in full sunshine in the field garden, the stems and leaves grow luxuriantly in dark green with a strong fragrance.
Growth characteristics: This is a very cold-resistant plant, which is still green even at a low temperature below zero. It likes moist soil, has the characteristics of heat resistance and water resistance, can grow well in sunshine or semi-shade, and has wide soil adaptability. The optimum pH value (pH scale:acidity-basicity) is between 5 and 7.5.
Brief history of Balm: The scientific name Melissa officinalis means "bee" in Latin, which means that its aroma attracts bees to gather. The ancient Greeks believed that Melissa officinalis was the embodiment of goddess Luna and Diana (Diana, in Roman religion, goddess of wild animals and the hunt, identified with the Greek goddess Artemis), the hunting god, and regarded it as an important plant. It was cultivated around temples to attract bees to make honey as a source of sugar. Melissa officinalis often appears in European and American myths and historical books. The famous Swedish herbalist Paracelsus (1493~1541, author of Great Surgery Book), described Melissa officinalis in his pharmacopeia. Carmelite Water, based on Melissa officinalis, is still the daily drink of French people in summer. In Europe and America, the tea made from the dried leaf of Melissa officinalis is the famous MelissaTea, which is used to relieve fever when a cold occurs.
Europeans believe that Melissa officinalis can boost energy and drive away sadness. Legend has it that planting Melissa officinalis at the door can ward off evil spirits; The picture drawn with Melissa officinalis can also attract bees; Herbalists of other areas in the 11th century believed that Melissa officinalis had the magic power to make people's minds and hearts happy. Fresh and sweet taste, suitable for drinking in cold and sweaty summer, can stimulate appetite and promote digestion and is suitable for taking before or after meals.
Main value of Balm: Melissa leaf emits a lemon fragrance, which will attract bees. Its flower is white or yellow and blooms from July to October. Therefore, around churches or temples in ancient Europe, Melissa officinalis was often planted to attract bees to collect honey and make honey for sacrificial purposes. It is reported that fragrant leaves emit lemon fragrance, which will attract bees. As an important economic plant in its producing area, it is used as a stimulant or laxative, and its decoction has long been commonly used by families in its producing area, mostly for treating headaches and toothache; It is also a good honey source plant; It is also rich in vitamin C, which is mostly used in food processing, seasoning, and winemaking. The plant is rich in aromatic oil, the main component of which is citral, which is a good aromatic oil plant.
Honey source: Compared with other plants, the pure fragrance of Melissa officinalis is very different, with a light fragrance and more floral fragrance than its essential oil. Its fragrance is very special, just like its plants and essential oils. Before being diluted, it tastes a bit bitter and tastes like lemon spice. After dilution, the taste becomes softer, sweeter, and very delicious. Suitable as a daily drink. Melissa pure dew is very delicious in hot or cold drinks. Suitable for any cooking recipe, whether dessert or main course. It's delicious for steaming fish.
Medicine uses: the medicinal value of balm is extremely high, and the whole plant can be used as a stimulant or laxative; It is often used for headaches and toothache.
Edible uses: In the aromatic plant family, Melissa officinalis is a kind of fragrant vegetable with rich nutrition and is popular with consumers. Instead of lemon, the fragrant lemon flavor of Melissa officinalis can stimulate appetite, but it is not as sour as a lemon. It is suitable for various dishes and desserts. Fresh leaves of Melissa officinalis are used, which are harvested before flowering. Products that can be developed and utilized include tea, tea bags, salads, Melissa vinegar, flavored Melissa water, fish dishes, sauce, pickles, herbal pillows, and Melissa ice cubes.
Characters of herbs: Lemon balm is the fresh or dried leaves of Melissa officinalis as well as its preparations. The leaves are collected before flowering or before there is too much branching. Leaves and stems are separated and comminuted and dried quickly at temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees C.
Pharmacological actions: ①.volatile oil calms the central nervous system; ②.tranquilizing, sedative, antispasmodic actions; ③.antiviral actions.
The tranquilizing, sedative and antispasmodic actions are considered valuable for treating nervous-related insomnia, stomach upset, and gas. It is also recommended for conditions such as anxiety-related palpitations, to help relieve digestive upset and gas.
The herb has antiviral actions, prepared balm ointments and solutions are used to treat cold sores and genital lesions caused by the herpes simplex virus, ointment or cotton compress soaked in a strong infusion has a similar effect, its antiviral actions are attributed to its tannin and some polyphenols.
The herb balm has anti-bacteria functions for certain other infection-causing viruses and bacteria, which explains its popularity as a treatment for cuts, stings, and other minor wounds, the astringent tannins is believed to contribute to healing and reducing oozing.
Medicinal efficacy: The herb is recommended by herbalists today for relieving nervousness and anxiety, dissipating tension-related sleep problems, easing indigestion and nervousness-related stomach upset, stimulating the appetite, alleviating tension headaches, reducing nervous heart palpitations, and resolving menstrual cramps. Topical formulations are indicated as soothing healers for cuts, stings, wounds, and herpes-related cold sores and genital lesions. In Europe, the herb is approved for nervous agitation and insomnia, sleeping problems. It is used as a decoction for nervous complaints, lower abdominal disorders, meteorism, nervous gastric complaints, hysteria and melancholia, chronic bronchial catarrh, nervous palpitations, vomiting, migraine, nervous debility, headache, and high blood pressure. Externally it is indicated for rheumatism, nerve pains, and stiff necks. Melissa officinalis is used for menstrual irregularities for homeopathic uses.
Administration of Balm(Bee Balm or Melissa officinalis):
Administration Guide of Balm(Bee Balm or Melissa officinalis)
Herbal classic books:
An infusion is prepared using 1 to 3 teaspoons of crushed leaves per cup of water. The tincture is advised in dosages of half to one and a half teaspoons, up to three times daily. To prepare an infusion, add one cup of hot water over 1.5 to 4.5 grams of the herb and strain after 10 minutes, drink several cups a day. Homeopathic dosage is advised as 5 drops, 1 tablet or 10 globules every 30 to 60 minutes for an acute condition, or 1 to 3 times daily for a chronic condition, parenterally:1 to 2 mL sc acute, 3 times daily, once a day for a chronic condition.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The FDA places balm on its list of herbs regarded as safe for food use, there are no reports of significant adverse reactions to balm that can be found after centuries of use. Due to its inhibiting certain thyroid hormones, the herb should be avoided for people with thyroid problems such as Graves' disease, etc.
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1.Introduction of Balm:Bee Balm or Melissa officinalis.