The melissa plant, also known as Melissa officinalis or lemon balm, is an herbaceous perennial with a sweet, citrus fragrance known to attract bees (in Greek, melissa means “honeybee!). The plant is often ingested to release tension and foster feelings of calm. Beyond supporting mood, melissa also has positive effects on immunity, migraines, and diabetes. Its variety of health benefits make it one of the rarest, most expensive, and most loved essential oils. In this article, we’re diving into the top 5 benefits of melissa essential oil and easy ways to use it.
Benefits of Melissa Essential Oil
One of melissa’s most well-known benefits is its ability to treat cold sores. Thanks to melissa’s potent antiviral properties, it can be used to naturally treat herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 naturally—without the use of antibiotics.
Melissa oil can also help stop the spread of viral infections, which is excellent for those with a resistance to commonly used antiviral agents.
A study in Phytomedicine found that high concentrations of melissa oil eliminated herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2. Other research suggests that melissa oil can be an effective topical treatment for eliminating herpes because of its antiviral effects and lipophilic nature or ability to penetrate the skin. Add 1-2 drops of melissa to a ½ teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the area of concern.
You can also take melissa essential oil internally to reap its antiviral benefits. Dilute one drop into 4-8 ounces of liquid and drink. You can also add 1 drop to a veggie capsule with a food-grade carrier oil and consume.
Boosts Mood & Fights Depression
Beyond melissa’s sweet and calming aroma, it also has antidepressant, sedative, and hypnotic properties. It can help uplift and promote emotional balance when diffused, inhaled, or applied topically.
Research from the University of Melbourne found that melissa essential oil improved neuroprotectivity, cognition, anxiety, and depression. Other research found that melissa is effective at regulating mood and cognitive performance. At low doses, volunteers reported elevated calmness after melissa oil treatment.
Researchers believe that we can thank melissa’s two main chemical constituents, geranial and neral, for its relaxing capabilities.
For optimal relaxation and a mood boost, you can diffuse a few drops and inhale deeply or apply melissa topically and inhale the good vibes.
Research shows that melissa oil may be an effective anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic agent. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that mice administered melissa oil for six weeks showed significantly reduced blood glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance, and higher serum insulin levels, all of which can minimize diabetes symptoms.
Melissa oil has potent anti-inflammatory activity that can help with many symptoms and diseases resulting from inflammation and pain. Advances in Pharmacological Science published a study that looked at the anti-inflammatory properties of melissa oil by using experimental trauma-induced hind paw edema (swelling caused by excess fluid) in rats. The subjects who were orally administered melissa oil showed a significant decrease and inhibition of edema.
To use melissa for its anti-inflammatory effects, you can take the oil internally or use it topically. Make sure to dilute when consuming and applying melissa oil to the skin. For consumption: mix 1-2 drops of melissa with raw honey and add to warm water. You can also add 1 drop with a little food-grade oil to a veggie capsule and take. For topical use: dilute 1-2 drops of melissa with a carrier oil and apply to the inflamed area.
Supports Healthy Skin
Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, melissa oil is commonly used to treat minor wounds, acne, and eczema. Studies have shown that subjects who used melissa oil have lesser healing times. When applying melissa oil to skin conditions caused by fungus and bacteria, always make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil.
Now that you have all the benefits of melissa essential oil, how are you most excited to use it? Let us know in the comments below.