Melissa Essential Oil Its Uses And What It Is
Melissa Essential Oil comes from Melissa officinalis, it is the Lemon Balm that is found in many cottage gardens around the world. It is different from Lemon, Lemon Grass and Lemon Verbena, though they are often combined to produce a similar oil, due largely to true Melissa being rare and costly. The term Melissa is the Greek for honey, it is a plant that bees love. Therapeutically it is a good sedative, yielding a calm and soothing effect on those using it. This is something which in combination with its therapeutic antihistamine effect has led to it being used to treat various allergies.
The plant itself is regarded by many as a weed, growing quickly and spreading fast when uninhibited. It is a perennial herb of the mint family, and grows up to 1.5 meters in height. The leaves are small and hairy with serrated edges, and a lemony aroma. It favours warm conditions, and produces lots of small whites flowers that are full of nectar, loved by bees, during the summer. In the winter the plant dies back, and then comes vigorously back to life in spring. The native origin is unknown, though it is believed to come from the Mediterranean.
Essential Oil Characteristics
The essential oil is collected from the flowers, leaves and stems via steam distillation, it is pale yellow in colour and clear in nature, with a thin or watery viscosity. The aroma itself is a middle, rising to top, note with a fresh, sweet, lemony citrus character.
The primary constituents that yield the properties of this oil are citronellal, geraniol, neral, citronellol, trans-ocimene, cis-ocimene, 3-octanone, methyl hepenone, cis-3-hexenol, 3-octanol, 1-octen-3-ol, copaene, linalool, b-bourbonene, caryophyllene, a-humulene, germacrene-D, geranial, geranyl acetate, d-cadinene, y-cadinene, nerol.
Safety Note For Melissa Essential Oil
Use in dilute form. A 1% solution is advisable when using it therapeutically. In baths 3 to 4 drops is a safe limit, beyond which skin irritation and effects similar to burns can occur.
It should also be avoided during pregnancy due to its emmenagogue action.
Melissa officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial.
"At four months, Melissa officinalis extract produced a significantly better outcome on cognitive function than placebo... Melissa officinalis extract is of value in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and has a positive effect on agitation in such patients."
Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 Jul;74(7):863-6.
Melissa Essential Oil Uses
As shown above the oil has seen good results in terms of aiding treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In general it has a very soothing effect on both the physical body, as well as the mind and emotions. In line with this it has been used to good effect with those experiencing sudden loss or bereavement. It is also beneficial in regulating the menstrual cycle, one of the times that its emmenagogue property is useful though requires its avoidance during pregnancy.
Whilst being one of the most expensive oils it is also one of the most potent. So where a few drops of an alternative may be used to achieve an effect, just a 1% solution of Melissa can bring a similar effect. Thus making it very useful and in many ways more cost effect than it first appears. The potency can lead it to cause irritation in high doses, yet when you stick to a 1% solution it becomes effective at treating very sensitive skin and allergies.
The Therapeutic Effects Of Melissa Essential Oil
The antihistamine property is a rare one within essential oils, and leads it to be very useful for a great many people. As mentioned above when used for treating allergies it should be kept to a 1% dilution within a carrier oil, greater concentrations risk reactions which could be unpleasant. A factor which also comes into beneficial effect when treating any allergic reaction with Melissa is its nervine action which calms and soothes the mind, aiding the user in relieving stress caused by the allergy they have. The sedative action also provides benefit here.
Conditions That It Helps With
Cold Sore Blisters
High Blood Pressure
Viral Infections (herpes)
Many of the conditions noted here have a mental and emotional connection, Lemon Balm is incredibly effective when treating such issues as it is a powerful nervine. The soothing fragrance is brings great relief to many within aromatherapy, and can be used within aroma massage, in 1% solution, to aid in even deeper relief from stress and other related issues, especially depression where the combined nervine and anti-depressant qualities provide a synergistic benefit.
Points To Note On Melissa Essential Oil Uses
Of great note are the fact that it should be used in dilute form, 1% solution to avoid adverse reactions. Also it is an emmenagogue and as such it should be avoided during pregnancy.
Those things aside, when used in dilution with a good carrier oil it provides helpful relief from a variety of difficult to treat skin issues such as asthma and eczema, allergies, many things relating to stress and anxiety, alongside aiding women to have a better regulated menstrual cycle.
When buying it be very cautious where you purchase it from, it is expensive due to its rarity, and there are various imitations which are far less effective than the real thing. You will do best in terms of all of the Melissa essential oil uses by using a quality good value product, check through here for a recommended high quality source.