Melissa (Melissa officinalis) is well known to us from herbal teas for mass consumption. This perennial herb with dark green leaves that has a distinctive citric smell, has a number of benefits to our health, which is good to be informed of.
Melissa comes from the mountainous regions of southern Europe. Since antiquity, Melissa was used by the Greeks and Arabs in all diseases caused by disorders of the nervous system. The colors of Melissa are small, white, yellow or pink. Melissa grows around bushes, rare woods, past the gardens and fences everywhere in southern Europe. Typically used whole or only part of the melissa leaves are ground, depending on the purpose.
Melissa leaves are harvested in the period before flowering (mid-July). If Melissa is blooming, the leaves are not collected because they have lost their characteristic smell and healing properties.
The herb is dried in a shady and cool place or in the oven at 35 degrees. Dried leaves are green on top and bottom - pale, with slightly bitter, astringent taste. In crushing or rubbing, the characteristic lemon odor must be preserved. Keep in a shady, well-ventilated, dry place.
Chemical composition of and nutrients in Melissa
Melissa’s essential oils contain (0, 05 to 0, 33%), tannins, mucilage, and bitter, caffeic acid, enzymes, Ursolic acid, oleic acid, etc..
The pleasant aroma of lemon on Melissa that attracts insects, due to terpenes - Citronellal, citronellol, citral, and geraniol. Melissa has a sedative action due to citral. Furthermore, the triterpene contained has ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, 5% tannins and sugar.
Selecting and storing Melissa
Melissa can be purchased from a number of shops, but can be picked too. Melissa’s drying takes about one week. Avoid store dried Melissa alm leaves in paper bags or cardboard boxes, polyethylene bags. Place them in a cool, dry place.
Culinary uses of Melissa
Melissa leaves were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for a pleasant refreshing flavor reminiscent of lemon peel. Today Melissa is put in the preparation of medicine and liqueurs. It is not good to mix with Melissa with herbs like mint, nutmeg, ginger. Dried Melissa underlines the taste of fish quite well.
Health Benefits of Melissa
Melissa calms the nervous system and has anti- spasmodic anticonvulsant action. It stimulates appetite and digestion processes, suppresses nausea and vomiting. In folk medicine, the leaves of Melissa are used to treat high blood pressure, dizziness, headache, for improving the vision and even tinnitus. It is used to gargle for sore gums and oral mucosa. Melissa eliminates bad breath.
Melissa also finds great use in the treatment of all types of bacterial and fungal infections and eczema due to its antiseptic properties. It relieves arthritic and rheumatic pain.
The herb has a soothing and anti- spasmodic properties. Melissa improves sleep, removes the feeling of excitement and tension, relieves irritability, restlessness, anxiety, fear. This herb has an overall beneficial effect on the nervous system - a positive effect on Alzheimer 's syndrome, attention for deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, hysteria, insomnia, melancholy, migraines, nervous tension, sharpens memory in stress, cardiac neurosis,
Preparation: Pour a teaspoon of chopped anti- spasmodic leaves in 100 ml of boiling water. After 30-60 minutes, strain and drink the infusion. At night time, the effect is very good. For more stubborn conditions, drink 3-4 cups of these prepared infusions.
With anti- spasmodic, you can heal herpes. For this purpose, blend half a handful of lemon balm leaves with 2 tablespoons Vaseline. Mix into a homogeneous ointment and leave to stand in a dark, warm place for 2 days. Apply ointment on the herpes and it will be gone a day or two. Melissa has beneficial effect in cardiac disease - it helps to overcome fatigue, helps to terminate tachycardia and pain in the heart.
Upon acceptance of balm preparations, the breathing rhythm slows, disturbances disappear and blood pressure reduces.
Melissa has emphasized antispasmodic and carminative action in functional bowel disorders. Can soothe colic retention of gas in the intestines, but also stop the urge to vomit.
Melissa helps digestion and stimulates the secretion of bile and in larger quantities stimulates appetite. Preparations based on Melissa are also used for vertigo, for improving the vision, painful menstruation, rash, rheumatic swellings. Melissa is applied very successfully to treat boils.
Recipe for alcohol extract of Melissa
Put fresh Melissa leaves in a glass jar and pour 50% rubbing alcohol. Put the jar in a cool dark place for at least one month or more. Then strain and store in the same way. If you can not stand the extract of Melissa so, dissolve 1 teaspoon it in 100 ml of water. Take 3-4 times a day before meals.
Dangers of Melissa
Melissa is contraindicated for pregnant women and nursing mothers. If you are taking sedatives or thyroid means to regulate the activity of the thyroid gland, it is better to consult a doctor before using Melissa. Medical opinion and permission will be needed if you have acute inflammation of the stomach and intestines, severe coughs, liver disease or epilepsy.