Lemon Balm for the Skin
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Lemon balm is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs that has been used in medicine perhaps for the most prolonged period. It has traditionally been used throughout history to treat a whole variety of illnesses including wounds, fever, nerve pain, and bites and stings among others. But are there any benefits of lemon balm for the skin? Let’s find it out together.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using lemon balm for the skin in a bit scientific manner. But before we get into how lemon balm can benefit the skin, it’s worth having a basic knowledge of this miraculous herb a bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is lemon balm?
- Lemon balm compounds and properties
- Potential benefits of using lemon balm for the skin
- How to use lemon balm
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is lemon balm?
Lemon balm, also known as balm gentle and scientifically Melissa officinalis, is a lemon-scented plant member from the mint family called Lamiaceae. It’s best known for its tremendous anti-inflammatory and calming effects throughout the world. The leaves of the plant are widely used to calm the mind, enhance mood, relieve anxiety, and reduce stress. The citrusy compounds found in lemon balm also work wonders for improving skin condition as well.
These days, lemon balm is widely consumed as an oral supplement mostly in the form of dried capsules, or as teas, or as liquid extracts. It's also used directly on the skin as a lotion. The essential oil derived from the leaves of lemon balm is also popularly used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and calmness.
Lemon balm compounds and properties
Lemon balm holds a wide range of biologically active compounds. The primary active compounds found in lemon balm include:
- Triterpenes - such as oleanolic acid and ursolic acid
- Phenolics - such as rosmarinic acid, luteolin, hesperidin, naringin, and caffeic acid
- Volatile components - such as citronellal, geraniol, neral, and geranial
Lemon balm has been found to possess diverse medicinal properties. The benefits of lemon balm for the skin mainly come from its remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition, it has noticeable antiviral, antibacterial, antiaging, and detoxifying actions that can benefit the skin as well as the whole body in many different ways.
Potential benefits of using lemon balm for the skin
There are many uses for lemon balm for the skin in both preventive skin care and management of skin conditions. The varying range of active compounds and their pharmacological properties appear to contribute to the skin benefits of lemon balm.
Let’s take a look at some of the most purported skin benefits of lemon balm:
Anti-aging - the lemon balm is a natural astringent, meaning it has the capacity to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of pores, giving the skin a more toned and firmer look. Moreover, the natural antioxidants found in lemon balm such as feluric acid and caffeic acid help protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which is the major cause of premature aging. Finally, it improves circulation and helps in better nourishment of the skin.
Anti-acne - lemon balm has the ability to balance sebum production. As a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, it can help alleviate several symptoms such as reddening and swelling often found in acne and other skin conditions such as eczema, shingles, and psoriasis.
Skin protection - rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, feluric acid, and other antioxidant compounds in lemon balm have been shown to have significant protective effects against the UV radiation that induces damage to the skin. Its calming and anti-inflammatory effects also help soothe and heal wounds, cuts, and sunburns.
Deep cleansing - the antibacterial effects of lemon balm is very useful in cleansing pores, which in turn lower the occurrence of whitehead and blackheads.
How to use lemon balm
Lemon balm can be used in both ways topically and internally. It’s available in various forms such as oral supplements, skin toners, creams, and more. Most clinicians recommended both uses to get the benefits from the inside out in the most possible ways.
The exact method of use varies depending on the personal skin and health condition. Therefore, working with a professional dermatologist or naturopathic doctor is important to determine the best method of use and possible doses.
In general. for oral use. A dose of 300 mg to 600 mg of extract lemon balm capsules is often recommended two to three times a day.
Precautions and side effects
Lemon balm seems to be safe and well-tolerable for most people when used as prescribed. In direct use on the skin, some people may experience symptoms of allergic reactions such as swelling and itchiness, especially those who are sensitive to the plants of the mint family. To avoid allergies, it’s a good idea to perform a small patch test under the armpit to know how your skin responds to it.
Besides, when taken by mouth, it’s important to monitor whether there’s any occurrence of side effects such as indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. It may also impact how certain medications work such as sedatives and thyroid medications. This is the reason why you should consult with a licensed dermatologist or healthcare provider prior to using lemon balm for the skin, especially if you’re on medications, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
The use of lemon balm for the skin has been found highly beneficial in many different ways. It has remarkable antiaging, anti-acne, protective, and deep cleansing effects on the skin. But it’s always essential to talk with a licensed dermatologist or healthcare provider to find out the best method of use and possible safe doses.
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