Taking fresh herb of lemon balm

If you are taking fresh herb of lemon balm, you need 1.5 to 4.5 grams three times daily. As a tea, that means 1.5–4.5g steeped in 150mL of water. Using a 1:1 fluid extract, you need 6–12mL daily. Extracts vary in strength and dosage; use a standardised extract if you can and consult your health practitioner for dosage.

For cold sores or herpes sores, steep 2–4 teaspoons of crushed leaf in one cup of boiling water for 10–15 minutes. Cool and apply tea with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day. Alternatively, use an ointment with a strength of 700mg of lemon balm per gram of ointment and apply four times daily.

Research shows that lemon balm extract has actions in the central nervous system, that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase and has a mild affinity for GABA receptors. This adds up to indicate that it should be of some use in Alzheimer’s disease and, indeed, one study where patients were given 60 drops of lemon balm a day for four months found that those people has significantly better cognition and reduced agitation.

Lemon balm should be used with caution if already using sedative medication, barbiturates and cholinergic drugs. It should also be avoided in cases of hypothyroidism and, if pregnant, consult your practitioner before taking.
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