Lemon balm - sometimes referred to as Melissa, Bee balm or Sweet balm - is a popular member of the mint family and actually looks quite similar to mint. Lemon Balm infusions are produced from the Melissa officinalis plant which has small oval-shaped serrated edged leaves and have a fresh green, intense citrusy note.
The famous Avicenna referred to it as the herb ‘to make the heart merry’. This is most likely some indication of its traditional use by herbalists as a mild antidepressant (the amazing smell alone is enough to make one happy in my opinion!).
Lemon balm is considered to be a calming herb with relaxing sedative properties - so it's often used to treat anxiety, restlessness and insomnia.
It's also anti-spasmodic, which just means that it's able to reduce muscle spasms, particularly those in the digestive tract which are usually large contributors to IBS.
Other indications of Lemon balm include fevers and headaches/migraines.
Lemon balm's special anti-viral properties make it useful in cases of common cold and flu, and topically for cold sores.