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Lemon Balm Tea – What Are Its Health Benefits and Uses?

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Lemon balm, which is not to be confused with lemon trees or lemon fruit, has been used as far back as the Middle Ages, and perhaps earlier.1 Lemon balm has been shown to be helpful in combating stress and anxiety,2 boosting appetite and alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by indigestion.3 This herb was also steeped in wine to lift spirits and it was employed in treating wounds and venomous insect bites and stings.

Lemon balm is a common sight in many herb gardens because it attracts bees. Beyond its medicinal uses, lemon balm can also be used for cosmetics and furniture polish manufacturing. Beyond that, fresh lemon balm leaves can be steeped and dried to make lemon balm tea, an herbal beverage that can soothe your senses. Here’s all you need to know about lemon balm tea.

What Is Lemon Balm Tea?

Leaves of the lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, make a delicious herbal tea. Although lemon balm is native to Europe, it’s now widely available and can be grown in home gardens, too. The plant can grow up to 2 feet high, or even higher if it’s not well-maintained. During spring and summer, small, light-yellow flower clusters appear on lemon balm plants.4

If you’re wondering why it’s called lemon balm, it’s because your fingers may smell like tart lemons when you rub the leaves together. Lemon balm leaves are shaped similarly to mint leaves. Deeply wrinkled, the leaves range in color from dark green to yellowish green, depending on the plant’s soil and climate.5

Lemon Balm Tea’s Uses and Health Benefits

According to The Heart Institute, the University of Michigan and journal articles, below are some of the most well-known benefits of lemon balm tea:6,7

Reduces inflammation — The anti-inflammatory compounds in lemon balm, which are available in the tea, help target conditions like arthritis, joint disorders and headaches.8

Alleviates digestive issues — Lemon balm tea supports healthy digestion and ensures proper absorption, making it potentially beneficial if you suffer from acid reflux, bloating, constipation, flatulence or indigestion.9

Strengthens your immune system — The antibacterial and antiseptic properties10 in kombucha, a fermented lemon balm tea, play a role in helping your body fight infections, cold and flu.11

Furthermore, lemon balm tea may assist in stimulating white blood cell production,12 while reducing your body’s production of mucus and phlegm.13

Helps relieve menstrual cramps — As one of the oldest herbal remedies for menstrual cramps, lemon balm tea’s analgesic, antispasmodic and sedative capabilities may aid in soothing painful periods,14 while toning down mood swings.

Enhances cognitive function — Lemon balm tea can be helpful for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease because it may help enhance cognitive function and improve memory. It can be particularly beneficial as an aromatherapy tool.15

The tea also is believed to deliver antioxidants that can inhibit plaque deposits along your body’s neutral pathways.16

Combats the herpes virus — Research indicates lemon balm, in the form of a cream, essential oil or tea, has powerful effects on herpes cold sores and genital lesions due to the inhibiting activity of its polyphenol compounds against herpes virus activity.17,18

Promotes heart health — Lemon balm tea can be ideal for people suffering from hypertension because it’s a natural sedative that assists in reducing blood pressure levels. In the long run, it may help decrease your risk for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke.

If you are taking blood pressure medication, talk to your doctor before drinking lemon balm tea to avoid any potential negative interactions.

Soothes anxiety — Antioxidants and plant compounds in the tea contain anxiolytic properties that produce a nerve-soothing effect known to ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.

Lemon Balm Tea Nutrition Facts: What’s in It?

Some of the active compounds in lemon balm, which may be transferred onto the tea beverage, include tannins, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, citronellal, eugenol and other polyphenolic compounds, as well as copper, manganese, zinc and various essential vitamins.”19 As an herbal tea, lemon balm tea does not contain caffeine. This explains why it may be beneficial for calming frazzled nerves and soothing anxiety.

How to Make Fresh Lemon Balm Tea

Typically, lemon balm tea is made by steeping fresh plant cuttings in boiling water until the desired strength is attained — shorter steeping results in weaker tea, while longer steeping yields a stronger beverage. The tea can be consumed hot or cold. You can also make this beverage using dried lemon balm leaves, although the drying process may cause the leaves to lose some of their flavor. Below is a simple lemon balm tea recipe:20

Lemon Balm Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm leaves
  • Honey or stevia to sweeten (optional)

Procedure

  1. Pour the boiling water over the dried lemon balm leaves.
  2. Infuse the mixture for up to 10 minutes and chill and drink afterward.

How to Store and Dry Lemon Balm for Making Tea

Fresh lemon balm leaves can be stored in plastic bags inside the refrigerator for a few days or you can freeze them. Dried lemon balm leaves stored in an airtight, glass container, in a dark and dry place, will have a shelf life of at least one year. The Herb Society of America21 notes that dry leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days too, or inside the freezer for a short time in a double layer of food storage plastic bags.

If you want to learn how to dry lemon balm for tea, there are multiple ways to do it. Overall, make sure the leaves aren’t exposed to light or heat. Mother Earth Living22 suggests cutting around two-thirds of the way down the plant’s stem. Then, hang lemon balm upside down in a small bunch, leaving a 1-inch diameter at the base. Place the herbs in a dark, dry place with good air circulation, and dry for two days, after which time they will turn black.23

Another way to dry lemon balm leaves, according to the Michigan State University Extension, is to take a small amount and hang them in paper bags with holes punched on the sides. Don’t place a large amount of lemon balm in a bag, as a lack of air circulation may cause the leaves to become moldy. Use a rubber band to close the top of the bag and hang it in an area where there’s enough air circulation. Once the leaves are dry, they’ll fall to the bottom of the bag.24

Side Effects of Lemon Balm Tea

Side effects25 from drinking lemon balm tea are said to be rare, and there’s limited research regarding lemon balm’s side effects when used for an extended period of time. The best approach is to drink lemon balm tea occasionally until you are certain your body can tolerate it. Some adverse effects that may develop, include:

  • Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting — The potent active compounds in the tea may be responsible for these effects and they are only beneficial when the tea is consumed in moderation
  • Dizziness and drowsiness — These effects were seen in people who drank very strong lemon balm tea; should these side effects occur, stop drinking it

According to WebMD,26 oral intake of lemon balm leaves may also lead to side effects like increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and wheezing. Avoid drinking lemon balm tea if you’re allergic to other plants of the mint family because it may increase your risk for an allergic reaction.

If you’re undergoing a surgical procedure, do not drink lemon balm tea two weeks before it, because the tea’s sedative nature may negatively interact with the anesthesia. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor about the safety of lemon balm tea. This tea can be safely consumed by children in small amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Lemon Balm Tea

Q: Where can you buy lemon balm tea?

A: You can buy organic lemon balm tea from well-known online retailers or from a local health food store. To ensure you’ll get a product that will provide genuine health benefits, only buy organic brands from reputable companies. Better yet, you can grow lemon balm at home and craft your own tea. The Spruce provides instructions on how to propagate this herb indoors.27

Q: What are the health benefits of lemon balm tea?

A: Some of the health benefits of lemon balm tea include:

Soothing anxiety and depression

Reducing inflammatory conditions, such as infections, colds and flu

Relieving menstrual cramps

Alleviating stomach problems like acid reflux, bloating, constipation and indigestion

Combating herpes cold sores and genital lesions

Q: Can pregnant and breastfeeding women drink lemon balm tea?

A: While pregnant and breastfeeding women may be able to drink lemon balm tea in moderation, it’s best to first talk to your doctor about your need for lemon balm tea and the amount of tea you plan to drink to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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