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There are several potential uses of lemon balm, including skin care, as a dietary addition, and as a medicinal aid. Many types of cosmetics include lemon balm in the list of ingredients due to the gentle cleansing properties and anti-aging effects it possesses. Some cooks and chefs use lemon balm as a salad addition or to add flavor to a variety of dishes. Medicinal uses of lemon balm include use as a digestive aid, fever reducer, and the treatment of headaches. This herb may also be added to salves or ointments to treat minor cuts or sores.
Widely believed to have antibacterial, anti-aging, and antiviral properties, there are several topical uses of lemon balm. Ointments made from lemon balm can be used to soothe the irritation caused by insect bites or minor cuts and scrapes. Cold sores and acne outbreaks may also benefit from its use. Some studies have indicated that lemon balm may have anti-aging properties, so it may be beneficial to add this ingredient to a favorite lotion or skin moisturizer. A few of the leaves from this plant can be added to bath water to help ease the discomfort associated with sore muscles.
Cooks and chefs around the world have found several culinary uses of lemon balm. The leaves can be added to salads or cooked in much the same way as other green, leafy vegetables. Combined with other herbs, lemon balm can also be added to vinegar to make a tangy salad dressing. A variety of sauces and marinades are made with lemon balm, which is said to complement fish and other forms of seafood as well as many lamb dishes. Thought to aid in digestion, this herb may be a valuable addition to the diet.
There are many potential medicinal uses of lemon balm, although a doctor should be consulted before beginning any new treatment program. Lemon balm may help to reduce fevers and ease headaches for many people. Women who suffer from severe menstrual cramps may also benefit from the use of this herb. Digestive disturbances such as excess gas and bloating may be eased by using a supplement containing lemon balm, and some studies indicate that this herb may also help to ease the symptoms of colic in infants. Combined with valerian, lemon balm may help to promote restful sleep for those who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia.