Probably the most rare herbal essential oil is this one distilled from the common Lemon Balm, or Melissa. Almost all so-called Melissa Oil on the commercial market is a mixture of Lemongrass and Citronella. THIS is the real thing! The high price of true Melissa is because, although the plant is easy to grow, it takes approximately THREE tons of plant material to yield 1/2 kilo of the essential oil.
Uses? Medicinally Melissa Essential Oil has been confirmed to have powerful anti-viral properties. Studies in Germany indicate it is useful against various strains of flu virus, herpes, smallpox, and mumps. Tisserand cites research indicating that Melissa blended with Rose Otto is effective against both shingles and cold sores. He recommends that adults apply the Melissa EO neat to cold sores, however it is an irritant, so you might want to try a dilution.
Melissa is also recommended for treatment of both nausea and indigestion, especially when they are caused by nervous tension. Some authorities say that it slows the heart beat, relieving palpitations and helps lower blood pressure. Blended with Geranium, it may help ease painful periods.
Many sources recommend using Melissa to treat both acne, and allergic skin problems, but due to the irritating nature of the essential oil, I recommend the Hydrosol for skin care purposes.
Agitation/Dementia: A recent study quoted in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine showed that Melissa Essential Oil is a safe and effective treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia. The study indicates that true pure melissa oil significantly reduced agitation and has important quality of life benefits. Use of a melissa herbal extract in a study of patients with mild to moderate Attention Deficit Disorder experienced significant benefits in cognition after 16 weeks of treatment. Whether the same benefits would occur with use of the essential oil is unknown.
Emotionally, Melissa is a delight. It is a mild sedative in small doses, and believed to calm anxiety. Both calming and uplifting, Melissa Essential Oil is said to be extremely useful in cases of emotional shock, grief, fear, and anger. It is said to bring acceptance and understanding. Some say it helps in dealing with past lives(?).
Available here pure and undiluted, or in a 10% dilution in clear, odorless Fractionated Coconut Oil.
WARNING: Contains citral, a strong sensitizer. Avoid use on broken skin. Avoid use during pregnancy (see this blog post on High Citral Oils vs Pregancy ). Maximum dilution for topical use: 0.7% (4 drops per fluid ounce). Please also see our blog post on the benefits of inhalation vs. ingesting essential oils. Caution advised, may affect diabetes.
SHELF LIFE: Approximately 1 to 2 years after you open the bottle. Storing in the dark, refrigerated, and decanting half full bottles into smaller, full bottles will extend shelf life.
See also our Organic Melissa Hydrosol!