Lemon balm is a useful natural remedy for high blood pressure. The leaves of this aromatic herb been used since ancient times for its soothing, calming properties, and can help to lower blood pressure.
Lemon balm and high blood pressure
The leaves of lemon balm contain a variety of aromatic essential oils that have a sedative action to reduce stress, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, headache, insomnia and promote sleep.
Lemon balm was traditionally known as the Scholar’s Herb as it was taken by students to overcome the stress of impending exams. Lemon balm is now widely used to ease a number of stress-related symptoms including digestive problems, nausea, flatulence, depression, and high blood pressure.
Laboratory studies suggest that lemon balm works by inhibiting enzymes that break down an inhibitory brain chemical, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This raises GABA levels, and damps down the over-stimulation that can occur during periods of anxiety. Of several herbs tests, lemon balm was more effective in raising GABA levels than valerian, chamomile or hops
When lemon balm is combined with Valerian, the two herbs work in synergy to reduce symptoms of tension and mild depression. They have a gentle lowering effect on the raised blood pressure that often accompanies stress.
Lemon balm is also highly antioxidant, which will have beneficial effects on the circulation. Fresh lemon balm provides almost 1g of antioxidant polyphenols per 100g weight.
Lemon balm to lower blood pressure
Lemon balm releases a burst of zesty lemon scent with the slightest touch. Pick the youngest leaves as older ones often have a soapy flavour. Lemon balm can be used to flavour meats, fish and poultry or added to vegetable dishes. It’s also great added to salads – I like chopping it together with spring onions/scallions and fresh mint and scattering these over the other ingredients for a lovely, fresh zestiness.
Make lemon balm tea by simply adding 1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm leaves to a cup of boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes before drinking.
Lemon balm tea is popularly used to stimulate appetite. It may cause mild drowsiness which will affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is key to maintaining good control.
Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.
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