Natural Treatment Highlight: Lemon Balm as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety
By: Jadon Webb, MD, PhD
Getting the safe, effective help for depression and generalized anxiety can sometimes seem difficult. Psychotherapy and prescribed medications can be very helpful, and are often the first-line treatments for these conditions. But even these treatments do not always work as well as we would hope, and medications can also have unwanted side effects. We totally understand why so many people are hesitant about starting psychiatric treatments.
Nature itself provides us many proven ways to help with depression and anxiety. Natural things such as bright light, exercise, and socialization are critically important treatments of depression and anxiety.
Lemon Balm (formally known as Melissa officinalis) is an herb that comes from the mint plant family. Some studies suggest it can potentially lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It may also provide help for depression and anxiety.
Certain natural supplements also have scientific evidence for possibly being another one of the natural things to help with depression and anxiety. A scientific review from 2021 suggests that lemon balm appears to help with depression and anxiety, and that it seems to have few side effects.
Many people with mental health concerns also often complain of “brain fog” and impaired cognition. There are also studies to suggest lemon balm may help with cognition, and it has even been considered as a possible adjunctive treatment for dementia.
We caution that supplements (including lemon balm) do not have as much scientific evidence as an FDA regulated medication, and it is hard to be certain of the purity of any formulation. But that said, when considering how to fight depression and anxiety, it is important to consider all possible options, including those that nature provides!
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about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)
DNP, MSN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner