Approximately 32% of people take dietary supplements or functional foods to improve their brain function in order to cope with the daily demands of a high workload and family issues. One ingredient that's emerging as a remedy to improve cognitive functions such as concentration, alertness and working memory on demand is lemon balm.
Also known as Melissa officinalis, lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family that grows wild in Europe. In traditional medicine, people have long been focused on the essential oil components of the herb and the rosmarinic acid for its relaxation properties and have used it to treat conditions like colic and upset stomach.
Keep reading to learn more about why lemon balm is a smart way to cognitive health…
Research has proven that lemon balm has positive effects on brain function
Lemon balm has been scientifically substantiated with human study results. One of the most compelling studies was led by Professor Scholey, a well-known brain health expert from the Brain Institute, Swinburne University in Australia. For this study, Professor Scholey focused solely on a patented type of lemon balm called Bluenesse.
The aim of Professor Scholey’s study was to determine the effects of lemon balm extract on brain function under mild stress
, comparable with a normal multitasking environment like most people experience every day.
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To reach his findings, Professor Scholey looked at 25 healthy people in his double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, balanced-crossover, monocentric study. He included parameters to evaluate mood, cognitive performance and physiological reaction of stress
. Professor Scholey tested the lemon balm extracted in concentrations of 300 mg and 600 mg.
Professor Scholey found that people who consumed 300 mg of the lemon balm extract had significant beneficial effects on alertness, word recall, working memory and cortisol reduction after one hour. He noted that the effects were still measurable three hours after consumption.
Five ways you can use lemon balm to boost your brain function
Here are five ways you can use this easy-to-grow herb for better brain health:
1. Make a tea;
2. Chop fresh leaves and sprinkle on fruit salads;
3. Add finely chopped leaves to your favourite muffin or scone recipe;
4. Make a tincture;
5. Make a vinegar; or
6. Supplement with a reputable lemon balm supplement
Keep your eyes peeled for more studies on lemon balm as a brain-boosting ingredient.
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