Sometimes an off day or trying to adjust to the changing seasons can make us feel tired and moody (don’t worry, it happens to all of us!). Thankfully, we can rely on a soothing mug of tea to provide some relief when we truly need to unwind after doing chores or running errands. And lemon balm tea is one try because it has amazing benefits like improving our mood, lowering stress, and helping us get a great night’s sleep!
Lemon balm (also known as Melissa officinalis) is a plant from the mint family that originated in Southern Europe, but is now found in other areas including North America and New Zealand. The leaves can be crushed up while they’re fresh or dried and steeped in hot water to make lemon balm tea. And they’re packed with nutritional compounds like flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins that make each sip one that your body will benefit from greatly!
The great thing about this tea is that it’s perfect for when you need a mood boosting pick-me-up. A study published in Neuropsychopharmacology noted that participants who took 1600 mg. dose of dried lemon balm leaf once a week for five weeks saw major improvements in their mood and memory. Researchers credited this to lemon balm’s high level of antioxidants including terpenes and caffeic acids, which protect the brain against oxidative stress and free radical damage.
Drinking lemon balm tea has also been shown to nix stress and worry. Research published in Nutrients found that a polyphenol compound called rosmarinic acid within lemon balm helps lower the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid transaminase (GABA-T), an enzyme in the brain that can increase stress. The researchers noted that this plant eased the participants’ anxiety and made them feel more relaxed.
After sipping a cup of lemon balm tea, the calmness you’ll feel could help you get some uninterrupted sleep as well. A study published in The Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism noted that 17 out 20 participants that consumed lemon balm extract daily experienced decreases in insomnia and difficulty falling asleep after 15 days. The study’s authors also highlighted rosmarinic acid’s effects of reducing GABA-T levels to alleviate tension and relax the body. Essentially, this tea could become your new go-to nightcap after a long, hectic day!
You can find lemon balm tea in stores and online (Buy at Walmart, $6.99). It has a minty and tart flavor so adding a spoonful of honey or your favorite sweetener once brewed can help balance out the taste. After that there’s nothing left to do other than sip and let the tea’s natural perks do wonders for your health!
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