Melissa Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Blends
Beautiful, calm and happy Melissa oil, tranquil, uplifting and joyful. It’s one of the main oils we use in aromatherapy for stabilizing mood, but what else can you use Melissa essential oil for?
Scientific name: Melissa officinalis
Composition of Oil: Geranial, Neral, β-Caryophyllene, Citronellal, Germacrene
Plant Part: Leaves
Scent: Lemony, fresh, herbaceous and full of sunshine
Color: Clear to very pale green
Perfumery Note: Middle
Initial Aroma Strength: Medium
Extraction Method: Steam distillation from the leaves of the lemon balm plant
Suitable Blending Oils: Florals such as rose, jasmine, geranium, clary sage, lavender, spices such as clove, all citruses and woods.
Bright, fresh, Melissa essential oil chases away sadness and heals stomach upsets. Before we get into its history and the benefits of melissa essential oil, let’s have a look at its chemistry.
Melissa Essential Oil Benefits: Component Breakdown
- Geranial - Otherwise known as Citral, geranial exhibits properties like antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Neral - is beneficial to nervous disorders, menstrual problems, stomach problems.
- β-Caryophyllene - exhibits a weak binding affinity to the CB2 receptor. (See Copaiba essential oil)
- Citronellal - has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Germacrene - is anxiolytic, speeds wound healing and aids sleep.
Is Melissa Essential Oil Worth Its Price Tag?
Melissa essential oil is one of nature’s tricksters. Growing easily in country gardens, even the slightest touch of the hem of your skirt against its leaves will fill the garden with its sweet lemony fragrance, and yet, the amount of essential oil that is yielded in distillation is tiny, less than 0.03%. This anomaly is what leads to its incredibly high price tag. But the question is, is it worth it?
Unequivocally, yes. It is one of the most effective essential oils for stabilizing mood, especially in dementia. It improves memory, and sleep and calms confusion. Fascinatingly, its effects for dementia patients are much improved with the addition of lavender to the blend.
Scientific Research Into Melissa Essential Oil
Interestingly, considering Lemon Balm is one of the oldest and most useful herbal medicines, there is precious little research into the essential oil. Most studies are done on hydroalcoholic and aqueous solutions.
One of the only conditions, apart from being used as an inhalant for Alzheimer’s, as mentioned above, that has been clinically proven, is for cold sores. Melissa essential oil is second to none for treating chapped lips and outbreaks.
Melissa Officinalis And The Melissae Bee Priestesses
If you read any ancient herbals, the same strange fact emerges, that the Melissae were the ancient Greek priestesses of Demeter. In her study, Elizabeth Ashley proved that not only were these women bee shamans, with extraordinary abilities to commune with plants they were also womb shamanesses able to heal women’s uteruses from the blights of many conditions including premenstrual cramps, after birth pains and postpartum depression.
Melissa Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
The key plant they would have used would have been Melissa. Clinical trials show that drinking lemon balm tea is more effective for alleviating menstrual cramps than the doctor’s chosen medicine, mefenamic acid. Melissa essential oil can be used in the same way. Diluted into a carrier oil such as rosehip or evening primrose oil, melissa essential oil cares for all aspects of that time of the month, from crabby dispositions to digestive disturbances.
Melissa Essential Oil For Stress Responses
Again, after the delivery of a child, Melissa essential oil becomes incredibly important again, specifically on mom’s mood.
Our stress responses are controlled by cortisol in the body. If our brain senses danger, the hypothalamus, instructs the pituitary to send out trigger hormones, which in turn activate the adrenals to secrete stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol gets a bit of a bad press because naturally it is anti-inflammatory and looks after the body during challenging times. However, if the body endures stress for too long, cortisol turns on its axis and becomes an inflammatory agent. Now, cortisol is not good, flushing inflammation through the entire system.
Cortisol levels rise naturally about thirty minutes after we rise in the morning, to give us a natural caffeine boost and then begin to fall.
However, this natural cycle is not the same in babies. Until they are about two years old, they do not control cortisol levels themselves, instead, the levels mimic their mother’s. This has tragic consequences in postpartum depression. Poor baby suffers a cataclysmic onslaught of hormones, and of course, distressed screams more that pushes mum further into darkness.
Melissa Essential Oil for Post Partum Mothers
Studies show that postpartum mothers treated with lemon balm extracts suffered less baby blues in the first 14 days after delivery. We would expect to see a similar outcome with Melissa essential oil. Consider blending with rose essential oil, which also has a positive effect on cortisol levels. Melissa extracts, again have been proven to reduce after-birth pains. Again, using the Melissa essential oil may help to reduce those too.
When we consider that these bee priestesses were affiliated to Demeter, it’s interesting to consider that she was the Greek goddess of the harvest and of grains. As such, she is associated with nourishment and nurture. Melissa essential oil also has wonderful effects on digestion, calming heartburn and indigestion and easing constipation. That said, there are cheaper and more effective oils such as cardamom and coriander essential oils that could do the same job for half the price.
Melissa essential oil has a mildly hypoallergenic effect, which is particularly helpful against hayfever when blended with Roman Chamomile essential oil.
Paracelsus and His Elixir of Life
In the 16th century, Paracelsus wrote extensively about an alchemical spagyric he had made from Melissa leaves, which he called the Elixir of Life. Reputed to restore all good natures and even lost youth, the Primumens Melissae has been replicated many, many times throughout history with some remarkable effects.
One such tale was reported by the physician of Louis XVIII who reported that he knew a friend who had wanted to experiment with his primum and so had tried it on his rooster. The bird’s feathers had all fallen out and even its talons, and then had grown back much fuller and stronger.
Impressed, he had then secretly given it to an old servant. The crone's hair and nails had both fallen out, and then had been restored to their former glory, and indeed years after she had stopped menstruating, she began to bleed again. The woman, terrified when she had found that she was taking medicine, refused to take any more, so the experiment was done.
The plant of the womb shamaness, indeed.
Melissa Essential Oil Uses: For Wholesale Purposes
Melissa Essential Oil Benefits for Aromatherapists
Wide-ranging and diverse, from softening skin allergies to making compresses for PMT.
Most important though, is its use as an inhalant, to lift the spirits, calm nervous tension and ease melancholy. Robbi Zeck describes how Melissa essential oil has a softening effect on stuck emotions helping us feel softer and more flexible about life.
Melissa Essential Oil Uses for Soap Makers
The low yield and high price tag of Melissa essential oil probably do not make it a good ingredient for soap making.
Melissa Essential Oil in Perfumery
In 2009, IFRA amended their recommendation that Melissa oil should not be used in perfumery to a maximum dermal limit of 0.63%.
Melissa Essential Oil Blends: DIY Recipes
Uplifting Diffuser Blend
- 1 drop Melissa essential oil (Melissa officinalis)
- 1 drop Grapefruit essential oil (Citrus paradisii)
- 1 drop Palmarosa essential oil (Cymbopogon martini)
Safety: Not designed for topical use.
Happy First Days Home After New Baby Diffuser Blend
A lovely delicate light fragrance, just enough to relax everyone. Do not leave the diffuser on for more than an hour and do not leave the diffuser on in a room where the baby is alone.
- 1 drop Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)
- 1 drop Melissa essential oil (Melissa officinalis)
- 1 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil (Anthemis nobilis)
Safety: See above.
Melissa Essential Oil Massage Blend for Sleep
- 10ml Jojoba carrier oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
- 1 drop Melissa essential oil (Melissa officinalis)
- 1 drop Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 1 drop Mandarin essential oil (Citrus reticulata)
Method of use: Massage into the back of the neck and shoulders after a warm bath.
Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. Mandarin can oxidize quickly, so beware of using old oils which can cause skin sensitivity.
Precautions of Using Melissa Essential Oil
Since the yield of Melissa oil from a lemon balm plant is so low, it is often adulterated with other oils such as lemon verbena that are known skin irritants. It does carry some danger of skin sensitivity and as such Tisserand and Young 2013 suggests a maximum dermal limit of 0.9%.
Why Choose VINEVIDA?
At VINEVIDA, we love botanicals and the planet they come from. We believe in stocking the best at affordable prices and supplying to the discerning, which is why we are also members of both the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. In recognition of our excellent standard of product, we are proud to hold a 2021 Certificate of Registration as a Cosmetic Products Establishment with the U.S. Drugs and Food Administration.
Our joy at seeing people make beautiful things means we stock from the smallest amounts to the largest. Our wholesale carrier oil prices begin with our smallest carrier oil of 120ml to our largest of 396lb, meaning any manufacturing company can afford to stock as many or as few oils their business can accommodate without running the risk of spoilage of some of nature’s most precious commodities. Why not see if you can save money by buying your Melissa essential oil in bulk?
Don’t forget too, we like to look after our customers with reasonable prices and excellent customer service and reward the loyal ones with money off discounts over the year.
Why not check out if you qualify for our loyalty scheme and start saving today with an environmentally friendly choice of oil for skin, hair, massage oils, and soapmaking. Add VINEVIDA Melissa Essential Oil to your cart today!