FoodBefore bedtime, a single glass aids sleep troubles

Before bedtime, a single glass aids sleep troubles

A glass of brew before sleep will soothe tension and aid falling asleep.
A glass of brew before sleep will soothe tension and aid falling asleep.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

1:13 PM EST, December 11, 2023

Without causing addiction and being widely available, the lemon balm provides relaxation, enhances concentration, and has various positive effects. My primary interest in it lies in its calming and sleep-inducing properties. A single glass of brew before bed does the trick.

Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is a herb possessing a distinct lemon fragrance and flavor that has been revered for centuries for its soothing, relaxing, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly beneficial for sleep quality enhancement and stress alleviation. Just one glass of brew before bedtime suffices.

Does lemon balm soothe? How does it work?

Lemon balm boasts numerous active ingredients, including essential oils, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, and terpenes, which collectively enhance the nervous, digestive, circulatory, and immune systems. It is noteworthy that lemon balm elevates the production of neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin, which are instrumental in mood regulation, relaxation, and sleep. Additionally, the herb inhibits the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, which breaks down acetylcholine, a critical neurotransmitter linked to memory and focus.

Lemon balm is a reliable remedy for insomnia, particularly when induced by anxiety, nervousness, or depression. It enhances the ease of falling asleep, prolongs sleep duration, and betters its quality while minimizing night-time awakenings. It is a safe, non-addictive option for treating sleep disorders in children and older adults.

What other benefits does lemon balm offer?

Frequent consumption of lemon balm brew can positively influence the digestive system - this drink promotes the secretion of digestive juices and bile, simplifying digestion and preventing bloating, indigestion, and constipation. Lemon balm also relaxes the smooth muscles in the intestines and uterus, thus easing abdominal pain, colic, and menstrual cramps.

Lemon balm also possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Consequently, it may be useful as a supplementary treatment for inflammation in the stomach, intestines, throat, and oral cavity. Additionally, lemon balm benefits the cardiovascular system by reducing arterial pressure, minimising the likelihood of clotting and atherosclerosis, and regulating heart rhythm. It also alleviates heart palpitations symptoms, shortness of breath, and chest pain potentially caused by stress or anxiety.

What does lemon balm help with?
What does lemon balm help with?© Pixabay

How to prepare lemon balm brew? How often can lemon balm be consumed?

To benefit from the properties of lemon balm, proper steeping, and dosage are essential. The easiest method is to steep dried or fresh lemon balm leaves in hot water (around 10 minutes) and consume 2–3 cups daily, ideally before bedtime or in stressful situations. The dosage of lemon balm will depend on the consumer's age, weight, and health condition but should not surpass 0.14-0.21 ounces of dry matter daily.

However, lemon balm should be consumed with caution, as excessive amounts can lead to drowsiness, weakness, headaches, or allergic reactions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with hypothyroidism, liver or kidney diseases, and those taking sleeping pills, tranquillisers, antidepressants, or anticoagulants should avoid its use.

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