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Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Effective Against Herpes Simplex 1 and 2

Lemon balm - Melissa officinalis

Melissa officinalis, more popularly known as lemon balm, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to address health conditions such as fever, colic, nerve condition and inflammation, among many other uses. One of it’s more noticeable uses in recent years has been in  addressing the herpes virus. It has been shown to be effective against herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2.

Herpes virus infections are very common among people of all age, sex and status. It is also considered one of the more difficult virus to get rid of because after initial infection it usually lays dormant in the nerve roots, sometimes for many years.

There are some studies that show Melissa officinalis to be an effective treatment for herpes, three of which are highlighted below:

  • #1. Publication: Phytomedicine – Volume 15, Issue 9, 3 September 2008, Pages 734-740

    Melissa officinalis essential oil was examined in respect to herpes type 1 and 2 (in vitro). The results showed that both types of the virus were significantly inhibited when pre-treated with lemon balm oil prior to infection. Concentration of the oil, also showed to significantly reduce the formation of plaque by 98.8% for HSV-1 and 97.2% for HSV-2. At higher levels of concentration lemon balm oil abolished viral infectivity nearly completely (1).
  • #2. Publication: Phytomedicine Volume 11, Issues 7–8, 25 November 2004, Pages 657-661

Another study looked at the effect of lemon balm oil against herpes type 2. An extract containing the oil was found to be effective at decreasing replication of the virus(2).

  • #3. Publication: Phytotherapy Research Volume 28, Issue 10 Pages 1423–1580
    Melissa officinalis was among herbs tested for their anti-viral activity, in this study – in respect to herpes simplex 1. The results showed that the melissa officinalis extract inhibited the herpes virus from penetrating cells as much as 80% and 96% for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant viruses (3).
Lemon balm - Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm – Melissa officinalis

In these studies mentioned, the oil extract of the herb was used. It should be noted that high concentration of the oil may be needed at non-toxic levels to prevent or halt the virus.

How to use

  • You may use the essential oil in combination with other herbs to make a salve or ointment for use externally.
  • Use in tincture form, according to product directions or if you make your own add 10 to 20 drops in water 3 to 4 times daily.
  • The fresh or dried herb can also be used to make a tea or tonic.

What else can you do

You can do a number of other things in addition to using lemon balm. See our previous article on How to cure herpes.

(1) Source: Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2
Source: Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.
(3) Source: Attachment and penetration of acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus are inhibited by Melissa officinalis extract.

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