Lemon Balm for Herpes – Does it live up to the hype?

Lemon Balm in PotMost of us are guilty of prowling the pharmacy aisles for a medicine that actually works, only to find that it’s too expensive or difficult to access.

What if we told you there’s a treatment for herpes that might be growing among the weeds in your backyard?

What if we told you there’s a natural way to get treatment that could be better and safer than medications?

Lemon balm is another one of Nature’s solutions to treating herpes. Keep reading if you want the know-how on lemon balm’s natural abilities to take you from pain and insecurity to confident and herpes-free!


Lemon Balm & Herpes

What is Lemon Balm?

¬†You might know lemon balm by another name, “Melissa Officinalis” or “Melissa.” Oftentimes, lemon balm is referred to as Melissa when it’s used as an essential oil. The source is a hardy herb that’s widely available across the globe. It has small yellow buds that attracts bees. In Greek, “Melissa” means “honey bee” with the “Meli” part meaning “honey”. With these interesting meanings under your belt, you might already be able to tell that it has quite the history as a healing plant.

It’s been used as a poultice, crushed and applied to wounds. It’s also been used in teas, wines, and even as an anti-herpes treatment for both oral and genital conditions.

Lemon balm’s main constituents, monoterpenaldehydes citral a, citral b, and citronellal, protect the plant from infective agents. Researchers agree that several virucidal oils extracted from plants, such as lemon balm, can be effective for topical use to protect the skin from the severity of both HSV-1 and HSV-2.

How Does Lemon Balm Treat Herpes?

Infographic - 4 Benefits of Using Lemon Balm for Herpes

Herpes is responsible for creating micro-plaque formations that can contribute to the severity of several other cognitive and physical conditions. Consequently, part of treating herpes is to address the plaque formations after contracting the virus.

Natural medicine has shown to be extremely effective in breaking down plaque. Lemon balm oil has shown to significantly reduce “plaque formation. . . by 98.8% for HSV-1 and 97.2% for HSV-2.” With even higher concentrations of lemon balm oil, it “abolished viral infectivity nearly completely.”

While these results are impressive, the real magic comes with lemon balm oil’s ability to inhibit the virus from penetrating host cells.

The gist of it is, if the virus can’t hide within a host cell, it’s kept vulnerable to neutralization from the immune system and essential oils. The antiviral activity of lemon balm is able to keep the virus from adsorption, which keeps the virus from triggering an outbreak. But, do you need more proof?

One study examined patients “who applied lemon balm cream to their lip sores experienced significant improvement in redness and swelling after only 2 days.” In Germany, treatments with lemon balm used for HSV-1 resulted in “not a single recurrence.”

To keep your body healthy against viral infections and to keep the outbreaks at bay, apply lemon balm a few times a day!

Additional Benefits of Lemon Balm

Bottle of Lemon Balm Herb EssenceWhile lemon balm and herpes is the main focus of the day, you might discover additional benefits of lemon balm when you integrate it into your daily life. Here’s some positive and perhaps life-changing benefits that you can expect.

  • Insomnia: There are several studies on the effects of various essential oils and their benefits for promoting quality sleep. One such study showed an 85 percent improvement for insomnia with using lemon balm as a sleep aid.
  • Anxiety: Ancient Rome and Greece knew of the stress-relieving benefits of lemon balm long before modern day researchers had a clue. According to studies, lemon balm can positively affect GABA receptors to “achieve full remission for anxiety.”
  • Depression: Along with anxiety, lemon balm can help to treat depression. It has psychoactive properties that “may provide a unique pharmacological alternative for certain psychiatric disorders.”
  • Indigestion: Researchers have provided a fertile ground for the basis of using natural plants for treating indigestion. One such study reported “improved dyspeptic symptoms significantly better than placebo” when using lemon balm for “functional dyspepsia.” After just eight weeks of an herbal treatment, a complete relief of symptoms was reported.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the deteriorating condition. However, lemon balm has shown to improve cognitive function, reduce plaque formations, and provide a positive effect on agitation for patients with the disease. Lemon balm combined with other “herbs and formulations presented efficiency in reducing the mild and moderate symptoms of AD.”
  • Anti-Aging: Not only does lemon balm help with skin appearance for controlling outbreaks of herpes, but it’s also a great treatment for getting rid of fine lines and encouraging the appearance of youthful skin.
  • Mood Enhancer: The same way lemon works to reduce anxiety disorders is the same way it works to calm and promote feelings of positivity for the average person. Alertness, focus, and concentration is improved to get through afternoon slumps and periods of emotional stress.

Types of Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is available for use as a natural and alternative treatment in many foods, be it lemon balm-rich foods, supplements, leaf form, essential oil, or topical ointments. Let’s explore the most convenient types you’ll need for treating herpes.

Loose Leaf

This is one of the tastiest ways to get a little lemon balm in your diet for internal and external benefits. It comes in loose leaf form either whole or crushed.

Lemon Balm Tincture

This is an alcohol based liquid that preserves the phenols and flavanoids in the lemon balm extract. It’s convenient for internal use to support the body during an outbreak.

Topical Creams/Ointments

This type happens to come in many formulas, with various ingredients, and in many forms. For herpes, lemon balm can be an ingredient in a chap stick for cold sores and a concentrated topical cream for lesions.


Potency and quality is always something to be considered when purchasing lemon balm supplements. The product may be labelled as “Lemon Balm” or “Melissa” supplements. They are convenient for quick internal use when you don’t have the luxury of brewing tea or applying topical ointments all day long.

Essential Oil/Extract

All tinctures are extracts but not all extracts are tinctures! Does that make sense? The extract shouldn’t contain any additional ingredients, fillers, or alcohols. It should be 100 percent pure and unadulterated. Concentration may vary with each product. This is excellent for topical, internal, and aromatic use. You also have the option to make your own lemon balm products to treat herpes.

Tea with green fresh melissa leaves close up

How to Use Lemon Balm for Herpes

If you’re ready to take the plunge into using an alternative and natural medicine for herpes, here’s how you should do it.

Internal Use

This is one of the best ways to support topical use of lemon balm. It’s also an excellent way to support the immune system during remission to prevent a breakout from ever occurring again. To make a tea, you’d need to steep it for 10 minutes and brew a cup several times a day. For a tincture, drink 2-3 mL in a glass of water. You’ll want to do this three times a day for a potential total of 9 mL. For supplements, you’ll want to follow the directions provided.

Topical Use

If you’re using a concentrated cream or ointment you’ve bought, you’ll want to follow the directions provided. Oftentimes, you can apply it several times a day directly to the lesions to reduce itching, pain, and inflammation. The ointments are usually supported with L-lysine to support recovery time. Essential oils are great for topical use with a quality carrier oil to apply directly to the lesions. Lemon balm is part of the mint family so it will provide a cooling effect. You can create your own bar soaps, body washes, salves, and creams to further support a breakout or prevent it.

Lemon Balm Side Effects

There are no known toxicity warnings for lemon balm. As a natural medicine, it’s extremely safe to take and is very effective. There’s almost no downside or risks to using the herb for medicinal purposes.

However, if you’re allergic to any plant in the mint family, avoid use. If you’re pregnant or nursing, taking thyroid or sedative medications, you’ll want to discuss with your doctor the implications of taking lemon balm before using it to treat herpes.

Our Recommended Lemon Balm Products

  1. LEMON BALM Cold Sore & Shingles Salve! 1 Oz
  2. Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm Tea, 16 Tea Bags
  3. Lemon Balm Tea (Bulk Herbal Tea): Bulk Lemon Balm Leaf (Melissa Officinalis Caffeine Free)
  4. Lemon Essential Oil (Cold Pressed). 10 ml. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade doTERRA Melissa Essential Oil 5 ml
  5. Miracle Botanicals Organic Bulgarian Melissa (Lemonbalm) Essential Oil – 100% Pure Melissa Officinalis – Therapeutic Grade – 5ml


Lemon balm is another one of Nature’s gifts to humankind. Sometimes the alternative solution to treating herpes is growing in your backyard. However, it’s far from a “backyard” experiment, it’s becoming a scientific and acknowledged medicine.

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Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to taking control of your Herpes today

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a professional healthcare provider before commencing treatment.


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