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The One Herb That Calms Holiday Stress Naturally

lemon balm anxiety christmas holiday stress

With all the hustle and bustle, the Christmas season and all the holiday stress it brings is undeniably the most stressful time of the year, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of reaching for wine, or more coffee, which can cause a jittery effect, all can be calm and bright with Melissa, or how she’s more commonly known -- lemon balm.


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A 2015 survey conducted by Healthline, a consumer health information site based in San Francisco, California and cited in a Harvard report showed that sixty-two percent of respondents described their stress level as “very or somewhat” elevated during the holidays, while only 10 percent reported no stress during the season. Among the holiday stressors listed by respondents were the financial demands of the season, negotiating the interpersonal dynamics of family, and maintaining personal health habits such as an exercise regimen. Readying ourselves to face these stresses requires some stellar coping mechanisms and a little lemon balm.

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Lemon Balm Grows Wild In Your Garden

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a common wild food that you may already find growing in your garden. It is shown to have potent medicinal and mild central nervous system calming powers. Boosting both antibacterial and antiviral properties, lemon balm also has high antioxidant properties. Studies have found that lemon balm can calm the nervous system while boosting your health.

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Lemon Balm Tested On Anxious Students

In one study of lemon balm at Northumbria University in England, students were tested for weeks while using either Lemon balm or a placebo. The students did significantly better on the tests after taking Lemon balm and continued to post improved scores for up to six hours after taking the herb. The students taking Lemon balm were noted to be calmer and less stressed during the exams.

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Lemon Balm Improves Mood

In other research active lemon balm treatments were generally associated with improvements in mood and/or cognitive performance. The results indicate that Lemon balm delivered in foodstuffs can have positive behavioral effects, which may be used in applied health settings.

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Lemon Balm Calms A Nervous Tummy

Whether it be student stress, Christmas season stress or day-to-day stress, lemon balm is up to the task. What is more, if you find you are dealing with holiday digestive stress, lemon balm is a friend. For the digestive system, lemon balm is incredibly useful to calm discomfort associated with indigestion, gas and bloating. While still in the early stages, several human research studies are showing promise with use of lemon balm to promote an overall sense of calm and healing in your body. That being said, adding lemon balm to your daily supplementation can be highly beneficial, particularly during the holidays. Lemon balm has been shown in studies to be very well tolerated and is best taken as a non-alcohol tincture or as a tea, as frequently as needed.