Melissa leaf – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2013

Melissae folium
Published 2013
Price:   €20
Format: PDF; Instant Download









The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding  efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of melissa leaf. This herbal substance by definition consists of the dried leaves of Melissa officinalis L. Studies with its main characteristic constituents the phenylpropanoids, in particular rosmarinic acid, the essential oil and flavonoids are included. The therapeutic indications are tenseness, rest­­less­ness, irritability and the symp­to­ma­tic treat­ment of digestive dis­orders and herpes labialis. Administration of melissa leaf addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications;  special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive;  undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments with melissa leaf demonstrate antiviral, antispasmodic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. In vivo experiments in animals demonstrate anxiolytic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, hepato- and gastro-protective activities. Pharmacological studies in humans concern effects on mood and cognitive performance. Controlled clinical studies with melissa leaf demonstrated its use as cognitive enhancer, sedative, anxiolytic and antidepressant in patients, as well as in sleep disorders and as an antiherpetic. Preclinical safety data for melissa leaf and melissa essential oil were assessed in toxicity studies. Safety data were assessed in human studies. The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at compiling relevant information about the possible physiological roles of melissa leaf and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Melissa officinalis L.
  • Melissae folium
  • Melissa Leaf
  • Tenseness; Rest­­less­ness; Irritability; Digestive dis­orders, minor spasms; Herpes labialis (cold sores)


-Allahverdiyev A, Duran N, Ozguven M, Koltas S. Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2. Phytomedicine 2004;11:657-61.
-Ibarra A, Feuillère N, Roller M, Lesburgere E, Beracochea D. Effects of chronic administra­tion    of Melissa officinalis L. extract on anxiety-like reactivity and on circadian and exploratory activities in mice. Phytomedicine 2010;17:397-403.
-Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm). Psychosomatic Medicine 2004;66:607-13. 0000132877.72833.71
-Martins EN, Pessano NTC, Leal L, Roos DH, Folmer V, Puntel GO, Rocha JBT, Aschner M, Ávila DS, Puntel RL. Protective effect of Melissa officinalis aqueous extract against Mn-induced oxidative stress in chronically exposed mice. Brain Res Bull 2012;87:74-9.
-Nolkemper S, Reichling J, Stintzing FC, Carle R, Schnitzler P. Antiviral effects of aqueous extracts from species of the Lamiaceae family against Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Planta Med 2006;72:1378-82.
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