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Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Melissa officinalis

When the god Zeus was an infant on the mountain of Idi in Crete, Melissa, the sister of Amaltheia, fed him honey to strengthen. Saturn discovered it and turned her into a worm, but Zeus showed his gratitude and transformed her into the queen bee.


The neo-Platonic philosopher Porphyrius tells us that the dark goddess Dimitra herself decided to personally initiate at the temple her most venerable priestess, the elderly Bee. The other priests tried to learn the secrets of the Bee's initiation, but she remained faithful to the goddess and revealed nothing.

Mad from jealousy, they murdered her, tearing her in pieces. When Dimitra heard of it, he sent a plague to the killers, while a bee flock was born from the body parts of Bee. Since then, the goddess priests have been called Bees.


According to another legend, the nymph Melissa found a honeycomb in the forest and when she tasted it, she made a drink of honey and water, which she shared with the people. So they became a bee protector and the people gave the insect the name of the nymph who taught them to eat honey, refined their spirit and taught them humility.


As a worship symbol, we find the bee in the Minoan and Mycenaean civilization, from the early Bronze Age, in the 2nd millennium BC. Tombs, and granaries have been found in the shape of a vaulted cell.

The first legislation for the protection of the bees of mount Imittos exists from Solon around 590 BC.


The bee, one of the oldest creatures on earth, is perhaps the most important link for the conservation of ecosystems, as it accounts for 80% of plant pollination. If, for some reason, the bees are absent, the changes on earth as we know it will be rapid and the devastation disproportionate.


This wonderful creature gives its name to our herb, which is its favorite plant because of its high nectar content of flowers, which, as it runs like a thick tear, captivates bees.


It is the plant of the goddess Artemis, the elixir of youth, and since ancient times it has been used by alchemists and priests for similar preparations.


Its aromatic and medicinal properties have been known since antiquity, according to Theophrastus and Dioscurides, who used it as a medicine for the scorpion bite and as a menstruation.

Women in Central Europe in the Middle Ages, filled with lemonbalm amulets and carried them on as erotic chicks, while alchemists are said to have used it to make youth elixirs.


Carmelite monks were using it since 1611 to make the “eau de melisse des Carmes”, an alcoholic beverage along with lemon peel, nutmeg and angelica root. Medieval monks were adding lemonbalm into tonic preparations to strengthen the heart and stimulate mood.


Melissa leaves, with their sweet and lemonlike aroma, are added to fruit punch, wines and juices, while it is a great refreshment for hot summer days.

It has been popular for centuries as a cure for melancholy, lethargy, bad memory, but also as an aid in restoring youth vitality.


It belongs to the mint family, it is a cousin of spearmint, sage and lavender and is said to contribute to longevity, as a physical and spiritual stimulant.


We do not know for sure whether the ancients cultivated the plant for medicinal purposes or for its nectar as a bee-pollinator. The Arab doctors first understood the miraculous abilities of the plant and it is they who called it the "friend of the heart".​



The rosmarinic acid contained in lemonbalm has been shown to affect the part of the brain associated with mood swings. Thus, it is beneficial for depression, anxiety, tension, anxiety and generally for treating nervous system disorders and is effective in cases of insomnia and has been shown to be helpful in Alzheimer's patients.​​


It soothes headaches and migraines due to neural causes, increases perception and improves memory.

It stimulates the heart and circulatory system, calms the pulse and dilates the peripheral vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and fighting hypertension.


Ιt is ideal for those suffering from digestive disorders. It stimulates the digestive system and is extremely digestive, it helps especially in digestive problems due to nervousness and is particularly useful in amoebae and other intestinal parasites. Studies have shown that eating it helps prevent ulcers. The consumption of beeswax seems to increase the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (prostaglandin E2) and mucin by the body and reduce the secretion of acids.

It is ideally supportive for diets.


It shows strong antioxidant and moderate antibacterial activity.

It contains, among others, volatile oils (known for their relaxing properties), polyphenols, rosemary acid, caffeic acid, thymol, tannins and flavonoids, and is high in essential oils (citral, citronellale, linalool, geraniol, eugenol).


It relieves fever, runny nose, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis. Melissa is refreshing, so its decoction is good for colds and a great summer drink.


Its antibacterial and antihistaminic activity makes it an excellent cure for infections and allergies such as allergic runny nose, eczema and inflammatory eye diseases.


Melissa regulates menstruation, relieves menstrual cramps and period pain, and its decoction facilitates childbirth if taken in the final weeks of pregnancy.

As a spasmolytic, it helps with facial, tooth and ear neuralgia.


Because it has a strong lemon flavor, it matches the aroma of foods containing lemon.

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