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Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods

Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne VIC 3122, Australia
Merck Selbstmedikation GmbH, Roesslerstrasse 96, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
Rudolf Wild GmbH & Co. KG, Rudolf-Wild-Str. 107-115, D-69214 Eppelheim, Heidelberg, Germany
Vital Solutions GmbH, Hausinger Strasse 6, D-40764 Langenfeld, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 4805-4821;
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 16 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 October 2014 / Published: 30 October 2014
PDF [209 KB, uploaded 30 October 2014]


Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used historically and contemporarily as a modulator of mood and cognitive function, with anxiolytic effects following administration of capsules, coated tablets and topical application. Following a pilot study with lemon balm extract administered as a water based drink, which confirmed absorption of rosmarinic acid effects on mood and cognitive function, we conducted two similar double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies. These evaluated the mood and cognitive effects of a standardised M. officinalis preparation administered in palatable forms in a beverage and in yoghurt. In each study a cohort of healthy young adults’ self-rated aspects of mood were measured before and after a multi-tasking framework (MTF) administered one hour and three hours following one of four treatments. Both active lemon balm treatments were generally associated with improvements in mood and/or cognitive performance, though there were some behavioral “costs” at other doses and these effects depended to some degree on the delivery matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: lemon balm; Melissa officinalis; stress; cognitive performance; functional food lemon balm; Melissa officinalis; stress; cognitive performance; functional food

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Scholey, A.; Gibbs, A.; Neale, C.; Perry, N.; Ossoukhova, A.; Bilog, V.; Kras, M.; Scholz, C.; Sass, M.; Buchwald-Werner, S. Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods. Nutrients 2014, 6, 4805-4821.

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