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Lemon Balm

IN THIS ARTICLE

Are there any interactions with medications?



Alcohol
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Lemon balm might also cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking large amounts of lemon balm along with alcohol might cause too much sleepiness. However, some research has found that combining lemon balm with alcohol does not increase sleepiness.



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Lemon balm might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking lemon balm along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



Sedative medications (Barbiturates)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Lemon balm might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking lemon balm along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some of these sedative medications include pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), and others.



Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Lemon balm might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking lemon balm along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.



Thyroid hormone
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Taking lemon balm seems to decrease how well thyroid hormone works in the body. Taking lemon balm with thyroid hormone might decrease the effectiveness of the thyroid hormone.
Some medications used for thyroid hormone replacement include levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid), liothyronine (Cytomel), Armor Thyroid, and others.

Dosing considerations for Lemon Balm.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:
  • For anxiety: 300 mg of a standardized lemon balm extract (Cyracos by Naturex SA) taken twice daily for 15 days has been used. Also 0.23 mL/kg body weight of a combination product containing 13 ingredients including lemon balm (Klosterfrau Melissengeist, Klosterfrau) taken three times daily for 8 weeks has been used.
  • For dementia: 60 drops per day of a standardized lemon balm extract has been used for 4 months.
  • For upset stomach (dyspepsia): A specific combination product containing lemon balm, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, caraway, licorice, clown's mustard plant, celandine, angelica, and milk thistle (Iberogast by Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) has been used in a dose of 1 mL three times daily for 4 weeks. Also, a similar herbal preparation containing lemon balm, clown's mustard, German chamomile flower, peppermint leaves, caraway, and licorice root (STW 5-II by Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) has been used in a dose of 1 mL three times daily for up to 8 weeks.
  • For insomnia (inability to sleep): 300 mg of a standardized lemon balm extract (Cyracos by Naturex SA) has been used twice daily for 15 days. Also, a specific combination product containing 80 mg of lemon balm leaf extract and 160 mg of valerian root extract (Euvegal forte, Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) has been taken 2-3 times daily for up to 30 days. Also tablets containing 170 mg of valerian root, 50 mg of hops, 50 mg of lemon balm, and 50 mg of motherwort have been used.
  • For stress: Many different doses have been studied in scientific research. A single dose of 600 mg of lemon balm extract during a stress test has been used. Also, a single dose of 300 mg of lemon balm extract (Bluenesse by Vital Solutions) has been added to food or drink and used during a mental test. Also three tablets of a specific product containing 80 mg of lemon balm extract and 120 mg of valerian root extract per tablet (Songha Night by Pharmaton Natural Health Products) have been taken before a stress test.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For cold sores (herpes simplex virus): Cream containing 1% lemon balm extract (LomaHerpan by Infectopharm) has been applied 2-4 times daily. It is usually applied at the first sign of symptoms to a few days after the cold sores have healed.
INHALED AS AROMATHERAPY:
  • For dementia: A lotion containing 10% lemon balm has been massaged into the hands and upper arms for 1-2 minutes twice daily for 4 weeks.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • For colic: In breast-fed infants, a specific multi-ingredient product containing 164 mg of fennel, 97 mg of lemon balm, and 178 mg of German chamomile (ColiMil by Milte Italia SPA) has been used twice daily for one week. Also 150 mL of an herbal tea containing German chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm (Calma-Bebi by Bonomelli) has been taken three times daily for 7 days.
  • For dyssomnia (poor sleep quality): 1-2 tablets of a specific combination product containing 80 mg of lemon balm leaf extract and 160 mg of valerian root extract (Euvegal forte, Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals) has been taken once or twice daily in children under 12 years-old.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.



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