Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods

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Abstract

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.

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Scholey, A., Gibbs, A., Neale, C., Perry, N., Ossoukhova, A., Bilog, V., … Buchwald-Werner, S. (2014). Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods. Nutrients, 6(11), 4805–4821. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6114805

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