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.
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