~ MELISSA ESSENTIAL OIL ~
by KG Stiles, Clinical Aromatherapist
Keywords: Openness, Gratitude, Heart Wisdom, Grace
Distilled from the common Lemon Balm Melissa oil is captivatingly sweet, fresh, lemony aroma with a faint and pleasing earthy note. The aroma is characteristically fresh and clean, not medicinal or citronella murky. The yield of Melissa oil with steam distillations is low, and can be under a tenth of a percent. It takes approximately three tons of plant material to yield 1/2 kilo of the pure essential oil. Also very few distillations are even attempted thus the high cost of this rare herbal essential oil. Most of the Melissa oil found in the commercial marketplace are adulterations with Lemongrass and Citronella.
Melissa essential oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It has been used effectively for treating herpes lesions. It may useful for treating various infectious diseases such as flu virus, smallpox and mumps.
Robert Tisserand’s research indicates that Melissa blended with Rose Otto is an effective treatment against shingles and cold sores. He recommends it neat for adults to treat cold sores. As it is a strong skin irritant a dilution is advised.
Melissa is often recommended for relieving nausea and indigestion, especially when associated with nervous tension. It has been used in tacchycardia to slow the heart beat, and relieve palpitations. Melissa may also be useful for lowering blood pressure.
Dementia agitation may be relieved with Melissa oil. A recent study cited in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine reported Melissa oil to be a safe and effective treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia. The study indicated that true pure Melissa oil significantly reduced agitation and enhanced quality of life.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) study of patients with mild to moderate symptoms using Melissa herbal essential oil experienced significant benefits in cognition after 16 weeks of treatment.
Emotionally, Melissa’s delightfully fresh scent may ameliorate anger and help restore the heart’s natural rhythm of giving and receiving, allowing and accepting. A regulator, depending on the circumstances for which it is used, Melissa is both calming and uplifting. A mild sedative in small doses use Melissa to help calm fear and anxiety. Melissa may also be helpful for integrating overwhelming feelings like shock, grief, terror and rage. Blend Melissa with Frankincense to enhance its affect for letting go, acceptance and depth of understanding. As with Helichrysum oil Melissa may help resolve past emotional trauma associated with early childhood memories, or unconscious ancestral patterns.
CAUTION: Use Melissa in very low dilutions of 1-2%, or less, as it is a strong skin irritant.