In this article, I’m going to teach you about the benefits of using lemon balm for opiate withdrawal. Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs. I use it regularly to prevent anxiety, boost my immune system, and uplift mood.
I’ll discuss those with you soon.
But first, let’s cover the basic overview on lemon balm…
Table of Contents
Lemon Balm Overview
Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae.
Native to south-central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia, it has been cultivated since at least the 16th century as an ornamental plant, for its oil (used in perfumery), and its many virtues. It is now naturalized in the Americas and around the globe.
The leaves are used as an herb, in teas, and also as a flavoring agent.
Lemon balm is also strategically grown to attract bees for honey production.
According to Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who discovered and taught the use of honey. She was one of the nymph nurses of Zeus as a baby, but rather than feeding him milk, Melissa fed him, honey, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for “honey bee”).
Lemon Balm’s Opiate Withdrawal Benefits
Lemon balm can help in a few different ways during opiate withdrawal. I love the variety of mechanisms of action that lemon balm uses to assist in reducing opiate detox symptoms.
Lemon balm protects brain cells and supports brain health and function. Antioxidants such as eugenol in lemon balm detain free radicals before they can attack brain cells. Rosmarinic acid, which is a key compound in lemon balm, is also beneficial in this regard.
Members of the mint family such as peppermint, rosemary, and lemon balm generally act as cerebral vasodilators, which means they open the blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen and glucose to brain cells.
If the brain doesn’t get enough blood, it can quickly affect brain function.
Animal studies show that, when provided shortly after such an episode, lemon balm appears to be protective of the brain.
Lemon balm also improves memory and brain function by binding to nicotinic and muscarinic receptors in the brain. Both of these types of receptors are activated by acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays roles in enhancing memory and alertness.
Relaxation and Sleep
Lemon balm increases GABA by inhibiting GABA transaminase, an enzyme that breaks it down. Also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps send messages between the brain and the nervous system.
Various studies have shown lemon balm to be effective at treating stress:
- Rat studies show GABA producing a calming effect, improving mood, and reducing stress levels.
- In a pilot trial, lemon balm completely eliminated anxiety in 14 people with stress.
- Also, a combination of lemon balm and valerian root significantly reduced anxiety in 24 healthy volunteers.
If you have difficulty falling asleep, you will find an ally in lemon balm.
Studies show it encourages restful sleep:
- Evidence shows children sleep more peacefully throughout the night with lemon balm.
- In a study from 2011, lemon balm was shown to help with mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances.
- Another study found that menopausal women suffering from interrupted sleep reported much better rest after taking an extract of lemon balm and valerian.
Pain and Inflammation
An alcohol extract of lemon balm has been found to reduce pain by blocking the arginine-nitric oxide pathway and by increasing acetylcholine levels in mice.
Additionally, studies show that lemon balm reduces inflammation in mice caused by injury by reducing inflammatory proteins TNF-alpha, IL-1, and IL and by lowering oxidative stress.
Stomach Issues and Melancholy
Lemon balm can help soothe digestive issues by preventing gastric ulcers.
Lemon balm treats melancholy as well, and really has a wonderful way of uplifting mood when feeling down.
How To Use Lemon Balm For Opiate Withdrawal
There are a variety of ways you can use lemon balm for opiate withdrawal. It comes in powdered capsules, extracts, tinctures, teas, and more.
It’s important to note that using lemon balm as a stand-alone supplement for opiate withdrawal is not a good idea.
It’s simply not strong enough on its own.
However, when you use lemon balm with other more powerful opioid withdrawal remedies, then you can feel comfortable while detoxing.
If you have any comments or questions on the topic of lemon balm treatment for opiate withdrawal, please post them in the comment box below.