Lemon Balm

Drug Levels and Effects:




Summary of Use during Lactation:


Lemon balm contains a lemon-scented essential oil containing citronellal, neral, and geranial monoterpenoid aldehydes; polyphenolic compounds (including rosmarinic acid); and monoterpene glycosides. Lemon balm has no specific lactation-related uses. No data exist on the excretion of any components of lemon balm into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of lemon balm in nursing mothers or infants. However, it has been safely and effectively used with other herbs in infants for the treatment of colic, diarrhea, and other conditions,[1][2] so the smaller amounts expected (but not demonstrated) in breastmilk are likely not to be harmful with usual maternal doses. Lemon balm is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food flavoring by the US Food and Drug Administration. As a drug, it is generally well tolerated in adults with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing reported occasionally.

Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed informationabout dietary supplementsis available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.


Drug Levels:


Maternal Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


Effects in Breastfed Infants:


Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


Possible Effects on Lactation:


Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


References:


1. Savino F, Cresi F, Castagno E et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants. Phytother Res. 2005;19:335-40. PMID:16041731
2. Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, Bitran C. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr. 1993;122:650-2. PMID:8463920



Substance Identification:




Substance Name:

Lemon Balm

Scientific Name:

Melissa officinalis

Drug Class:


  • Complementary Therapies

  • Phytotherapy

  • Plants, Medicinal


  • Administrative Information:




    LactMed Record Number:


    926


    Last Revision Date:


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