Sometimes the humblest of herbs bear the greatest treasures. Melissa is a common garden herb and spreads so liberally that some people consider it a weed. No showy flowers, nor pretty seeds, yet its essential oil is precious indeed. The ancients praised Melissa as ‘an herb of Jupiter that gladdens the heart’, the Prosac of antiquity it seems, which Paracelsus thought capable of entirely restoring a man’s vitality. Other writers admire its ability to strengthen the mind and memory. Melissa is a great herb for students as well as for old people whose memory begins to fade. It brings cheer to those who feel burdened. Lemon Balm is sacred to the Great Goddess and her honey bees, in fact, the name Melissa means ‘bee’ in Greek, and even in English Melissa is sometimes called ‘bee balm’. Bee keepers rub their hives with the herb to ensure that their bees will always come back. Similarly, in times gone by, Melissa was used as a strewing herb to keep the home scented sweet and welcoming.
An excellent herb for the nervous system. It strengthens the vital spirits and eases heart and mind. It can be used for all kinds of nervous conditions such as depression, nervous tension, mental exhaustion, anxieties, phobias, hypochondria and even hysteria. It helps regulate menstrual problems and is helpful for PMT and menopausal problems. It is also useful for the digestive system and can relief cramps and colic due to wind. Old herbals recommend simmering the herb in white wine instead of infusing it with water. It is a wonderful herb for insomnia and ideal for deep relaxation after a stressful day. It takes away gloominess, tension and depression and gladdens the heart. Melissa also yields an extremely precious and powerful essential oil that is known as a premier anti viral agent, which, among other things, is effective for treating Herpes simplex – see essential oil of Melissa.
Melissa enables the student to absorb knowledge more deeply and to commit to memory what has been learnt, while refreshing the mind and keeping spirits up. It is also a great herb for dispelling the demons of depression and loneliness. It is very useful for meditation as it helps centring and brings peace to heart and mind. It can be used to open or balance the heart chakra. Melissa may help the practitioner connect with the cosmic flow of prosperity and help gain an understanding of the laws of giving and receiving. Melissa is also well known as a ‘dream herb’. It may induce prophetic dreams and can be used for astral journeys.