Lemon Balm Hydrosol / Melissa Hydrosol
Lemon Balm Hydrosol is steam distilled from the same botanical as Melissa Essential Oil, Melissa officinalis. The herb is commonly referred to as Lemon Balm. However, the essential oil is typically referred to as Melissa.
Lemon balm is very easy to grow, and it multiplies rapidly. It's lemony aroma is quite pleasant. Despite how easy it is to grow, Melissa Essential Oil is costly because the essential oil yield is quite low. Lemon Balm Hydrosol is much more affordable, and it's a lovely way to benefit from the water-soluble components present in lemon balm.
Lemon Balm Hydrosol is well suited for all skin types, but I find that it's especially helpful for oily skin. I enjoy using it in a facial toner.
Look to the citations from hydrosol experts Suzanne Catty, Jeanne Rose and Len and Shirley Price in the Uses and Applications section below for information on the potential benefits of Lemon Balm Hydrosol.
Aromatically, Lemon Balm Hydrosol possesses a somewhat lemony, herbaceous aroma.
Up to 2 years if stored properly (refrigeration is recommended).
Reported Properties, Uses and Applications
Suzanne Catty reports that Lemon Balm Hydrosol is calming and helpful for stress and anxiety. Melissa Essential Oil is reported to be helpful with depression and Melissa Hydrosol is said to also help with depression. Topically, Lemon Balm Hydrosol is anti-inflammatory and can help with skin irritations. Lemon Balm Hydrosol is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Catty states that it might help with herpes sores. [Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001), 110-111.]
Len and Shirley Price report that the Lemon Balm Hydrosol that they analyzed consists of 69-73% aldehydes and 10% ketones (these ranges do not include the water present in the hydrosol) and possesses the following properties: analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, calming, cicatrizant, circulatory, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, lipolytic, mucolytic, sedative, stimulant, tonic." [Len Price and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy: A Guide for Health Professionals (London: Churchill Livingstone, 2004), 124.]
Jeanne Rose adds that Melissa Hydrosol is helpful for insomnia. [Jeanne Rose, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols (Berkeley, CA: Frog, Ltd, 1999), 173.]
Read AromaWeb's Hydrosol Safety Guidelines.