Melissa essential oil comes from the Melissa plant (Melissa officinalis) also known as lemon balm. The plant has a sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance. In aromatherapy, Melissa helps promote feelings of relaxation and assists in calming tension and nerves. Two of the main chemical components of Melissa essential oil are geranial and neral which contain soothing properties that actively contribute to Melissa essential oil’s soothing abilities.
The Melissa plant is a perennial herb in the mint family, native to southern Europe. It has wrinkled, pale-green leaves and produces tiny white flowers in June and July. The Melissa plant is harvested in France in May or June just before the first flowers appear for its oil. The aroma is less intense once the plant blooms. Steam distillation of the plant leaves and flowers is how the essential oil is obtained.
The whole plant is fragrant, with a strong lemony smell. It makes an excellent garden plant, but it also grows wild in Europe, carpeting fields, and woods, particularly around Angers in France.
It takes about 15.4 pounds of Melissa plant material to yield just 2.25 pounds of essential oil. As a result, it is very expensive. The expense of manufacturing Melissa essential oil has led to falsification, usually with citrus oils or lemongrass (sometimes called melissa grass). As a result, there are many adulterated versions of Melissa oil available on the market.
The name “Melissa” comes from the Greek word for “bee” because the plant is irresistible to bees. Melissa has been planted to attract bees for honey production for centuries.
Melissa Essential Oil History
Melissa has been used therapeutically for hundreds of years. The Greeks wrote of “melissophyllon” (bee leaf) as being a sedative. Avicenna, a Persian regarded as one of the most significant physicians and thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age, recommended Melissa because it was cheering, a property still very much part of the plant’s effect. Others considered it very important for treating melancholy.
It was introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. In the 14th century, it was one of the ingredients of Carmelite water, a tonic water made by the French Carmelite nuns. It can still be found for sale in German pharmacies.
Melissa Essential Oil Uses
Melissa oil is valued today for its fresh, sweet, and citrus-like aroma. In the kitchen, Melissa oil can be used to flavor a variety of different foods and drinks such as teas, ice cream, and some fish dishes. The leaves are used as an herb in teas and a flavoring.
doTERRA’s Melissa has a wide range of health benefits and uses. Because of its positive effect on mood, Melissa has long been used to calm feelings of tension and nervousness. Taking Melissa oil internally may help support a healthy immune system. Diffusing Melissa at night initiates a restful sleep environment and promotes emotional well-being. Melissa also helps boost immunity and is especially beneficial when seasonal threats are high
Here’s a short list of how to apply the many uses and benefits of Melissa essential oil:
- Diffuse at night or rub on forehead, shoulders, or chest to help lessen feelings of stress and promote emotional well-being.
- Diffuse to create a relaxing environment that encourages a restful night’s sleep.
- Diffuse to promote emotional health and calm tension and nerves.
- Place apply one to two drops to the palms, rub together, and cup your hands over your nose and inhale to promote feelings of relaxation.
- Blends well with dōTERRA On Guard® to boost its benefits.
- Place one to two drops under the tongue or on the roof of the mouth for immune support.
- Place one drop of Melissa essential oil into four ounces of liquid and drink to support the immune system. You can also put two drops in a veggie capsule and ingest like a dietary supplement.
- Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and spritz on the face to rejuvenate skin and refresh your thoughts.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse Melissa essential oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
As with all essential oils, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep Melissa essential oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using Melissa oil.