Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a herb in the mint family. It is often used for culinary purposes to make teas, marinate chicken or fish, or flavor baked foods and jams. Lemon balm is also believed to treat a range of medical disorders affecting the digestive tract, nervous system, and liver. Its use dates back to the 14th century when Carmelite nun used it to make an alcoholic tonic popularly known as Carmelite water.
Today, lemon balm is used in traditional medicine as both a sleep aid and digestive tonic. It can be consumed as a tea, taken as a supplement or extract, or applied to the skin in balms and lotion. Lemon balm essential oil is also popular in aromatherapy, where it is believed to promote calmness and ease stress.