Aromatherapy: Healing with Melissa Oil

Melissa is perhaps best known as lemon balm. As a recent addition to the aromatherapy chest, it is becoming increasingly popular as a sedative tonic. Its calming action makes it valuable for depression, anxiety and emotional upsets.

True melissa oil is very expensive as the leaves, flowers and stem of the herb are distilled an give only tiny amounts of the essential oil.

Use the oil sparingly

Melissa oil has a sweet, green lemony scent with floral undertones and only a drop of two is needed. It is wise to purchase the oil from a reputable dealer, as cheaper sources are likely to be adulterated by the addition of cheaper lemon and lemongrass oils.

Melissa, particularly blended with chamomile, heals inflamed skin and calms digestion. It acts on the uterus to regulate menstruation and give relief from painful periods.

Active Ingredients of Melissa Oil

Melissa oil has high concentration of aldehydes as well as esters and ketones.


Melissa contains 92% aldehydes, such as citronellal, citral an geraniol. These are sedative and responsible for the oil's ability to slow the heartbeat. They are also anti-inflammatory.

Ester, ketones

Esters such as geranyl acetate are sedative, cooling and anti-spasmodic. Ketones are sleep-inducing, making melissa valuable for insomnia. They can be toxic, so use the oil in low concentrations.

Uses of Melissa Oil

Melissa oil is an expensive addition to your collection , but it's worth the price. Its sedative properties make it the best oil to reach for in times of stress or for allergy and PMS relief.

Menstrual Cycle

Melissa is a tonic for menstruation.

Combat PMS
In the says leading up to your period, add to a room vaporiser:
4 drops jasmine
4 drops geranium
2 drops melissa

For regular periods
Massage your abdomen and lower back with gentle movements using:
2 drops melissa
4 drops rose
6 drops geranium
40ml sweet alomnd oil

aromatherapy tools burners

Melissa for a Body Under Stress

Melissa oil can treat both symptoms and causes of long-term stress and anxiety

For persistent insomnia, add 3 drops of melissa and 4 drops each of neroli and lavender to bath water.

To settle churning stomach butterflies, add 1 drop of melissa oil and 2 drops of ginger to a handkerchief for a calming dry inhalation.

Cold sores are sometimes triggered by stress. At the first tingle, blend 1 drop of melissa oil and 3 drops of tea tree in 5ml cider vinegar and apply to the skin. Do not use on broken skin.

Using Calming Melissa

Melissa's remarkable sedative qualities make it worth the expense for depression and anxiety.

Relieve stress

Gain relied from stress and nervous exhaustion with a full body massage using:

kidney massage

3 drops melissa oil
2 drops basil oil
8 drops lavender oil
50ml grapeseed oil

Melissa and lavender soothe, while basil calms.

Soothe irritability
Reduce irritability with a vaporiser blend of:
3 drops melissa
8 drops ylang ylang
5 drops chamomile

Ease anxiety
chronic anxiety can be eased by adding to a bath:
2 drop melissa
7 drops frankincense
4 drops ylang ylang

Melissa Folklore

The Greeks dedicated melissa to their goddess Diana, a Moon goddess of the woodlands associated with fertility and worshipped by women.

Prince Llewellyn of Glamorgan in Wales drank melissa daily to promote long life. He lived to be 108 years old.

Melissa is under the dominion of Juniper and the sign on Cancer.

Melissa is highly esteemed by bee keepers and honey produced by bees feeding on melissa flowers is regarded as nectar. In Greek mythology, the goddess Rhea fed it to her infant, Juniper, but hid it from her husband, the god Chronos.

Cooling Allergy Relief

Melissa oil's anti-inflammatory and cooling actions make it an invaluable addition to your essential oil blends for treating allergies.

Soothe inflamed skin
Cure allergic reaction using:
5 drops chamomile
1 drop melissa
2 drops tea tree
15ml water
Put the blend in a spray bottle and apply it regularly to the affected area. The melissa and chamomile will soothe the skin and the tea tree will fight the infection.

Combat hayfever
During the hayfever season, combine:
3 drops melissa
6 drops rose
4 drops lavender
place this blend in a room vaporiser or burner when your symptoms appear.