Talk:Lemon balm

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About external links[edit]

Hello I would like to add some relevant info about melissa oficinalis (lemon balm) phytopharmacy from this external link Would it be okay? SilvijusAidwort (talk) 09:44, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

There is a related and centralized discussion about as a reliable source at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject used as a reference for laundry lists. Consensus is clearly 'no', because it doesn't meet WP:RS. Some of the sources in the aidwort article might be usable. But is more like a wiki, or at best a self-published source (WP:USERGENERATED), and should never be used as a reference. We should use only academic, third-party sources, such as the PUBMED articles that are used at aidwort. Also, please see WP:COI if you are the registered owner of, which some online searching indicates to be a likely possibility. First Light (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)


I've used footnotes instead of (Author, Year). Hope that's ok. LeoTrottier 21:54, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . If you have concerns , please inform on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 11:38, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Components of Melissa (oil)[edit]

I changed the components listed to be those quoted by a reliable analytical source as components of the essential oil by steam distillation. The previous list was inaccurate in as much as it listed geranial and citral separately although geranial is a part of citral, and the other part, neral, is not found in Melissa in significant amounts. Also, the previous list describes alcohols and aldehydes all as terpenes, which is incorrect. Cjsunbird (talk) 20:13, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Medicinal Uses and Chemistry[edit]

The page currently quotes in section Medicinal Uses reference 11 to support the assertion that lemon balm can decrease the effectiveness of thyroxine - that is, lessen the attempt to reduce an overactive thyroid. However, this is actually referred to in the quoted article by the University of Maryland as anecdotal... However, if true, it could be a valuable caution. Paradoxically,under section Chemistry was the assertion that lemon balm could be used to treat Graves disease - that is, could reduce thyroid overactivity. For this there was no reference. I edited out this suggestion as it could possibly mislead sufferers. I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to unsupported claims about complementary therapies... Cjsunbird (talk) 20:25, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

What's the connection to bee balm?[edit]

The first thing the article says is that lemon balm isn't to be confused with bee balm. What would cause someone to confuse it with bee balm? Is there some connection between the two? (Is it just the genus name "Melissa"?) Is that the most important thing about lemon balm? --Elysdir (talk) 04:39, 22 May 2012 (UTC)


Hi User:Bodhi Peace - about this. First, research with something is not use of something. They are different.

Secondly, all of WP content is meant to be based on secondary sources. The pile of papers are all primary sources -- see the definitions at Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources_(medicine)#Definitions. We use reviews, which are secondary sources, not primary sources. Part of the reason for that, is that if you do a search in pubmed for "Melissa officinalis" you get this - 269 papers. We have no way of picking and choosing among those. Instead, we rely on recent literature reviews that summarize all that literature. Here is that same pubmed search, now with a filter for "reviews". You can see there are only 12, and we just use the most recent ones. Much more manageable, and that gives us insight into what is actually "accepted knowledge" in the field, and not some finding that was published but never replicated. This is all described in the guideline, WP:MEDRS. More about all that here and here. Jytdog (talk) 20:45, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

  • @Jytdog: Thank you for explaining. I understand about the need for WP to be based on secondary sources, but woefully because the previous section on primary research was useful and interesting to me today and could be for others. Nonetheless, I was hoping that a summary might be included that does not report the results of those primary studies but rather just lists and mentions their existence so that readers might know what sort of research is being done even if the results are not conclusive. Is this summary of what primary research has been done acceptable or not to you and WP policy? Moreover, it would be useful to know to what ends the plant has been primarily cultivated for. I believe the "Uses" section should be organized by prioritizing which uses are most common. --Bod (talk) 21:38, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your note. Please do read MEDRS and the other two links there. The literature describing basic research in the biomedical sciences is extremely unreliable. It is not useful for WP which is why we use reviews. I did summarize the research in the sentence I added: "The composition and pharmacology and potential uses of lemon balm have been extensively studied, especially with regard to its traditional uses.[13] Randomized, double-blinded clinical studies in people, however, have been limited and have had few subjects. Those studies cannot be used for generalized conclusions about the safety or efficacy of lemon balm and its components; what doses are safe and effective is especially not clear.[13]" If somebody wants to dig in and understand the details, the paper is there. That is what refs are for.
What ref in your view best describes actual uses of this plant, and what do you understand that they are? Jytdog (talk) 21:49, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
according to this the economic importance is: Food additives: flavoring; Bee plants: honey production; Environmental: ornamental; Materials: essential oils (used in perfumery); Medicines: folklore. We don't have anything on ornamental, or honey, or perfume; we cover the rest. Jytdog (talk) 22:03, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
The only issue with those sentences is how astonishingly vague they manage to be with regards to the actual purported effects of the plant as medicine. Is it used for mood, sleep, digestion, anxiety, stress, Alzheimer's, radiation, etc., etc.? I have not studied the references well enough to claim to know which one best describes actual uses of this plant. I came to this article to read more about how the plant is actually used, whether it is a garnish/flavor, or just a mild herbal tea, or if it is actually used in medicine. --Bod (talk) 22:09, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
EDIT: Thank you for that new ref of the econ. importance. --Bod (talk) 22:09, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
The actual evidence for its safety and effectiveness in any condition is very slim; this is not surprising and is true of most traditional medicines. The reason is simple - running clinical trials to gather evidence costs a lot of money and there is very little interest among companies to spend that money for things like herbs. Sometimes governments spend the money to do that but only when it really starts to affect public health. For instance there was a lot of hype about St Johns Wort and chemicals in that plant have a very serious effect on how other drugs are metabolized so the NIH paid for a clinical trial to see if it actually does anything - described here. Jytdog (talk) 22:22, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Quick note - the reason why I did the separate subsections for agriculture, horticulture, and perfumery is that it invites expansion, which we want. I won't contest your collapse but just wanted to explain why I did that. Jytdog (talk) 23:17, 8 October 2016 (UTC)


My concern about the latest edits is that it might put undue weight on the non-medicinal uses, when a google search ( shows how most are focused on the medicinal uses with a few references to food/drink/ornamental. --Bod (talk) 23:27, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

yes there is a lot of advertising for dietary supplements (as this use is called in the US); advertising doesn't drive WP content. For any content about health, WP:MEDRS applies in any case and I provided the link to pubmed reviews above. Jytdog (talk) 23:31, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
I am mostly fine with the current WP:WEIGHT of the article. Would like to see sources on commercial cultivation and end uses, or possibly the market for seeds, herbaceous materials, or extracts/oils/scents. How about where lemon balm is used in the world because it seems to be naturalized in many areas and I'm wondering how frequently it is used by people or if it is just another wild plant for most. Not as popular as mint I assume, but the Colgate link is interesting. --Bod (talk) 23:46, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes! That kind of information would be super interesting, absolutely. Hard to find sources for. WHO may have some; USDA might as well. Jytdog (talk) 00:18, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

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