Spending a night tossing and turning every now and then is one thing. But prolonged bouts of sleeplessness can not only make you feel groggy and out of it in the morning—they can actually harm your mental well-being.
That’s because your brain is active while you’re in dreamland: Solidifying memories, clearing toxins, and sharpening cognition and focus. Getting enough sleep can reduce your risk of depression, allow you to process new information swiftly and even enhance your creativity.
While insomnia seems to be a modern problem, people have had trouble getting to sleep for centuries. That explains why healers have traditionally turned to a number of herbs, including one called lemon balm.
Unrelated to the common yellow fruit, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a southern European native long valued by cooks for its delicate, lemony flavor. But the Greeks also turned to this plant for its healing properties, using it to ease gout and toothaches, calm an agitated heart and regulate the female reproductive system.
Today, lemon balm is often used to encourage sleep and to reduce anxiety and stress. It has also shown antiviral properties, especially against the type of herpes virus that causes cold sores, and to help relieve headaches.
This article is courtesy of Energy Times Magazine May/June 2019 issue.
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