Lemon balm
Lemon balm plant.jpg
Wissenschaftliche Klassifikation
Königreich: Plantae
Klade: Tracheophyten
Klade: Angiospermen
Klade: Eudikots
Klade: Asteriden
Befehl: Lamiales
Familie: Lamiaceae
Gattung: Melissa
M. officinalis
Melissa officinalis

Zitronenbalsam (Melissa officinalis)[Anmerkung 1] ist ein Staude Kräuterpflanze in dem mint family und einheimisch zu south-central Europe, das Mittelmeerbecken, Iran, und Zentralasien, but now naturalised elsewhere.

It grows to a maximum height of 1 m (3 ft 3 in). The leaves have a mild Zitrone Duft. During summer, small white Blumen full of nectar appear. Es ist nicht zu verwechseln mit bee balm (Gattung Monarda), although the white flowers attract Bienen, hence the genus Melissa (griechisch for "honey bee").

The leaves are used as an herb, in teas and also as a flavouring. The plant is used to attract bees for honey production. It is grown as an ornamental plant and for its oil (to use in Parfümerie). Lemon balm has been cultivated at least since the 16th century.


Eine Illustration von Melissa officinalis aus Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz (1885)

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) ist ein Staude Kräuterpflanze in the mint family Lamiaceae,[1] und einheimisch zu south-central Europe, das Mittelmeerbecken, Iran, und Zentralasien, but now naturalized in the Americas and elsewhere.[5] The second name, officinalis (Latein, 'of the shop'), originates from the use of the herb by Apotheker, who sold herbal remedies directly to their customers.[6]

Lemon balm plants grow bushy and upright to a maximum height of 100 cm (39 in). The heart-shaped leaves are 2–8 centimetres (0.79–3.15 in) long, and have a rough, veined surface. They are soft and hairy with scalloped edges, and have a mild Zitrone Duft. During summer, small white or pale pink Blumen erscheinen. The plants live for ten years; the crop plant is replaced after five years to allow the ground to rejuvenate.[7]

Historische Verwendungen

The use of lemon balm can be dated to over 2000 years ago through the Griechen und die Römer. It is mentioned by the Greek Polymath Theophrastus in seinem Historia Plantarum, geschrieben in c.300 BC,[8] as "honey-leaf" (μελισσόφυλλον).[9] Lemon balm was formally introduced into Europe in the 7th century, from which its use and domestication spread.[8] Its use in the Mittelalter is noted by Kräuterkenner, writers, Philosophen, and scientists.

Lemon balm was a favourite plant of the Tudoren, who scattered the leaves across their floors.[10] Es war in der herbal garden of the English Botaniker John Gerard in the 1590s,[11][Seite benötigt] who considered it especially good for feeding and attracting Honigbienen.[12] Especially cultivated for Honig production, according to the authors Janet Dampney and Elizabeth Pomeroy, "bees were thought never to leave a garden in which it was grown".[10] It was introduced to North America by the first colonists from Europe; it was cultivated in the Gardens of Monticello, designed by the American statesman Thomas Jefferson.[13]

The English botanist Nicholas Culpeper considered lemon balm to be ruled by the planet Jupiter in Krebs, and suggested it to be used for "weak stomachs", to cause the heart to become "merry", to help digestion, to open "obstructions of the brain", and to expel "Melancholie vapors" from the heart and arteries.[14]

Im traditional Austrian medicine, M. officinalis leaves have been prescribed as a Kräutertee, or as an external application in the form of an ätherisches Öl.[15][Seite benötigt]

Aktuelle Verwendungszwecke

Lemon balm is the main ingredient of carmelite water, which is sold in German pharmacies.[16]

The plant is grown and sold as an Zierpflanze, and for attracting bees. The essential oil is used as a perfume ingredient.[17] It is used in toothpastes.[18]

Lemon balm is used as a flavouring[17] in Eis and herbal teas, often in combination with other Kräuter wie zum Beispiel Spearinzente. The leaves are not dried when used for tea. It is a common addition to Pfefferminztee, mostly because of its complementing flavor. Lemon balm is also used with fruit dishes or Süßigkeiten. It can be used in Fischgerichte and is the main ingredient in lemon balm Pesto.[19]: 15–16 Es ist Geschmack kommt von Geraniol (3–40%), neral (3–35%), geranial (4–85%) (both Isomere von citral), (E)-Caryophyllen (0–14%), and Citronellal (1–44%).[20] It is also one of the ingredients in Spreewald Gherkins.[21]


a bumblebee feeding on a lemon balm flower

Melissa officinalis ist einheimisch to Europe, central Asia and Iran, but is now naturalized around the world.[3][19] It grows easily from seed, preferring rich, moist soil.[22]

Zitronenbalsam Saatgut require light and a minimum temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) to keimen. The plant grows in clumps and spreads vegetativ (a new plant can grow from a fragment of the parent plant), as well as by seed. In mild gemäßigte Zonen, the plant stems die off at the start of the winter, but shoot up again in spring. Lemon balm grows vigorously.[23]

As of 1992, Hungary, Egypt, and Italy are the major producing countries of lemon balm.[4] The leaves are harvested by hand in June and August in the northern hemisphere, on a day when the weather is dry, to prevent the crop from turning black if damp.[7]

Das Sorten von M. officinalis enthalten:

  • M. officinalis 'Citronella'
  • M. officinalis 'Lemonella'
  • M. officinalis 'Quedlinburger'
  • M. officinalis 'Limette'
  • M. officinalis 'Mandarina'
  • M. officinalis 'Variegata'
  • M. officinalis 'Aurea'
  • M. officinalis 'Quedlinburger Niederliegende', an improved variety bred for high essential oil content.

Essential oil production

Ireland is a major producer of lemon balm essential oil, which has a pale yellow colour and a lemon scent.[4] The essential oil is commonly co-distilled with lemon oil, citronella oil or other essential oils.[24] Yields sind niedrig; 0.014% for fresh leaves and 0.112% for dried leaves.[4]

The plant seen in visible light, Ultraviolett Licht und Infrarot


Lemon balm contains Eugenol, Tannine, und Terpene.[25]

Composition of lemon balm oil[26]
Komponente Minimum % maximum %
Methyl Heptenone 2.2 8.6
Citronellal 1.0 8.4
Linalool 0,5 2.7
Neral 19.6 36.1
Geranial 25.3 47,5
Geranylacetat 1.2 6.2
Carophyllene 1.9 9.7
Carophyllene oxide 0,5 9.0


  1. ^ Other names for lemon balm include sweet balm,[1] bee herb,[1] Balsam,[2] common balm,[3] melissa balm,[4] und balm mint.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Bahtiyarca Bagdat & Coşge 2006, p. 116.
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 283.
  3. ^ a b USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Melissa officinalis". Die Pflanzendatenbank (Pflanzen.Usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Abgerufen 6. Juli 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Axtell & Fairman 1992, p. 211.
  5. ^ "Melissa officinalis L., Sp. Pl.: 592 (1753)". Weltcheckliste ausgewählter Pflanzenfamilien. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Archiviert von das Original am 14. Februar 2021. Abgerufen 27. August 2014.
  6. ^ Dampney & Pomeroy 1985, p. 11.
  7. ^ a b Axtell & Fairman 1992, p. 212.
  8. ^ a b Kennedy et al. 2002.
  9. ^ Theophrastus 1916, p. 464.
  10. ^ a b Dampney & Pomeroy 1985, p. 12.
  11. ^ Gerard 1876.
  12. ^ Grieve 1971, p. 76.
  13. ^ Zirkle 2001, S. 84–85.
  14. ^ Culpepper 1814, S. 15–16.
  15. ^ Vogl et al. 2013.
  16. ^ Hiller, Sabine (6 September 2010). "Using lemon balm in the kitchen". Die Mayo News. Abgerufen 14. April 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Taxon: Melissa officinalis L.". USDA: U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Archiviert Aus dem Original am 28. August 2016. Abgerufen 8. Oktober 2016.
  18. ^ Dousti 2012, p. 88.
  19. ^ a b Herb Society of America. 2007 Lemon Balm: An Herb Society of America Guide Archiviert 2015-02-18 bei der Wayback -Maschine
  20. ^ Setzer 2009, p. 1309.
  21. ^ "Lemon Balm - Melissa officinalis - Herb Seeds from Victory Seeds®". Victory Seeds. Abgerufen 2021-07-29.
  22. ^ Dampney & Pomeroy 1985, p. 36.
  23. ^ "Herbal Guide to Lemon Balm: Grow, Harvest, and Use a Lemon Balm Plant". Garden Therapy. 2021-03-24. Abgerufen 2021-07-29.
  24. ^ Sarkic, Asja; Stappen, Iris (March 2018). "Essential Oils and Their Single Compounds in Cosmetics—A Critical Review". Kosmetika. 5 (1): 11. doi:10.3390/cosmetics5010011. ISSN 2079-9284.
  25. ^ Ehrlich, Steven D. (January 2, 2015). "Lemon balm". Medizinisches Zentrum der Universität von Maryland. Archiviert Aus dem Original am 7. März 2018. Abgerufen 23. Juni, 2017.
  26. ^ Axtell & Fairman 1992, p. 213.

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