Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm).

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is contemporaneously used as a mild sedative and/or calming agent. Although recent research has demonstrated modulation of mood in keeping with these roles, no studies to date have directly investigated the effects of this herbal medication on laboratory-induced psychological stress. METHODS:In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced crossover experiment, 18 healthy volunteers received two separate single doses of a standardized M. officinalis extract (300 mg, 600 mg) and a placebo, on separate days separated by a 7-day washout period. Modulation of mood was assessed during predose and 1-hour postdose completions of a 20-minute version of the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (DISS) battery. Cognitive performance on the four concurrent tasks of the battery was also assessed. RESULTS:The results showed that the 600-mg dose of Melissa ameliorated the negative mood effects of the DISS, with significantly increased self-ratings of calmness and reduced self-ratings of alertness. In addition, a significant increase in the speed of mathematical processing, with no reduction in accuracy, was observed after ingestion of the 300-mg dose. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that the potential for M. officinalis to mitigate the effects of stress deserves further investigation.

journal_name

Psychosom Med

journal_title

Psychosomatic medicine

authors

Kennedy DO,Little W,Scholey AB

doi

10.1097/01.psy.0000132877.72833.71

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2004-07-01 00:00:00

pages

607-13

issue

4

eissn

0033-3174

issn

1534-7796

pii

66/4/607

journal_volume

66

pub_type

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