The effect of lemon balm on high blood pressure Original paper

In this study in people with essential hypertension, supplementation with lemon balm extract led to a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

This Study Summary was published on January 4, 2022.

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Background

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In most cases, hypertension is idiopathic, meaning it has no obvious underlying cause (often referred to as essential hypertension). Essential hypertension may nonetheless have a multitude of underlying contributors, including mental stress and subsequent activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Because some evidence suggests that extracts of the leaves of Melissa officinalis — commonly known as lemon balm — may reduce stress, lemon balm may be able to lower blood pressure in people with essential hypertension.

The study

This randomized controlled crossover trial assessed the effect of lemon balm on blood pressure among 49 people with essential hypertension (mean age of 60). The participants were randomly assigned to consume either 1,200 milligrams per day of lemon balm (hydroalcoholic extract) or a placebo for 4 weeks, later repeating the process with the other intervention. The outcomes examined were systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.

The results

Compared to the placebo, lemon balm extract reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This finding occurred regardless of the order of the interventions (i.e., lemon balm first, then placebo or placebo first, then lemon balm).

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This Study Summary was published on January 4, 2022.