Lemon balm, also known as Melissa, is one of the easiest plants to grow. Since it is a member of the mint family, your biggest problem will be keeping it from taking over the garden. But it is easier to use in extract form. No picking, cleaning, drying or boiling. Lemon Balm is a very popular and widely used herb in Europe. It is just now coming into use in the U.S and was recently mentioned on the Dr. Oz show for treating anxiety. It is a powerful anti-viral herb as well as a relaxant and mental stimulant. Lemon Balm reseach and Medical Uses: Mental Clarity, Concentration and Relaxation: Lemon balm is widely used to treat anxiety and insomnia in Europe. It reduces anxiety and stress and eases sleep disorders. Recently it produced an unexpected result in a research study: it greatly increased the ability to concentrate and perform word and picture tasks. Helpful for Homework In a study of lemon balm at Northumbria Univeristy in England students were tested for weeks while using either Lemon balm or a placebo. The students did significantly better on the tests after taking Lemon balm and continued to post improved scores for up to six hours after taking the herb. The students taking Lemon balm were noted to be calmer and less stressed during the tests. Insomnia/Anxiety: Several studies have used Lemon balm, and Lemon balm/Valerian combinations to treat stress, mood and sleep problems. Faulty Thyroid: Another European use for Lemon balm is to teat thyroid problems. Whether overactive or under-active, constituents of lemon balm have the ability to regulate thyroid hormone production. Fatigue: Because of the strong anti-viral elements and the ability to regulate the thyroid, lemon balm has recently gained popularity in treating fatigue. Herbalists often combine lemon balm with the Ayurvedic herb, ashwaganda in treating this condition.