Acta Scientific Agriculture (ASAG)(ISSN: 2581-365X)

Review Article Volume 4 Issue 5

Botanical, Geographical, Herbicidal Aspects of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.)

Barbara Sawicka1*, Piotr Pszczółkowski2, Piotr Barbaś3 and Bernadetta Bienia4

1Department of Plant Production Technology and Commodity Sciences, University of Life Sciences, Akademicka, Lublin, Poland
2Variety Assessment Experimental Station of Research Centre for Cultivar Testing, Uhnin, Dębowa Kłoda, Poland
3Department of Agronomy Potato, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute - National Research Institute, Branch Jadwisin, Serock, Poland
4State Higher Vocational School in Krosno names Stanislav Pigon, Department of Food Production and Safety, Dmochowskiego, Krosno, Poland

*Corresponding Author: Barbara Sawicka, Department of Plant Production Technology and Commodity Sciences, University of Life Sciences, Akademicka, Lublin, Poland.

Received: February 18, 2020; Published: April 24, 2020



 The botanical, geographical and herbicidal aspect of the species of the genus Melissa is presented. These species, especially Melissa officinalis , have been assigned a number of biological activities, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiviral, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and flatulence inhibiting, inhibiting germination and weed growth. The traditional pharmacological properties of lemon balm herb can be associated with the presence of bioactive phytochemicals such as terpenoids, alcohols, rosmarinic acid and phenolic antioxidants. A rich source of bioactive substances, of various Melissa species, can be considered as a promising candidate for the development of nutra-pharmaceuticals and bioherbicides. This review covers the botanical, geographical, nutritional, phytochemical and traditional medical aspects as well as the numerous biological activities of some commonly available Melissa sp. to prove their potential use in the food processing industry, the nutra-pharmaceutical and cosmetics-nutraceutical industry.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Antimicrobials; Antivirals; Antiallergics; Anti-Inflammatory; Bioherbicides; Nutra-Pharmaceuticals; Genus Melissa



  1. Brendler T., et al. “Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis ). An Evidence-Based Systematic Review”. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 5.4 (2005): 71-114.
  2. Osakabe N., et al. “Rosmarinic Acid, a Major Polyphenolic Component of Perilla frutescens, Reduces Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Liver Injury in d-Galactosamine (d-GalN) Sensitized Mice”. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 6 (2002): 798-806.
  3. Reddy AR., et al. “Drought-induced responses of photosynthesis and antioxidant metabolism in higher plants”. Journal of Plant Physiology 11 (2004): 1189-1202.
  4. Popova A., et al. “Melissa officinalis- GC Profile and Antioxidant Activity”. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 8.4 (2016): 634-638.
  5. Acevedo D., et al. “Composición Química del Aceite Esencial de las Hojas de Toronjil (Melissa officinalis) Composición Química del Aceite Esencial de las Hojas de Toronjil (Melissa officinalis L.)”. Información Tecnológica 24.4 (2013): 49.
  6. Abdel-Naime WA., et al. “Antibacterial, antifungal and GC - MS studies by Melissa officinalis”. South African Journal of Botany 124 (2019): 228-234.
  7. Taiwo AE., et al. “Anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) extract in rats, Influence of administration and gender”. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2 (2012): 189-192.
  8. The Plant List (2019).
  9. Ulbricht C., et al. “Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): An Evidence-Based Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration”. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 5.4 (2005).
  10. Adetunji CO., et al. “Chapter 15. Homemade Preparations of Natural Biopesticides and Applications. PART III. Techniques, biotechnological and computational approach, Edited by Chukwuebuka Egbuna, Barbara Sawicka, ELSEVIER, Publisher: Academic Press (2019): 179-185.
  11. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2011).
  12. Embryo Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2019).
  13. GRAS 2020. Generally recognized as secure (GRAS) (2020).
  14. Dastmalchi K., et al. “Chemical composition and in vitro antioxidative activity of a lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) extract”. LWT - Food Science and Technology 41 (2008): 391-400.
  15. Verma P.P.S., et al. “Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) an herbal medicinal plant with broad therapeutic uses and cultivation practices, a review”. International Journal of Recent Advances in Multidisciplinary Research 2.11 (2015): 928-933.
  16. Nieto G. “Biological Activities of Three Essential Oils of the Lamiaceae Family”. Medicines 4 (2017): 63.
  17. Sofo A., et al. “Lipoxygenase activity and proline accumulation in leaves and roots of olive trees in response to drought stress”. Physiologia Plantarum 1 (2004): 58-65.
  18. Mahajan S and Tuteja N. “Cold, salinity and drought stresses, an overview”. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 2 (2005): 139-158.
  19. Pellegrini E., et al. “Ozone stress in Melissa officinalis plants assessed by photosynthetic function”. Environmental and Experimental Botany 73 (2011): 94-101.
  20. Zhu JK. “Abiotic stress Signaling and responses in plants”. Cell 2 (2016): 313-324.
  21. González-Villagra J., et al. “Age-related mechanism and its relationship with secondary metabolism and abscisic acid in Aristotelia chilensis plants subjected to drought stress”. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 124 (2018): 136-145.
  22. Chidi IS., et al. “In vitro comparison of the anti-bacterial activity of Cnidoscolus aconitifolius and Ocimum gratissimum Hydromethanolic Leaf Extracts”. Journal of Dental and Medicical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS) 1 (2019): 73-80.
  23. Mohammadi S., et al. “Age-dependent responses in cellular mechanisms and essential oil production in sweet Ferula assafoetida under prolonged drought stress”. Journal of Plant Interactions1 (2019): 324-333.
  24. Pietta G. “Flavonoids as Antioxidants”. Journal of Natural Products 7 (2000): 1035-1042.
  25. Meftahizade H., et al. “Improved In vitro culture and micropropagation of different Melissa officinalis genotypes of phenolic compounds”. Trends in Plant Science 2.4 (2012): 152-159.
  26. Vokou D., et al. “Effects on monoterpenoids, acting alone or in pairs, on seed germination and subsequent seedling growth”. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29 (2003): 2281-2301.
  27. Tohidi B., et al. “Essential oil composition, total phenolic, flavonoid contents, and antioxidant activity of thymus species collected from different regions of Iran”. Food Chemistry 220 (2017): 153-161.
  28. Figueiredo AC., et al. “Factors affecting secondary metabolite production in plants, volatile components and essential oils”. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 4 (2008): 213-226.
  29. Mimica-Dukic N., et al. “Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) essential oil”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 9 (2004): 2485-2489.
  30. Assessment Report on Melissa officinalis L., folium based on Article 16d(1), Article 16f and Article 16h of Directive 2001/83/EC as amended (traditional use). 14 May 2013 EMA/HMPC/196746/2012 Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) (2013).
  31. Filipović V and Ugrenović V. “Lemon balm Melissa officinalis Technology of cultivation and production cost estimate. International Scientific Meeting Sustainable agriculture and – sustainability”. Ed. Jonel Subić, Marko Jeločnik, Boris Kuzman, Andrei Jean Vasile. Institute of Agricultural Economics in Belgrade. Serbia, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Belgrade Serbia (2018): 794-810.
  32. Gürbüz B., et al. “(Melissa officinalis L.) Hatlarinin Ankara Koşullarinda Herba Verimi Ve Bazi Özelliklerinin Araştirilmasi”. Akdeniz Üniversitesi Ziraat Fakültesi Dergisi1 (2008): 85-96.
  33. Zandalinas SI., et al. “Plant adaptations to the combination of drought and high temperatures”. Physiologia Plantarum 1 (2017): 2-12.
  34. Dayan FE., et al. “Managing weeds with natural products”. Pesticide Outlook 10 (1999): 185-188.
  35. Dayan FE., et al. “Natural products in crop protection”. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 17 (2009): 4022-4034.
  36. Azirak S and Karaman S. “Allelopathic effect of some essential oils and components on germination of weed species”. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science 58 (2008): 88-92.
  37. Gitsopoulos TK., et al. “Herbicidal effects of Satureja hortensis and Melissa officinalis L. essential oils on germination and root length of Lollium rigidum L. and Phalaris brachystachys L. grass weeds”. Hellenic Plant Protection Journal 6 (2013): 49-54.
  38. Duke SO., et al. “Chemicals from nature for weed management”. Weed Science 50 (2002): 138-151.
  39. Tworkoski T. “Herbicide effects of essential oils”. Weed Science 50 (2002): 425-431.
  40. Vaughn ST and Spencer GF. “Volatile monoterpenes as potential parent structures for new herbicides”. Weed Science 41 (1993): 114-119.
  41. Dudai N., et al. “Essential oils as allelochemicals and their potential use as bioherbicides”. Journal of Chemical Ecology 25 (1999): 1079-1089.
  42. Dudai N., et al. “Biotransformation of constituents of essential oils by germinating wheat seed”. Phytochemistry 55 (2000): 375-382.
  43. Dudai N. “Potential Use of Essential Oils as Bio-Herbicides, Ecology, Physiology and Agrotechnology Aspects”. In: Abstracts of Novel and Sustainable Weed Management in Arid and Semi-Arid -Ecosystems, Rehovot, Israel (2007): 34.
  44. Angelini LG., et al. “Essential oils from Mediterranean Lamiaceae as weed germination inhibitors”. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 51 (2003): 6158-6164.
  45. Vasilakoglou I., et al. “Herbicidal potential of essential oils of oregano or marjoram (Origanum ) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) on Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. and Chenopodium album L. weeds”. Allelopathy Journal 20 (2007): 297-306.
  46. Argyropoulos EI., et al. “In vitro evaluation of essential oils from Mediterranean aromatic plants of the Lamiaceae for weed control in tomato and cotton crops”. Allelopathy Journal 22 (2008): 69-78.
  47. Tagashira M and Ohtake Y. “A new antioxidative 1,3-benzodioxole from Melissa officinalis”. Planta Medica 64 (1998): 555-558.
  48. De Almeida LFR., et al. “Phytotoxic Activities of Mediterranean Essential Oils”. Molecules 15 (2010): 4309-4323.
  49. Chaimovitsh D., et al. “The relative effect of citral on mitotic microtubules in wheat roots and BY2 cells”. Plant Biology 14 (2012): 354-364.
  50. Sadraei H., et al. “Relaxant effect of essential oil of Melissa officinalis and citral on ratileum contractions”. Phytoteraphy 74 (2003): 445-452.
  51. Iqba Z., et al. “Allelopathy of buckwheat: assessment of allelopathic potential of extract of aerial parts of buckwheat and identification of fagomine and other related alkaloids as allelochemicals”. Weed Biology and Management 2 (2002): 110-115.
  52. Batish RD., et al. “Phytotoxicity of lemon-scented eucalypt oil and its potential use as a bioherbicide”. Crop Protection 23 (2004): 1209-1214.
  53. Beziĉ N., et al. “Phytochemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Satureja montana and Satureja cuneifolia essential oils”. Acta Botanica Croatica 64 (2005): 313-322.
  54. Singh HP., et al. “Allelopathic interactions and allelochemicals, new possibilities for sustainable weed management”. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 22 (2003): 239-311.
  55. Vokou D., et al. “Effects on monoterpenoids, acting alone or in pairs, on seed germination and subsequent seedling growth”. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29 (2003): 2281-2301.


Citation: Barbara Sawicka., et al. “Botanical, Geographical, Herbicidal Aspects of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.)". Acta Scientific Agriculture 4.5 (2020): 34-39.


Acceptance rate32%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days
Impact Factor1.014

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is May 30, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US