The Difference Between Lemon Balm Oil and Lemon Balm Essential Oil
Healing Naturally Using Lemon Balm
Both lemon balm oil, and lemon balm essential oil contain lemon balm,but that is where the similarities end.
Each product is very different from the other. When shopping, you will want to be sure that you are buying the right product for the right need. Lemon Balm is also known as Melissa from it’s Latin name Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm oil is made by soaking the lemon balm herb in a carrier oil. A carrier oil can be sweet almond, apricot, sesame, or olive. Carrier oils are chosen for their skin healing properties as well. This oil contains the medicinal benefits of lemon balm, such as eugenol for herpes, shingles, and cold sores. The oil is also used for other viral skin infections.
Most lemon balm oils are made using the cold pressed method. This method is the best for extraction of the herb, with no damage to the herb or the oil. Hot pressing can cause damage to the natural chemicals in both the oil and the herb.
To cold press means to extract the healing properties of the herb over time. The lemon balm is soaked in a carrier oil for 6- 8 weeks and then the herb is strained off. What is left is pure gold for healing skin conditions. Lemon balm oil is used externally only. It is used topically for the healing of shingles, herpes, and herpes cold sores. It should never be ingested. Lemon balm oil is not lemon balm tincture. A tincture is made using alcohol such as vodka or brandy. You can read more about that here on our blog.
Lemon balm essential oil is the volatile oil that comes directly from the plant itself. It is not a typical oil, but is the life’s energy from the lemon balm plant. To make an essential oil, several pounds of the plant is steam distilled through the evaporation process. The aerial parts of the lemon balm plant is used to make the essential oil. Lemon balm, or Melissa essential oil is very expensive.
Lemon Balm Essential oil should come in a dark amber, or other dark colored glass bottle. If it is not in a dark glass, it is not truly an essential oil. The price should also tell you that it is a pure essential oil. A good quality Melissa or Lemon Balm essential retails from anywhere between $80 to over $200 for 5 ml. If it is any less expensive than that, you may be buying either a low quality essential oil, or a an oil that is mixed with another oil. You also may be buying a perfume oil. Many perfume or fragrance oils are unfortunately labeled and sold as essential oils.
Lemon balm essential oil is used in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety. You can add a few drops to an oil (apricot, olive or other carrier oil) to make a lemon balm healing oil, but this is not to be confused with lemon balm oil itself. The essential oil can be burned in a diffuser, as well as added to the bath water. This is called the inhalation method of aromatherapy.
Like the lemon balm oil itself, the essential oil should not be ingested. For ingestion methods of healing stress and anxiety with lemon balm please read “Using Lemon Balm for Anxiety”