Investigation of a Melissa officinalis special extract on Cognition II
Human study – Lemon balm extract administered in confectionary bars
The traditional application of Lemon balm focuses on calming and relaxing effects. Modern research has demonstrated new effects of Lemon balm on cognitive health. Here we evaluated the cognitive effects of a Lemon balm extract administered in confectionary bars with different sweetening systems. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study a cohort of 25 healthy people were tested. Word recognition was significantly improved by 0.6g Lemon balm extract in a confectionary bar. The Lemon balm/sugar confection was associated with higher mental fatigue in contrast to the Lemon balm/natural fruit sweetener confection. In conclusion, we have shown for the first time that a special Lemon balm extract administered in a confectionary bar leads to a significantly improvement of cognition.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an annual edible herbaceous plant belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. Records concerning its traditional use date back over 2000 years, including a recommendation by Paracelsus (1493–1541) that Lemon balm would completely revivify a man and should be used for ‘all complaints supposed to proceed from a disordered state of the nervous system’. Its traditional medical application focus on relaxation. More recently, research attention has turned to beneficial effects upon the brain (1).
Not all Lemon balm varieties contribute to beneficial effects on cognitive performance. Recent studies demonstrated that cholinergic receptors are involved in the cognitive improvement caused by Lemon balm. An extract with negligible cholinergic receptor binding led to relaxation but did not enhance memory (2). In contrast, an extract screened for high muscarinic and nicotinic binding in human brain tissue had calming effects but also improved memory performance (3).
Most studies for cognitive effects of Lemon balm extracts were performed with capsules (2). One recently published study investigated t ...