Homemade Lemon Balm Salve & Its Amazing Medicinal Uses

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Lemon balm, scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, is a fragrant herb renowned for its numerous health benefits. One of the most versatile ways to harness these benefits is through lemon balm salve. Below we explore the science behind lemon balm and its medicinal properties, focusing on its remarkable effects in salve form. Homemade lemon balm salve has many uses, from soothing cold sores to alleviating the discomfort of shingles, this medicinal balm has a lot to offer.

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Medicinal Benefits of Homemade Lemon Balm Salve

Lemon balm has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the mint family. The herb’s leaves contain potent compounds, including rosmarinic acid, polyphenols, and essential oils. These components give lemon balm its remarkable therapeutic potential.


Lemon balm contains compounds such as rosmarinic acid and essential oils that exhibit antiviral activity. Homemade Lemon balm salve is well-known for its efficacy in treating cold sores (oral herpes). Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), and lemon balm has been shown to inhibit the virus’s replication. Applying lemon balm salve to the affected area can speed up the healing process and reduce discomfort. A study published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2008 found that lemon balm cream significantly reduced the healing time of cold sores and the associated symptoms. It is believed to work by disrupting the virus’s ability to penetrate host cells.


Lemon balm’s analgesic properties make it an effective pain reliever. It can provide localized pain relief when applied to areas with discomfort, such as sore muscles, headaches, or skin irritations.

Shingles, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, can be excruciatingly painful. Lemon balm salve’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help ease the discomfort associated with shingles. The salve can be applied topically to the affected area, promoting healing and providing relief. A study published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2003 reported that lemon balm exhibited antiviral properties against the varicella-zoster virus, which causes shingles. It can also help reduce pain and inflammation associated with shingles.


Lemon balm contains bioactive compounds, including polyphenols and essential oils, that have been shown to inhibit the activity of various inflammatory mediators in the body. One of the primary inflammatory mediators is prostaglandins, which promote inflammation and pain when produced in excess. Lemon balm’s anti-inflammatory properties are attributed to its ability to modulate the production and activity of these mediators.

Inflammation often manifests as redness, swelling, and heat in the affected area. Lemon balm’s anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce these visible signs of inflammation. When applied as a salve, it can soothe the skin and provide relief from conditions like insect bites, rashes, or minor irritations.

homemade lemon balm salve

Homemade Lemon Balm Salve Uses

The medicinal benefits of lemon balm promotes a wide range of uses when crafted into a homemade lemon balm salve. It can be combined with other herbs that offer similar properties to further enhance the amazing benefits this herb holds. Here are just a few examples of how you can use your homemade lemon balm salve.

Skin Healing and Regeneration

Lemon balm is well-regarded for its skin healing and regeneration properties, which are particularly beneficial when applied as a salve. These properties can contribute to faster wound healing, relief from skin irritations, and the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Lemon balm contains bioactive compounds like rosmarinic acid and polyphenols that are known to stimulate cell regeneration. When applied to the skin, lemon balm salve can facilitate the replacement of damaged or dead skin cells with healthy new ones. This property is invaluable for healing minor wounds, cuts, and abrasions while reducing the risk of scarring.

Skin Irritations

Homemade lemon balm salve can provide relief from various skin irritations, such as insect bites, rashes, and itchy patches. Its ability to regenerate skin cells and soothe inflammation can alleviate discomfort and promote faster recovery. This is especially beneficial for individuals with sensitive or easily irritated skin.

Supports Healthy Skin Aging

Lemon balm’s regenerative properties can be harnessed to maintain and enhance the overall health and appearance of the skin. It may help reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, by promoting collagen production and skin cell turnover. Regular use of lemon balm-infused salve can contribute to smoother, more youthful-looking skin.

Reduces Scarring

By facilitating the regeneration of skin cells and promoting an even healing process, lemon balm salve can help reduce the likelihood of scarring after minor injuries or surgeries. The application of the salve to the affected area ensures that the skin’s healing mechanisms work optimally, minimizing the visible marks left behind.

Skin Disorders

Lemon balm’s skin healing and regeneration properties can be beneficial for individuals with skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis. While it may not be a standalone treatment, incorporating lemon balm salve into a comprehensive skincare routine can help manage symptoms, reduce redness, and support the healing of affected skin.

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Lemon balm is known for its stress and anxiety relief properties, making it a valuable natural remedy for promoting relaxation and emotional well-being. Lemon balm is often described as a mild sedative. It contains compounds, including polyphenols and volatile essential oils, that have a soothing effect on the nervous system. When inhaled or applied topically, these compounds can help calm the mind and body, reducing restlessness and nervousness.

These properties can be harnessed through various applications, such as aromatherapy, teas, and topical use in the form of salves. When you apply a lemon balm-infused product, such as a balm or cream, topically, the aromatic compounds present in lemon balm can be inhaled. Inhalation of these compounds can have a direct impact on the brain and nervous system, inducing a calming and soothing effect. The aroma of lemon balm can trigger a relaxation response by influencing the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions and stress responses.

Muscle Pain Relief

lemon balm salve

Lemon balm has muscle pain relief properties that can be harnessed when applied in the form of a salve or oil. These properties make it a natural and soothing remedy for alleviating muscular aches, tension, and discomfort. When applied topically as a salve, lemon balm can help relax muscle fibers and reduce tension, making it effective for easing muscular discomfort and cramps.

The analgesic properties in lemon balm help enable it to provide pain relief. It works by blocking pain signals and reducing the perception of discomfort in the affected muscles. This can be particularly beneficial for conditions like muscle soreness or tension headaches. Additionally, lemon balm may promote improved blood circulation to the affected muscles. Enhanced circulation can facilitate the removal of waste products and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissues, which aids in the recovery and relief of muscle pain.

For even more herbal salves that help heal sore muscles, check out this Dandelion Salve Recipe!

Headache Relief

Lemon balm is known for its muscle-relaxing properties. Tension headaches, in particular, often stem from muscle tightness and spasms in the neck and head. Lemon balm can help alleviate this muscle tension, reducing the frequency and intensity of tension headaches. Inflammation can play a role in certain types of headaches, such as migraines. Lemon balm’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the inflammation associated with these headaches. By mitigating inflammation, lemon balm can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort.

Applying a lemon balm salve or oil to the temples and forehead can have a cooling and soothing effect. This topical application provides localized relief and may help reduce headache pain and discomfort. Lemon balm encourages a holistic approach to headache management by addressing underlying factors such as stress, muscle tension, and inflammation. This approach considers the root causes of headaches rather than just symptom relief.

Cold Sore Treatment

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is well-regarded for its effectiveness in treating cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The antiviral and soothing properties of lemon balm make it a valuable natural remedy for individuals looking to manage and alleviate the discomfort of cold sores. Consider making a homemade herbal lip balm with lemon balm infused oil. This allows the direct application in a easy to roll form.

Lemon balm’s antiviral properties not only prevent the virus from spreading but also help the body’s natural immune response work more effectively. This leads to a shorter duration of the cold sore outbreak and quicker recovery. It’s medicinal properties can also help to soothe pain and itch and reduce swelling and redness. Some individuals find that regular use of lemon balm-infused lip balms or salves can help prevent recurrent cold sores.

Shingles Relief

Lemon balm is known for its potential to provide relief from shingles, a painful condition caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Lemon balm’s soothing and antiviral properties make it a valuable natural remedy for managing shingles. These antiviral compounds hinder the replication of the virus, limiting its ability to spread and multiply in the body. This action is critical in reducing the severity and duration of shingles outbreaks.

One of the hallmark symptoms of shingles is severe pain, often described as burning or stabbing. Lemon balm’s analgesic properties can help alleviate this pain. Additionally, lemon balm’s anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce swelling, which, in turn, contributes to a more comfortable experience for those with shingles. By applying lemon balm-infused salves or creams to the affected areas, individuals with shingles can experience soothing relief, minimize the risk of scarring and ease discomfort.

lemon balm salve uses

How To Make Homemade Lemon Balm Salve

While there are many herbal combinations to help enhance the medicinal benefits of homemade lemon balm salve, this powerful herb makes a great simple salve by itself.

Homemade Lemon Balm Salve

A healing and soothing salve using the powerful herb Lemon Balm!



  • Infuse the olive oil with fresh lemon balm leaves by placing them in a glass jar and covering with oil. Seal the jar and let it sit in a sunny spot for 2-4 weeks.
  • Strain the infused oil through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  • In a double boiler, gently heat the infused oil and add the beeswax pellets. Stir until the beeswax is completely melted.
  • Pour the mixture into clean, sterilized containers and let it cool and solidify.
lemon balm herb
Organic Lemon Balm Leaf

Lemon Balm Essential Oil

lemon balm salve for cold sores
2 Oz Metal Round Tins Aluminum Tin Cans Containers with Screw Lid for Salve

Enhancing Lemon Balm with Complementary Herbs and Essential Oils

Lemon balm is a versatile herb with numerous medicinal benefits, but its effects can be amplified by incorporating other herbs and essential oils. By blending these botanicals, you can create powerful and holistic remedies to address a range of health concerns. Here are some herbs and essential oils that pair well with homemade lemon balm salve:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming and soothing properties. When combined with lemon balm, it can create a relaxing and stress-relieving blend, perfect for aromatherapy or massage.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint oil adds a refreshing and invigorating element to the soothing qualities of lemon balm. This combination can be used in headache relief balms to ease tension and promote relaxation.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

Echinacea is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. Combining it with lemon balm can enhance the antiviral effects, making it a powerful duo for addressing viral infections, including cold sores.

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Chamomile is another calming herb that pairs well with lemon balm. Together, they create a relaxing tea or salve for reducing stress and anxiety.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is often used for its skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Blending it with lemon balm can create an effective salve for various skin irritations, including minor cuts and burns.

Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)

Frankincense essential oil is valued for its anti-inflammatory and skin-healing properties. Combining it with lemon balm can yield a potent skin salve for soothing irritation and promoting skin health.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme essential oil has strong antimicrobial properties. When paired with lemon balm, it can create a powerful antiviral and antibacterial blend, suitable for cold sore treatment.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is known for improving circulation and relieving muscle pain. Mixing it with lemon balm can enhance the pain-relieving properties of topical salves.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Valerian is a powerful herb for improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia. Combining it with lemon balm can create a calming herbal tea for better sleep.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Geranium essential oil is renowned for its skin-balancing and regenerative properties. When used with lemon balm, it can create a skincare salve for maintaining healthy and youthful skin.

Homemade lemon balm salve is a natural remedy with a long history of healing properties. Whether you’re looking to soothe a skin condition or simply seeking relaxation and stress relief, lemon balm salve is a versatile and powerful ally in your natural health and wellness journey.

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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3 thoughts on “Homemade Lemon Balm Salve & Its Amazing Medicinal Uses”

    1. Wild N Free Farms

      Recommend time is a year if you’ve been using the same container, just because you never know what you might be introducing. If It’s closed and unused it will last quite awhile. I’ve got one I just popped open that is going on 2 years

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