Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease
Melissa Officinalis, known as lemon balm has long been used by herbalists as a mild sedative. It has calming and anti-stress properties.
Lemon balm has also has been used to improve memory. It is believed that lemon balm enhances activity of the neuro transmitter acetylcholine by binding to it.
Research into Lemon Balm and Memory
A small study using lemon balm for Alzheimer's disease was caried out in Iran in 2003. People taking lemon balm achieved better memory test scores than the group taking a placebo.
In 2003 Dr Andrew Scholey and Dr David Kennedy from Northumbria University in England gave 20 people capsules of dried lemon balm. When they carried out memory tests at one, three and six hour intervals they found the research subjects ability to learn, store and retrieve information had improved.
Lemon Balm Side Effects
There are no significant side effects from lemon balm.
Both studies were very small so further research is required before lemon balm is a recommended alternative treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Article Sources: Dr A. Scholey, Dr D. Kennedy Northumbria University, British Psychological Society's annual conference presentation.
Alzheimer's Disease. P. Nash MD, Nicole Villemarette-Pittman PhD. American Academy of Neurology