Melissa Essential Oil (Melissa officinalis)


Melissa may also be referred to as sweet balm, bee herb, balm, common balm, melissa balm, and balm mint. It is typically processed using steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the leaves and flowers/buds.


Melissa Essential Oil is often adulterated. Purchase only from reputable sources that test their oils.

Melissa Essential Oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers ofMelissa officinalis,an herb most commonly referred to as Lemon Balm and sometimes as Bee Balm. Lemon Balm is easy to find and grow. Although the leaves of Lemon Balm are quite aromatic, the leaves and flowers do not yield much essential oil. Therefore, the oil is often adulterated, and true Melissa Essential Oil commands a very high price.

Aromatically, Melissa Essential Oil possesses a wonderfully fresh, lemony, green and slightly herbaceous character. It's a delightful aroma that many find pleasant.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Citrus Fresh Herbaceous

  • Common Name(s): sweet balm, bee herb, balm, common balm, melissa balm, and balm mint
  • Synonyms(s) for Melissa officinalis: Faucibarba officinalis, Mutelia officinalis, Thymus melissa

  • Botanical Family: Lamiaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Melissa
  • Chemical Family: Aldehydes, Sesquiterpenes
  • Major Compounds: Geranial, Neral, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, B-Caryophyllene, Citronellal, Geranyl Acetate, Aesculetine
  • Perfumery Note: Top/Middle
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
  • Color: Yellow
  • Indigenous Country: England
  • Cultivation: Distiller is Certified Organic
  • Processing Methods: Steam Distilled
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves and Flowers/Buds
  • Shelf Life: 3 - 4 years
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Organic Organic
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Melissa:

Tisserand and Young precaution that Melissa Essential Oil can pose a drug interaction hazard and that there is a risk of teratogenicity. They precaution against topical use in children and infants under age 2 and for those with hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.9%. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 350-351.]

This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.

Safety Precautions for Melissa:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities