Taken by mouth, lemon balm is usually well tolerated in recommended doses up to 30 days in otherwise healthy adults. Side effects can include drowsiness, sedation, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominalabdominalrelating to the stomach and intestines pain, dizziness, sleep disturbances, and wheezing. When it is applied to the skin, it can cause local skin reddening, irritation, pigmentation, tingling, and a burning sensation.
Lemon balm can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or engage in other activities requiring alertness if the product affects you in this way.
Lemon balm may lower your blood pressure and therefore should be used with caution if you are taking medications with similar properties. It can also lower your blood sugar levels and people with diabetes should use lemon balm with care.
Do not take lemon balm with alcohol or other medications or health products with sleep-inducing properties (e.g. antidepressants, lorazepam). Using these products together can cause excessive drowsiness and sleepiness. Lemon balm may also interact with the following agents:
- thyroid replacement therapy (e.g., levothyroxine)
- diabetic medications
- medications that can lower blood pressure
- other agents that are metabolized by the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system
Do not use lemon balm if you are allergic to it. If you experience a severe allergic reaction (swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing), stop using the supplement and seek medical attention.
If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact your heath care provider.
If you are taking lemon balm to help sleep, consult your health care provider if you still have trouble sleeping after using lemon balm for more than 3 weeks.
It is not known whether lemon balm is safe for in pregnant and breast-feeding women to use. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding before using this supplement.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.