Melissa essential oil (also known as Lemon Balm) has a great variety of possible effects. The word 'Melissa' is Greek for 'Honey Bee', Melissa having been planted near bee hives to produce the most delicious honey. Melissa oil is considered one of the most powerfully medicinal essential oils in all of aromatherapy, with a wonderfully pleasant sweet, herbaceous aroma.
A great deal of oil sold as Melissa today is actually a blend of lemongrass and citronella oils - 'true' Melissa oil has its own unique aroma and properties. Melissa's high cost is a result of needing 3.5 to 7.5 tons of plant material to produce 1 pound of essential oil. The resulting oil from this sweet-smelling herb is a pale yellow liquid with a light, fresh lemony aroma. Melissa oil offered at exceptionally low prices is likely to be adulterated in some way, and will not have the medicinal properties of the true essential oil.
Melissa was called the 'elixir of life' by Avincenna, the ancient Roman physician. The herb was associated particularly with nervous disorders, the heart, and emotions. Melissa was used for anxiety, melancholy, and to strengthen and revive the vital spirit.