Native to Iran, south-central Europe, Mediterranean region and central Asia, lemon balm or Melissa officinalis also known as a balm, common or balm mint is a flowering herb that is part of the mint family.
Some of the common M. officinalis cultivars include citronella, lime, variegata, Quedlinburger Niederliegende, Aurea, and Quedlinburger.
Its common uses include as a culinary herb in various dishes, herbal tea, and candies as well as herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant. Its oil, Melissa oil, is used in perfume industries, aromatherapy, among other uses.
Some of its benefits to humans include aiding in anxiety and depression, insomnia, boost memory function, helps in treat nausea, indigestion, and so on
Is it safe for dogs?
Yes. Lemon balm is safe for dogs. It will not harm them. However, only given them a very small amount. Excessive amounts may cause indigestion and stomach upsets.
How do you give it to your pooch? You can make them an herbal tea, chop fresh leaves or use a pinch of grounded dry leaves on their food. You can also prepare them a snack that has this herb.
On dosages, for smaller dogs about 15 pounds, keep the amount of freshly chopped leaves to a teaspoon. If you go for dried one, use only a pinch. For larger dogs, you can use up to twice the amount or more depending on the size.
For tea, go for one teaspoon of the herbal tea per dog weighing 20 pounds twice or three times a day. You need one teaspoon or tea bag to make this herbal tea and let it cool first.
Is balm beneficial?
Yes. This plant is quite beneficial as it has antioxidant, antimicrobial and antispasmodic properties. Also, it has some nutrients. Some of its benefits are:
1. Sleep and calmness
It has anti-anxiety and anti-stress properties. It also increases calmness and aids in sleep in cases of mild insomnia. This will help reduce the various problems that come with anxiety including a sensitive stomach.
In fact, this herb is also a good digestion aid and will prevent indigestion, flatulence.
New pets or people, relocation, boarding, often lead to anxiety in dogs.
Some of the best products that will help calm your dog include the following:
- Isle of Dogs 100% Natural Chillout Dog Treats – Have lavender and lemon balm extract. It is suitable for calming your dog as it goes to rides, groomers or during thunderstorms.
- BarkBox Veterinarian Formulated Dog Calming Supplement for Anxiety Relief – This US-made soft-chews have Tryptophan, green tea, and lemon balm and will work as an all-natural calming aid.
As a sedative agent, it will help your pet remain focused and have a heightened sense of awareness. This is why it is recommended for older dogs especially those that have confusion or dementia. It also boosts memory.
3. It is a powerful antioxidant
It is a powerful antioxidant since it is high in flavonoids, phenolics as well as gallic and rosmaric acids that will neutralize free radicals that damage cells.
4. Antimicrobial properties
Lemon balm has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties making it good for treating respiratory infections in place of Lasix whose long-term use can damage the heart, kidney and worsen overall health.
Secondly, it can be used in healing minor cuts, wounds and bruises as it will keep the various pathogens as well as insects and flies at bay. Use mashed or pureed leaves before dressing a wound or as a poultice.
Also, herbal honey will work well in treating minor skin infections, cuts, wounds, and you need to chop balm leaves and put them in honey.
5. Easy pain
Since it has antispasmodic properties, it can help the muscle relax and easy pain including “arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, or old sports injuries,” notes Natural Dog Health Remedies.
For this use, apply a hot compress using a piece of cloth soaked in lemon balm herbal tea or compress with warm a used teabag. You can also use it as a cold compress.
Melissa oil and hydrosol extract
Spraying this herb’s hydrosol extract and oil into the air may help may deodorize your cat’s coat, treat minor skin allergies, reduce anxiety and stress, treat infections (fungal bacterial or viral), hotspots, rashes and so on.
For drinking, use a quarter a spoon for hydrosol in a cup of water while for Melissa oil, add only one drop to a cup of water for a 15-pound dog and in that ratio.
Also, this oil can be used for aromatherapy especially when your canine pal has flu or allergies.
Lemon balm plant and its essential oil are safe for dogs. Your vet should help you come up with the right dosages depending on your dog’s weight.
Finally, high amounts can affect iodine assimilation. Also, avoid its use in dogs that suffer from hypothyroidism.