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Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol
If you're under heavy psychological stress, tea made from dried lemon balm [Latin name Melissa officinalis] and passion flower [Passiflora caerulea] can help limit rising levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Researchers at the University of Talca in Chile made the discovery after doing experiments with mice.
Both Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea are herbs known for their sedative properties. That's why the Chilean supplements manufacturer Knop Laboratorios [knoplabs.com] puts dried material from both of these herbs in its Melipass. The ratio between the two herbs is 1:1.
The researchers took the ingredients out of the Melipass capsules and boiled them for 10 minutes. They filtered the tea and then gave it to the mice to drink.
The researchers subjected half of their lab animals to psychological stress daily for a month. They did this by keeping the animals in restricted tubes (as though they were straitjacketed) without food or drink for five hours every day.
Corticosterone is the most important stress hormone in mice. The human equivalent is cortisol. You'd expect that, if tea containing Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits the production of corticosterone in mice, that the same tea would inhibit the production of cortisol in humans.
And if you're planning on doing so for longer than a couple of consecutive days, it's probably a good idea to boil the tea for a long time to make sure you obtain a well purified extract. Passiflora caerulea and its close relative Passiflora incarnate contain the toxic cyanogenic glycosides etraphyllin B and epi-tetraphyllin B. [Phytochemistry 1982 21(9) 2277-2285.] The quantities are miniscule, but even so… You can neutralise most of these compounds by boiling the tea for about 15 minutes.