Melissa Essential Oil: What’s in a name?

3 24/08/2020 - Discover Essential Oils, ESSENTIAL OILS

You may be wondering about the origin of the name of Melissa essential oil. You’ve come to the right place!

The name Melissa is derived from the Greek word for ‘bee’ because the plant is simply irresistible to bees and has been grown for this purpose down the ages. So, we have bees to thank for the name.

It’s also known as lemon balm and has even been called ‘Bal-Smin’ in Hebrew, meaning ‘Chief of Oils’.

What is Melissa Essential Oil?

Melissa Essential Oil is steam distilled from the Melissa plant. Melissa is a hardy, herbaceous perennial. This means that the plants die down to the ground each year, but the roots remain alive and generate new top growth each year.

Melissa is native to southern Europe and it was introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. In fact, it grows wild in Europe, carpeting fields and woods. Young Living’s Melissa is grown and distilled at our well-known, beautiful farm called St. Maries in Idaho. Staff at Young Living talk fondly of founder Gary Young visiting St. Maries and checking on the progress of the delicate lemon balm plants there. The Melissa leaves can be described as ‘nettle-like’, sometimes heart-shaped, wrinkled, shiny, small, and pale green in colour. The tiny flowers are white or pink.

Our favourite historical reference to Melissa involved the Carmelite order in France. Word has it that around 1611, Carmelites monks used Melissa with water. Even earlier, Swiss physician and alchemist, Paracelsus, (1493-1541) called it the ‘Elixir of Life’.

Why is Today’s Melissa Essential Oil so expensive?

Another frequent question about Melissa is why is it so expensive? There is a simple answer. A lot of the Melissa plant is needed to make a little oil. What’s more the plant must be handled very carefully (and not touch the ground for example) in the process of harvesting. The oil is steam-distilled from the leaf of the plant before it flowers.

A Young Living member called Erin asked what makes Melissa oil so rare.

Melissa must be distilled at a precise time of blossoming to retain the full oil potential. The difference from an early morning cutting to a late afternoon cutting can be critical enough to decrease oil production by as much as 90%, so there is a very small window to get any yield. Less than one thousandth of the bulk plant is likely to end up as condensed oil. Plant material must also be taken from the field to the distillery immediately. Any drying of plant material can destroy or severely limit the oil distillation process. So, the production must be timed just right.

Young Living Melissa oil is 100% pure essential oil, (Melissa officinalis). Our unique and sure standard, Seed to Seal® is our absolute commitment to unmatched quality.

What does Melissa essential oil smell like?

As for the scent, the oil has a lovely lemony smell, sometimes described as grassy. It is enjoyed for its sweet and calming aroma. It is in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. By the way you will find it in our blend Forgiveness Essential Oil.

What is Melissa essential oil used for?

  • Melissa essential oil can be used topically and through a diffuser.
  • Melissa is commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products because it is respected for having a positive impact on the skin.
  • Add a couple of drops to your favourite body lotion and moisturise skin in the evening for a calming aroma.
  • Combine a few drops with water in a glass spray bottle. Shake and spritz on your face for a refreshing experience and uplifting aroma.
  • Diffuse in the evening or during quiet times of the day to create a soothing, comforting atmosphere.
  • Create a DIY room spray by combining distilled water, 3 to 4 drops of Melissa, and a teaspoon of witch hazel in a spray bottle.




  • Stefania 26/12/2020 - 11:26 PM Reply

    Could Melissa be used as sleeping aid?

    • cehrecke 13/05/2021 - 7:53 AM Reply

      Hi there, good question! 🙂 We can inform you that our oils are supposed to be used for aromatic and cosmetic purposes only.

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