Antiviral Potential of Melissa officinalis L.: A Literature Review

Nutr Metab Insights. 2023 Jan 12:16:11786388221146683. doi: 10.1177/11786388221146683. eCollection 2023.


The use of synthetic drugs has increased in recent years; however, herbal medicine is yet more trusted among a huge population worldwide; This could be due to minimal side effects, affordable prices, and traditional beliefs. Lemongrass (Melissa officinalis) has been widely used for reducing stress and anxiety, increasing appetite and sleep, reducing pain, healing wounds, and treating poisonous insect bites and bee stings for a long time. Today, research has shown that this plant can also fight viruses including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) through various mechanisms such as inhibiting HSV-1 from binding to host cell, inhibiting HSV-1 replication during the post-adsorption or inhibiting main protease and spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, furthermore, be effective in treating related diseases. This Review investigated the antiviral properties of Melissa officinalis and its effect on viral diseases. More in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to determine Melissa officinaliss underlying mechanism, and more randomized controlled trials should be done to identify its effect in humans. Also, due to the usefulness and lack of side effects, it can be used more as a complementary medicine.

Keywords: Melissa officinalis; antiviral; herbal medicine; natural medicine; virus.

Publication types

  • Review