Brain Health,
Smart Drugs,

#071: Lemon Balm: 2300 Years of “Joy and Mirth”

April 11, 2015

In Episode #71, Jesse speaks to Professor Andrew Scholey of the Swinburne Centre for Human Psychopharmacology.  Professor Scholey takes us through the history and effects of Lemon Balm – a plant with both mood and cognitive-enhancement properties.

We’ll also hear about the effects of human DNA on transgenic rodent brains, and have a look at the neuroscience behind criminal behavior.

Show Notes
  • 00:00:33

    What is Lemon Balm?

  • 00:01:23

    This Week in Neuroscience: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

  • 00:03:27

    iTunes review thank-yous

  • 00:04:38

    Anyone interested in a group keto experiment?

  • 00:05:22

    Introduction to Professor Andrew Scholey

  • 00:06:10

    The history of Lemon Balm's use as a cognitive enhancer, and its effects on mood and alertness

  • 00:11:02

    A look at perceived effort and neural efficiency

  • 00:12:12

    Palatable delivery methods for lemon balm and a study of topical delivery for Alzheimer's patients

  • 00:14:38

    Issues with regulation of plant-based cognitive enhancers (also mentioned in Episode 55: Plant-Based Cognitive Enhancers)

  • 00:17:40

    Is lemon balm primarily considered a mood enhancer or a cognitive enhancer?

  • 00:20:17

    Lemon balm and GABA

  • 00:21:04

    Where does lemon balm come from, and does it produce any negative effects?

  • 00:22:02

    Possible follow-up episode topics for Professor Scholey, and the difficulties in regulating nutraceuticals

  • 00:23:09

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: The Brain on Trial

  • 00:24:41

    A shout-out and thank-you to Garrett Wissbaum

  • 00:25:14

    Sneak peek at next week's episode topic


  1. Nootropos says:

    What happens if one combines lemon balm with a caffeine source like coffee, tea, etc? Does lemon balm lose any of its effects?

  2. Nootropos says:

    I read that lemon balm can decrease thyroid function. Any info?

  3. ben says:

    Anyone know of a supplement or tea sleep-cocktail that contains many herbs thought to help with sleep? Something with lemon balm, slow-release .3ug melatonin (or its precursors), maybe kava, lavender, valerian, glutamate/GABA?

    Regarding the RLRG, fellow neuroscientist Sam Harris has very similar ideas about free will. He’s written a very good (short) book on it, but he presents the gist of it here:

    1. ted says:

      I use passion flower and avena together for sleep.

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