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This nOde last updated December 3rd, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
(11 K'an (Corn) / 2 Mak -
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Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
Well-known to herbalists as "lemon balm," melissa is a southern European native. A medieval favorite, it was the main ingredient in "Carmelite internal linkWater," along with lemon peel, nutmeg, coriander and angelica. It was used for nervous headaches and neuralgia, and to improve the complexion. It is still produced as Eau de Melisse de Carmes and is found in Klosterfrau Melissengeist in Germany. Not easily distilled, the expensive, low-yielding oil is often adulterated with lemon or citronella.

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Extraction: Distilled from leaves. The sweet smell is soft, lemony.

Medicinal Action: Melissa treats indigestion, lung congestion, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, menstrual problems, and sometimes infertility. It fights inflammation and viral infections such as strep, herpes and chicken pox.

Emotional Attribute: Shock, distress, depression, nervousness and insomnia are helped by melissa's sedative action. Gerard (agreeing with Avicenna) said it "maketh the heart merry, joyful, strengthen  the vital spirits."

Associated Oil:
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla, formerly Lippia citriodora) --Similar in fragrance and cost to melissa, lemon verbena is often adulterated with less expensive oils. It is used on oily complexions and for nervous indigestion. The soothing fragrance encourages both sleep and concentration.

(excerpted from internal link_Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide To The Healing Art_ by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green, Crossing Press).

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"...the Great Mother was known as the Queen Bee and her priestesses were Melissae, the internal linkBees. Pindar says that the Pythian priestess at internal linkDelphi was known as the Delphic Bee, and her emblematic bee appeared on Delphic coins. The officiates at internal linkEleusis were Bees.
Bee UV

The name Melissa is an ancient title referring to a priestess of the Great Mother or to a nymph (the full-grown larva of bees are called nymphs)...

The Cretan Zeus was born in a cave of bees and was fed by them, and Zeus also had the title of Melissaios, Bee-man; he fathered a son, the hero Meliteus, by a nymph who hid the child from Hera in a wood, where Zeus had him fed by bees. Dionyous was fed on honey as a babe by the nymph Makris, daughter of Aristaeus, protector of flocks and bees.

As emblems of the goddesses Demeter, Cybele, Diana, Rhea and the Ephesian Artemis, bees are lunar and virgin. The bee appears on statues of Artemis and some of her priests were called internal linkEssenes - King Bees - Pausanias says that the word 'Essene' means King Bee. With the Essenes, 'King Bees' were priestly officials. Christ was called the 'internal linkaetherial bee'.(by the Church)

  - _Dictionary of Symbolic & Mythological Animals_, Cooper

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