Gerarde, the famous herbalist, says that Melissa "maketh the heart merry and joyful and strengthens the vital spirits". Indeed, Melissa has a particular affinity for the nervous system, being mildly anti-depressant and a nerve relaxant. As such it may be beneficial for SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and to relieve general anxiety. Unlike St.John's wort which can interact with medication, Melissa is gentle and will have no such effect. Its anti-viral properties have been shown to be effective against Herpes Simplex virus or cold sores, on topical application of a lotion based extract.