One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the genus Melissa (family Lamiaceae (Labiatae)), especially lemon balm, M. officinalis, chiefly as used medicinally; an extract of this herb. Also (in form Melissa): the genus itself.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Guy de Chauliac's Grande Chirurgie. From post-classical Latin melissa from ancient Greek (non-Attic) μέλισσα bee, so called in allusion to its attractiveness to bees, probably after Hellenistic Greek μελισσόϕυλλον in the same sense.
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