Relissa: a botanical melatonin-free aid to improved sleep and living better

Published: 6-Oct-2023

Many factors impact our sleeping habits and mood, including economic instability, social, health and environmental issues, and the stress of modern life

Despite societal demands in terms of performance, competition and other personal challenges, sleep is a critical part of our overall health.

Moreover, the quality and quantity of our sleep is deeply connected to our mental and emotional well-being. During sleep, the body and mind go through various restorative processes, including repairing and rejuvenating cells, consolidating memories, processing emotions and cleansing toxins from the brain.

Good sleep can help us to better regulate our emotions and improve cognitive skills such as learning and attention.1

Considering all these factors, there is evidence to suggest that natural ingredients can help with sleep, mood and general health.

Melissa officinalis is an excellent example; a member of the mint family, it has been used for centuries as a calming or “anti-stress” ingredient that also promotes sleep and relaxation.

Other investigated effects of this botanical include antioxidant and spasmolytic activity, neuroprotection and anxiolytic action.2–5 More than 50 compounds have been identified in the plant (including volatiles), but the major actives are considered to be the hydroxycinnamic and rosmarinic acids (and derivatives).2

These have been shown to have multiple properties, such as a calming and mood balancing effect that positively impact sleep.

The mechanisms of action are the modulation of the GABA-transaminase enzyme (responsible for GABA degradation, resulting in a high level of GABA), antioxidant and radical scavenging activities, and neuroprotection.

Relissa: a botanical melatonin-free aid to improved sleep and living better

Indena has focused on optimising the delivery and formulation of Melissa officinalis’s phytonutrients. The result is RelissaTM, a standardised melatonin-free supplement that counters sleep-related difficulties for a better quality of life.

Relissa is not a common Melissa extract: its impressive hydroxycinnamic and rosmarinic acid content has been quantified and standardised for better and more effective results.

Furthermore, it’s Melissa Phytosome® formulation, comprising Melissa officinalis with phospholipids, optimises both its dispersion in gastrointestinal fluids and biological performance.

Phytosome is Indena’s proprietary technology that optimises the delivery of botanical extracts and compounds; it comprises lecithin-based solid dispersions that enhance an ingredient’s distribution in gastrointestinal fluids and its bioaccessibility profile.

Phytosome ensures that the phytonutrients contained in Melissa officinalis deliver a better biological performance while fully respecting their natural profile. Leveraging the same technology, Relissa (Melissa Phytosome) can also be provided as gummies, an increasingly popular supplement format.

Recent clinical evidence shows that Relissa offers clear support for sleep, mood, stress, emotional health and quality of life, with significant results based on validated self-assessed questionnaires given to 100 subjects.6

In addition, a specific potential interaction was closely analysed to dispel any concern about how the microbiome may influence our well-being, especially in the realm of mood and sleep.

Relissa: a botanical melatonin-free aid to improved sleep and living better

Lactobacillus rhamnosus — a type of bacteria that’s able to colonise the human gastrointestinal tract — has been proven to improve night rest and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.7

This derives from its positive influence on short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in terms of controlling the expression of genes responsible for sleep-wake rhythms.8

Relissa has shown no negative interactions with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, thus safeguarding its beneficial effect. Another value of Indena’s Relissa is sustainability.

The Melissa officinalis extracts chosen for Relissa not only comply with the company’s own high standards, but are also part of a sustainable journey that keeps a careful eye on carbon footprint, renewable energy and supply chains.

In fact, Melissa officinalis is cultivated by organic farms and suppliers based in Europe, which ensure both high quality and environmental awareness at the same time.

These elements form part of a virtuous and ecosustainable path; we use driers powered by renewable energy, leverage waste heat from systems that run on biogases generated from the fermentation of agro-industrial by-products, and feed leftover biomass back into the growing phase as a soil conditioner.

Relissa is Indena’s way of turning a good ingredient (Melissa officinalis) into a great one. It’s your new botanical melatonin-free ally for relaxation and peaceful sleep. It’s proven by science and approved by Nature.


  2. F. Shakeri, et al., Journal of ethnopharmacology 188, 204–228 (2016).
  3. J. Świąder, Appl. Bot. Food Qual. 92, 327–335 (2019).
  6. A. Khan, et al., Frontiers in Pharmacology (In Press).
  7. R.S. Thompson, et al., Front. Behav. Neurosci. 10, 240 (2017).
  8. B. Dalile, et al., Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 16(8), 461–478 (2019).

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