Bee-balm or Monarda which is the Latin name, is a beautiful wildflower native to North east North America. It is known for the popular beverage Natives call Oswego tea, and is also cooked in stews, and used to flavour salads. Being aromatic the essential oil makes great perfume and keeps insects and flies away.
Monarda fistulosa has beautiful tubular lavender-purple pinkish flowers. The common name is known as Wild Bergamot, not to be confused with the citrus bergamot orange – Citrus bergamia L. used in EARL GREY tea, but it smells similar and is now sometimes combined. English Settlers that came to North America named it that, because they thought it smelled just like earl grey tea, and introduced it to England in 1744. Having a high geraniol content, it smells like geranium flowers mixed with citrus and mint.
Monarda didyma has showy red flowers that smell like citrus and mint. The leaves make a wonderful tea dried or fresh. The common name is Bee-balm because it attracts bees, along with hummingbirds and butterflies. It is also called Scarlet bee-balm because of the colour of the flowers. The M. didyma species has a higher thymol content that makes it smell more like citrus thyme.
The stems are square like some mints, with paired grey green leaves that is rough on both sides. It prefers moist, light soil. Being a mint family member it likes some shade from the hot afternoon sun. Use all Monarda species the same way. The essential oil has a very pleasant fragrance and is used for coughs and colds. Enjoy in a tea, tincture or in a culinary masterpiece!
|Common Name||Bee balm/ Wild Bergamot|
|Latin Name||Monarda didyma (Bee balm) Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)|
|Family||Lamiaceae (Mint Family)|
|Parts Used||Perennial- pick herb from spring until it flowers in July-August|
|Target Organs||circulatory, digestion, respiratory, nerves, lymphatic, skin, urinary, reproductive|
|Common Uses||Respiratory: infections, colds, flu, nasal congestion, coughs, fever, swollen lymph
Digestion: digestive catarrh, indigestion, constipation, gas, bloating,
Urinary: UTI, incontinence, infection
Female reproductive: spasms, cramps, PMS, balancing
Nervous system: relaxant, stress, depression
External: wounds, inflammation,
|Properties||antimicrobial, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory, uterine,) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, cholagogue, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, digestive stimulant, stimulating emmenagogue, relaxing, secretolytic, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, rubefacient, relaxant, stomachic, tranquilizer, uterine relaxant, (neural, peripheral vasodilator), vulnerary|
|Constituents||Essential Oil Yield: 0.4%-0.6%
Monoterpene alcohols: geraniol 90%
Phenol: thymol(found in M. didyma)50%
|Cautions||Mild remedy. Do not use during pregnancy or consult with a professional.|
|Dosage||Tincture: 2-4ml Tea: 2 tsp. infuse|