Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bee Balm

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Scientific name: Monarda didyma

Common names: Horsebalm, Bergamot, Wild Bergamot, Scarlet Monarda, Oswego Tea, Mountain
Mint, Horseming, Elk Medicine, Sweet leaf

Description:

Bee balm is a perennial plant and a member of the mint family. The flowers are long, tubular that are clustered in a solitary, rounded head of dark-red calices. The flowers range in color from pink to crimson red, red and light purple hues. The stems are about 2 to 3 feet long that are branched while the leaves are aromatic/fragrant minty that are dark green, oval to oblong lanceshape. The preferred habitat are open woods, thickets, dry rocky hills and found in Eastern Canada and Maine, westward to Minnesota, south to Gulf of Mexico.  Bee balm is edible as well as medicinal and used as an herb.
Bees delight in the nectar of the flowers, earning the name "Bee Balm".

Parts Used: leaves, flowers

Medicinal uses and properties:

Bee balm is the natural sources of the antiseptic thymol (the main active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas and used to treat mouth and throat infections.),carvacrol, rosemarnic acid. It has excellent antibacterial qualities & strong antiseptic properties used for skin infections and minor wounds.  The herb also has carminative properties and used to treat headaches and fevers, colds, colic, nausea, delayed menstruation, general stomach upset, insufficient circulation and as a relaxant diaphoretic. The bee balm can also be use for psoriasis, eczema and can be used as an insect repellant.

Bee Balm Tea Recipe:

Place ¼ cup bee balm leaves and flowers in a teapot. Add one quart of boiling water.Cover and steep for about an hour until cool. Strain and discard leaves and flowers. sweeten to taste, take at bedtime. You may also want to chill and serve over ice.

Precaution:

Not to be taken by those with thyroid problems, pregnant or lactating women. It can also cause skin irritation and cause sensitivity to the sun so it is advisable to test it first on a small area of the skin before applying. Just like in all the post here of medicinal plants, it is still best to consult your doctor before using medicinal plants.