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Medicinal Herbs Series: Monarda didyma

January 10, 2013
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Monarda didyma

This second installment of our medicinal herbs series introduces Monarda didyma, or Bee BalmWild Bergamot, Wild Oswego tea, Horsemint, or Mondarda. (Many of the plants in the Monarda family share the same common name, and are often referred to simply as Monarda.)

Bee balm can be used medicinally to relieve nausea, flatulence, menstrual pain, insomnia, bronchial inflammation and sore throats.

Infuse leaves of Bee Balm in a tea for nausea, flatulence, menstrual pain, insomnia or make a steam inhalation for bronchial inflammation  and sore throats.

Bee Balm is a native North American plant historically used by Oswego Indians, who infused wild bergamot as a drink to ease cold and bronchial complaints.  This tea became a popular tea substitute in New England after the Boston Tea Party, in 1773.

The leaves of Bee Balm can be harvested for its medicinal properties in spring or in summer when flowers form. The flowers can be picked as they open.

Sources:

Mountain Rose Herbs

The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing & Using Herbs by Lesley Bremness

The Growers Exchange

 

 

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