Common Names: Wild Bergamot, bee balm, eastern bee balm, wild Oswego, horsemint, monarda

Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosa

Identification: This herb is known for its attractive brightly colored flowers. It is also noted for its fragrance, and is source of oil. It has large broad green leaves with a spiking flower in its center on a tall stem. Flowers are red, purple, or pink in color.

Bee Balm is a wildflower that grows abundantly in North America. It belongs to the mint family and is edible, often used for medicinal purposes during cold and flu seasons.

Parts Used: The flower is used to make oil. The leaves of this herb can be dried or fresh for a medicinal tea or an inhaled steam.

Uses: Edible, medicinal, culinary

Growing: It is a perennial herb that grows in dry thickets, clearings and woodland edges. It can grow easily in regular garden soil and grows great in heavy clay soils. It likes partial shade to grow.

Storage: Dry the flowers in a well-ventilated area.

Medicinal Uses: This herb can be used as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant. It is often used in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and GI disorders. It is also known to reduce low fevers, soothe a sore throat, and relieve gas, nausea and menstrual pain along with aiding in insomnia.

Safety: Because of its many medicinal properties, be sure to consult your physician prior to use especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Books on Bee Balm: Florida’s Best Herbs and Spices by Charles R Boning

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner before use to discuss effects and possible interactions.