Monarda didyma, a flowering plant in the mint family, is known by a number of different common names including bee balm, Oswego tea and bergamot. It is native to eastern North America. The Oswego Indians often brewed the bergamot tea. The flavonoids (rutin, hyperoside, quercitrin, luteolin, quercetin) are found in leaves and flowers of bee balm.
Monarda fistulosa, is wild bergamot or horse mint and has a beautiful fresh aroma like a mix of citrus and mint.
Bee Balm is used as:
- an antiseptic
The leaves of both Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa, can be dried and used as tea. Fresh leaves add a refreshing flavour to fruit salads and drinks. It is traditionally used in apple jelly. The tea is a balm for sore throats and headaches. Oil within the leaves is used to treat insect bites and relieve bronchial congestion. "The Blackfoot Indians recognized the strong antiseptic properties of these plants and used poultices of the plant for skin infections, wounds, and mouth sores." MONARDA by HSA
- colds, catarrh and sore throat
- menstrual pain
- PubMed: Analysis of flavonoids in the flowers and leaves of Monarda didyma by Savickiene N, Dagilyte A, Barsteigiene Z, Kazlauskas S, Vaiciūniene J. Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
- Herb Society of America HSA MONARDA