4 Ways to Use Beautiful Bee Balm on the Homestead

| 8/30/2016 2:07:00 PM

Tags: herbalism, home remedies, bee balm, wildflowers, teas, beneficial insects, pollinators, Georgia, Agatha Noveille,

Bee Balm Bloom In Garden 

When it comes to landscaping the farmstead or urban homestead, it’s nice to be able to include plants that are both beautiful and functional. Bee balm is a North American wildflower that easily fills both roles.

With an unusual, eye-catching bloom that is loved by bees and butterflies, these showy flowers can come in either scarlet (Monarda didyma) or lavender (Monarda fistulosa), but this plant provides more than just looks and wildlife habitat: It is also a versatile herb with many different uses for health and home.

Flavorful Tea for Enjoyment and Health

If you enjoy Earl Grey, a cup of bee balm tea will seem familiar. One of bee balm’s other common names, wild bergamot, alludes to the sophisticated and citrusy notes possessed by this mint family herb, which is similar to the bergamot orange that flavors Earl Grey tea.

In fact, after the Boston Tea Party, bee balm is believed to have been used as a substitute for the British imported tea that the colonists were boycotting (read more about the history and lure of bee balm).

This herb also makes a lovely after dinner beverage thanks to its ability to support the digestive system, and is much loved by herbalists for its centering and calming influence in the face of nervousness and anxiety. Bee balm is just as wonderful when used in homemade herbal tea blends simply to bring a little extra flavor to the mix.

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