As we discussed in our last article, many names have been given to the plant monarda: bee balm, bergamot, or Oswego tea (more on that here). It has been used in North America for a very long time and for many purposes. You can find it in nearly every state in the U.S., and since it’s in the mint family it is easy to grow in your own garden. In bloom from late June through September in most locations, be sure you harvest some now to try these recipes. Oh, and don’t forget to dry some for this winter!
Recipes using Bee Balm
Bee Balm in Wild Flower Jelly
Have you tried making jellies from wild flowers yet? Check out this easy recipe, and a list of 24 suggestions for some wild (and not so wild) plants to try. The Bee Balm jelly is great! https://theherbalacademy.com/make-it-wildflower-jelly/
Bee Balm Bread
Any time I’ve made bee balm bread and taken it to an event, it’s been a hit. Here’s a recipe to try while the bee balm is in bloom. I’ve used both the M. fistulosa and the M. didyma interchangeably. http://premeditatedleftovers.com/recipes-cooking-tips/10-ways-to-use-bee-balm-and-bee-balm-bread-recipe/
Bee Balm Oxymel
Oxymels, an ancient herbal medicine probably originating in Greece, are making a comeback today. Have you ever made one? Here’s an interesting article about oxymels and how you can (and should) be making them now for the long, germ filled winter ahead. All you need are three simple ingredients – your herbs, honey, and vinegar. Learn how:
Bee Balm in a Poultice
Poultices have been a commonly used first aid method for hundreds of years. Many herbs make good poultices, including bee balm (monarda). This article explains the history of poultices, and how to make them using both fresh plant material, or dried for making one when fresh is not available.
Monarda Flower Water
Flower waters are a gentle way to introduce edible flowers to kids. Learn about this lovely concept here.
Bee Balm is one of 20 Insect Repelling Plants
Summer is great, and we love it, but biting bugs can be problematic. Here is a list of 20 plants, some of which are probably in your yard right now, that are good for repelling those pesky nuisances! http://simplelifemom.com/2014/06/25/20-insect-repelling-plants/
For more ideas, check out these articles:
10 Uses for Bee Balm
Bee balm is a versatile and useful North American native plant. To sum it all up, here’s a list of 10 additional uses for you to try.
5 Ways to Use Bee Balm
If you want to get creative with this beautiful perennial try these 5 ways to use bee balm!
How To Grow Bee Balm
If you’re looking to grow bee balm in your garden this year, this post will give you all the information you need to do just that!