Bee Balm Identification:
Bee Balm is a perennial that grows from 2 to 5 feet. A dense, rounded, terminal, head-like cluster of bright red, tubular flowers is at the summit of a square stem.
Flowers: About 1-1/2 inches long; corolla 2-lipped, 5-lobed; stamens2, projecting; stigma 2- parted.
Reddish bracts present beneath flower cluster.
Leaves: 3 to 6 inches long; opposite, dark green, ovate to lanceolate, coarsely toothed.
It has a dense, rather shallow root system, with many runners, making root division a most reliable method of plant propagation.
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Other Names: Bergamot, Oswego tea
Flowers: June – September
Parts Used: Leaves, flowers and oil
Habitat: Thickets and stream banks. New York to Georgia; Tennessee to Michigan.
Constituents: Volatile oil, Compounds related to Thymol, Tannic acid.
Properties: Carmative, rubefacient, stimulant. Has been used mainly as a stomach preparation, to relieve nausea, vomiting, and flatulence.
Main Uses: American Indians used leaf tea for colic, gas, colds, fevers, stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble, measles, and to induce sweating. A poultice was used for headaches.
Preparation And Dosages:
Infusion: Steep 1 teaspoon leaves or flowerheads in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.