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Bee balm is an herb and ornamental garden plant.  Other names for bee balm include bergamot, monarda, and sweet leaf. It is one of my must-have garden herbs for health and culinary uses on the homestead! Dried bee balm holds it’s fragrance well and makes a great addition to the homestead apothecary and spice rack.

(A version of this article first appeared on Mother Earth News)

Bee Balm as a Flavorful Tea

This herb has a pleasant taste that is reminiscent of Earl Grey tea! Fresh or dried, it’s a flavorful tea for supporting nervous system health. It is also a lovely after-dinner tea to support digestion.

Lavender Substitute for Skin Care

Much like lavender, bee balm is a wonderful addition to natural skin care routines. As a vinegar, witch hazel extract, or added to baths or washes it is a soothing ingredient for after-sun skin care. The fresh leaves also make a calming poultice for minor kitchen burns or bug bites.

Oregano Substitute in Cooking

Dried bee balm has a fragrance that is a little bit like oregano but slightly sweeter with hints of bergamot orange. It makes a nice oregano substitute in a pinch, or a cooking spice in its own right. Like oregano, it is very good in soups, stews, and even in savory breads.

Bee Balm Extract & the Homestead Apothecary

Dried bee balm can be used to make a versatile extract for your homestead apothecary. Herbal uses for bee balm include digestive support, nervous system support, and as a topical for skin care.

Bee balm retains it’s essential oil content extremely well, even when dried. Using dried bee balm to make your extract eliminates extra water that can dilute your extract. Dried herbal extracts are usually more potent and have a longer shelf-life! You can find complete directions for making a bee balm extract in my article at Mother Earth News.

Read More About Bee Balm

Thanks for stopping by the blog! You might enjoy these other articles I’ve written about bee balm:

About Agatha

I’m an herbalist and author in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find my popular herbal recipe book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or request it at your favorite bookshop or library!

 

Read the Full Article at Mother Earth News

Be sure to stop by and read the original article on Mother Earth News:

Four Ways to Use Beautiful Bee Balm on the Homestead