Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aromatherapy Thursday - Bee Balm - Wild Bergamot

When I lived in the Midwest I had a giant herb garden, approximately  50 feet wide by 70 feet long and in the shape of a tear drop (I was feeling creative at the time.)  It was trimmed with salvaged red bricks and along side this lush patch ran a path of small bricks that was also salvaged.  My herb garden was filled with so many amazing treasures and one of those was Bee Balm.

Just a small part of my garden in Wisconsin
I loved the Bee Balm because it was part of the mint family making it easier to grow than to contain.  One thing about mints is that if you do not keep them in a confined area they will completely take over your spaces (including the grass.)  Bee Balm is a wonderful plant it has many properties, it makes a lovely tea, and the plant itself is extremely pleasing to the eye.  Deep mint green leaves whirl up it stalk and at the end a blast of fire red flowers that look like exploding fireworks; simply beautiful!   Butterflys and humming birds are especially attracted these lovely blossoms making it an added bonus for planting them.
This beautiful Giclee Print of Scott Hamber's original art work  can be found in Etsy shop
Trillium Studios at
Bee Balm also has other relatives and I stumbled upon one accidentally on a hike through my home land in Wisconsin.  At times I would get so frustrated with the short Wisconsin growing season and I often felt a little short changed, at least until something like my discovery of Wild Bergamot then I would feel in good gardener spirits again.  On this walk I noticed a plant that resembled a member of the mint family that donned a familiar tuft of flowers but in purple.  I took some home and it was only a matter of minutes that I was able to confirm that it was indeed Wild Bergamot.  Of course shortly after that I transplanted some from the hills on our property to my garden and it, like it kin, took off into a lovely little patch.
You can purchase seeds for the Wild Bergamot from Etsy shop Nature Maid Treasures at
Bee Balm's fuzzy leaves are often used in tea.  Other people have described the flavor as being similar to oregano but I found it to be a little bit more on the order of other mints.  The tea is reported to aid in digestion; helping in a range of mild irritations such as flatulence and indigestion.  As with most things it is more up to the individual whether this truly works to relieve any of those symptoms.

Topically it has been used to help relieve things such as fungal infections and athlete's foot.  The Wild Bergamot had been used by Native Americans to treat wounds and for many other medicinal purposes.
This lovely handmade soap can be found in Etsy shop Goodies By Heather at
I love lip balm and this wonderful selection can be found in Etsy shop Heavenly Honey Farm at
Bee Balm is another member of the mint family that can stimulate the senses when used in aromatherapy.  The essential oil comes from the flower head giving it a sweet citrusy floral scent.   It helps combat fatigue (which is always a good thing for me) along with having a calming affect.  The aroma is uplifting and can help you in those tense and stressful moments. 

As with all herbal, natural and aromatherapy products, Bee Balm should never be used in place of medical treatment or a visit to your doctors office for treatment.  Always consult your physician prior to use of any homeopathic or natural remedy.  Note always be aware and check for allergies prior to use of any new products.

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