Other Names: Monarda, Monarda didyma, Scarlet Monarda, Oswego tea, bee
balm, Red bee balm.
Habitat: This prolific perennial herb bears scarlet flowers
beloved by bees for their nectar. It's hard, square,
grooved stems grow up to 3 feet tall, and the rough,
dark, paired leaves which branch off from them, when
crushed, exude an exotic fragrance strongly reminiscent
of bergamot oranges. Bergamot is very easy to grow,
perferring a light moist soil in either sun or shade.
However, as with all the other mints, you will have to
keep an eye on its roots to make sure they do not begin
to strangle your other herbs. (Many gardners plant mints
in boxes or pots only for this very reason). Such is the
exuberance of the bergamot, you will probably be able to
divide it every 3 years, keeping one clump and giving
away the others to your friends.
Properties: Bergamot is a rich source of thymol, an aromatic
antiseptic substance used extensively in modern medicine
and dentistry. The chief value of the herb for the
herbalist, however, is as an infusion to benefit an upset
stomache, nausea, and vomiting.
Tea: Infuse 1 teaspoon dried bergamot in 1 covered cup boiling
water for fifteen minutes. Strain and add honey to
maintained by Jeff Morton / Ioldanach@yahoo.com / Ioldanach@yahoo.com