Monarda (Monarda fistulosa)
Monarda (Monarda fistulosa), the wild bergamot or bee balm, is a wildflower in the mint family (Lamiaceae) widespread and abundant as a native plant in much of North America. This plant, with showy summer-blooming pink to lavender flowers, is often used as a honey plant, medicinal plant, and garden ornamental.
Wild bergamot was considered a medicinal plant by many Native Americans including the Menominee, the Ojibwe, and the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk). It was used most commonly to treat colds, and was frequently made into a tea. Today, many families still use wild bergamot during the cold and flu season. The tea may be sweetened with honey, as it tends to be quite strong.
The species of Monarda that may go under the common name "bee balm," including M. fistulosa, have a long history of use as a medicinal plant by Native Americans, including the Blackfoot. The Blackfoot recognized the plant's strong antiseptic action, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds.
A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee balm is the natural source of the antiseptic thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. Leaves were eaten boiled with meat and a concoction of the plant was made into hair pomade.
The essential oil of Monarda fistulosa was analyzed using mass spectrometry and arithmetical retention indices, and was found to contain p-cymene (32.5%), carvacrol (24.0%), thymol (12.6%), an aliphatic aldehyde (6.3%), the methyl ether of carvacrol (5.5%), α-pinene (3.5%), β-pinene (2.9%), sabinene hydrate (1.9%), α-terpinene (1.7%), citronellyl acetate (1.6%), and β-caryophyllene (1.1%).
Find Monarda Essential Oil in the following BVO Products.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.