Bee’s Delight: Gathering Mountain Mondarda
The bees are in a glorious mood just now, buzzing and hovering above the honey sweet Beebalm flowers. Every year I wait for just this moment, for the rains that come sweeping in from the south, the new green growth that erupts everywhere and for the magnificent blooms of one of my favorite flowers. Not only is this blossom ungodly gorgeous, but it’s one of the most versatile and effective medicines I’ve ever used.
I’m not really sure I need to write about it anymore considering how much is already here. I’ve confirmed my primary uses for the plant over and over again, especially for many kinds of systemic infection (with Alder!) and specifically for the mucus membranes. That means yeast infections, UTI’s, toothaches and many gut infections.
Also, Beebalm tincture on burns is nothing short of great, it will kick your Lavender EOs butt every time, and is even better with a bit of Evening Primrose tincture. The salve is fabulous, I mix it up with Mugwort and Alder usually for a strange smelling but super super effective wound healer.
The honey made with the flowers is heavenly, and I don’t say that lightly. It tastes like spicy hot sweetness gone buzzy on your tongue. Pure pleasure. And if you don’t eat it up right away, then it also makes an excellent wound/burn dressing.
Keep in mind I’m speaking particularly of my own Mondarda fistulosa var. menthaefolia, your local Monarda may taste different (I’ve had delightfully and delicately sweet M. didyma from Ananda, yum) but so far, all spp. seem to work very similarly. I prefer a tincture made from fresh flowers for the strongest medicine, but also utilize the dried leaves for less intense purposes or broader applications to the body (makes a real nice decongesting steam).
Around here, everyone calls it Wild Oregano or Oregano de la Sierras, because the leaves smell very similar to Oregano, only better. We use them as a spice year round. It’s a good thing then, that the plant is very prevalent up the arroyo because we use tons of the stuff every year. Literal pounds just for our family’s use.
If you can take the super spicy taste it also makes a great relaxing diaphoretic, but it’s easier to swallow with equal parts Elderflower, Yarrow, Mint and maybe a pinch of Wild Pennyroyal (Hedeoma is what I use but probably Monardella would work just fine too).
If you have this plant nearby, I strongly recommend getting to know it. And if you’d like to read (much) more about it, check out some of my old posts on it:
And if you use the search box, I bet you’ll find even more!
Beebalm pic (c)2008 Kiva Rose