"Wild Bergamot, Horsemint, Bee Balm"
|Sun Exposure||Prairie, Savanna|
|Soil Moisture||Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic|
Summer, Fall July, August, September
|Max Height||4 feet|
|Seeds Per Packet||500|
|Seeds Per Ounce||70,000|
Monarda named in honor of Spanish botanist, Nicolas Monardes, who wrote extensively in the 16th century about medicinal and useful plants. Fistulosa from the Latin for "like a reed or a pipe" referring to the individual flowers.
Common to the eastern and northeastern US and the central Tallgrass region on rich, moist soils. Found along the edges of woods, roadsides and old pastures. Pink to light purple flowers from July to September. Can grow to 5 feet. Typical square stem of the mint family.
Native Americans used a tea made from the leaves of Wild Bergamot to treat colic, flatulence, colds, fevers, stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble and to induce sweating in measles. Apoultice made from the leaves was used to treat headaches. Physicians once used the same leaf tea to expel worms and gas.
Edible Uses: Unknown
Medicinal Uses: Wild bergamot was often employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints, but especially those connected with the digestive system. It is still sometimes used in modern herbalism.
The leaves and flowering stems are carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders, aching kidneys, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throats. Externally, it is applied as a poultice to skin eruptions, cuts etc and as a wash for sore eyes. The leaves can be harvested before the plant flowers, or they can be harvested with the flowering stems. They can be used fresh or dried.
The plant contains the essential oil 'bergamot oil' which can be inhaled to treat bronchial complaints.
The leaves also contain 'thymol', an essential oil that can be used to expel gas from the digestive tract.
Other Uses: The leaves have been used as an insect repellent.
Herbal Uses: Unknown