Purple Bee Balm, Bee Balm, Wild Oregano
Lamiaceae – Mint family
2 - 3 ft High
Paired, serrated, lanceolate, opposite. Sometimes triangular or oval.
Like all members of the mint family, Wild Bergamot has square stems.
Mid to late summer into early fall.
Showy lavender purple flowers. Narrow lipped lavender tubes in crowded heads. The tips of the bracts are slightly purple tinged. The flower reminds one of a July 4th firework.
This meadow dwelling plant loves dry areas. Look for it along forest edges, roadsides, abandoned homesteads, and waste areas.
Leaves, Flower Heads
Wild Food Uses:
Leaves can be steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then sweetened to taste. Although I have not tried this, I have heard the resulting brew is better when mixed with other teas.
The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.
Native Americans used Bergamot leaf tea to treat colic, flatulence, stomachaches, insomnia, heart trouble, fevers, colds and flues. They also used it to treat yeast infections. It was also said to be employed to stop nosebleeds. More modern western physicians used Bergamot to treat gas, and to expel intestinal worms. It is also an excellent Diaphoretic, meaning that it is used to increase outward circulation. This makes it wonderful at treating fevers, especially those which present as an increase in core temperature but with clammy skin. The plant is high in the essential oil carvacrol, which studies have shown to be an excellent anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. With the prevalence of this plant, I would suggest giving it a try. I try to always have some on hand. I have found that a tea of Wild Bergamot, Mullein, and Common Mallow, is wildly effective at treating any upper respiratory problems.
Antifungal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant, Astringent, Cardiac Tonic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Haemostatic, Febrifuge, Parasiticide, Soporific, Vermifuge