Monarda (Bee Balm) plant medicinal uses, benefits and side effects

Monarda or Bee Balm plant contains both perennial and annual plants. These herbaceous plants grow upright to 20-85 cm. The lanceolate leaves are oppositely arranged. They are slender, serrated and hairless, 7-14 cm long.

The tubular flowers are bilaterally symmetrical. The upper lip is narrow, and the lower lip is wide. They are hermaphrodite with two stamens. Flower color varies from pink, light purple, and red.

The seeds do not produce the same plant as the parent. Dry the flowers in the sun and store in airtight containers as they are prone to absorb moisture.

Monarda (Bee Balm) plant medicinal uses, benefits and side effects

Common names of Monarda plant

The common name is bee balm plant. Other names include bergamot, Oswego tea, and horsemint. People also call them Golden Melissa and Indian nettle.

Botanical name or family

The botanical name is Monarda. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family.

Geological places where Bee Balm plant grows 

It grows natively in North America. It grows from British Columbia to Quebec. Then, it stretches southward up to Mexico. You also find it grows profusely in Manitoba. In India, they grow the Monarda in controlled conditions. You can get it from a nursery.

Monarda medicinal uses for curing diseases

People have used the leaves and flowers of the Monarda since historical times for curing various ailments. People make infusions, honey, oxymels, and elixirs out of this plant.

  • Carminative property: Bergamot shows a good carminative property. You can use it for relieving gas problems. Prepare the tea with the dried leaves of the bergamot and have this morning and evening.
  • Diaphoretic nature: Bee Balm finds a use for curing fevers by inducing sweat. Take some decoction made from the dried leaves twice a day for best results.
  • Diuretic in nature: You can induce urine flow by giving the person Monarda extract. The best way to have this is as bergamot honey. Spread it on some bread and eat it.
  • Stimulant action: The Monarda has the ability to give you energy. It raises the amount of energy you have and instigates you to action. The person becomes active and is able to do more work fast.
  • A cure for cold: You can have an infusion to take by mouth for a cold. The Bee Balm will act against the infection and give relief fast. You must take the infusion morning and night to get proper relief from cold.
  • Catarrh: When you have excessive mucus build-up in the mouth and throat, you can use the bergamot to get relief. Make a tea out of the dried leaves and have it thrice a day. This will clear the mucus from the mouth and nose and help to clear the air passage. Bergamot is an effective cure for catarrh.
  • Headaches: You can cure mild headaches by using the Monarda juice. If you have elixir, use it with your tea or juice. Otherwise, have tea. Steam inhalation will also help to relieve a headache.
  • Gastric disorders: You can cure diarrhea by having the tea made from the dried flowers. The Monarda strengthens the intestinal tract and removes all infection. Your digestion improves, and your disorder will vanish by the next day.
  • Reduce low fevers: The bergamot has antipyretic property. So, it will reduce your fever and make you well again. Take the decoction made from the leaves twice a day for the best result.
  • Soothe a sore throat: If you suffer from a sore throat, drink a glass of Bee Balm tea in the morning soon as you wake up. This will remove the pathogens in the throat and give good relief. Else, you can inhale steam by putting the leaves in boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for 10 minutes.
  • Nausea: Keep some powdered leaves handy always to use when you feel nauseous. Put it in some water and drink the decoction. This takes care of your nausea. It will refresh you and make you alert.
  • For menstrual pain: When women have pain during their period, they can use the bergamot to get relief. Use the powdered leaves with the honey or use the elixir of bergamot flowers to get the best results.
  • Sleep disorders: When you experience sleeplessness, take the tea made from the powdered leaves or flowers of Monarda. This will ease your restlessness and give you good sleep. Else, use the bergamot honey on bread as a snack. This will help you get to sleep.
  • Help for skin infections: The external application of the bee balm helps the person recover from afflictions of the skin. Apply the balm and leave it on for two hours. Then, wash with mild, warm water. Do this twice a day for one week.
  • Use as incense: The bergamot has a fine aroma. Both the leaf and the flower find use in potpourri as an ingredient to improve the fragrance. You can use both the fresh and dried flowers to get a good effect.
  • Strong antiseptic action: This is due to the high thymol content in the Monarda flower. You can use the poultice of the crushed flower on superficial cuts and bruises. Put the flowers and leaves in the water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Use this water to wash your face and hands.
  • Use to treat a whooping cough: The bergamot leaves are good for relieving whooping cough in people. They give the infusion of the leaves twice a day to the people who suffer from the ailment. This turns away the ailment, and the person becomes free from the ailment.
  • Slow the bleeding: When they bandaged people as a treatment for various traumas, they kept the leaves and flowers under the bandages. This helps to slow the bleeding and increase the healing. Historically, the soldiers on the field chewed on the leaves of the Monarda to achieve this effect.
  • Use with the bathwater: Put some bergamot flowers in the bathwater to make it smell good. It improves the medicinal value of the water. You will have a refreshing bath, and you will gain the medicinal value also. It will relieve the achy muscles and tired feet. You will become completely refreshed after your bath. You can use it to soak your feet alone also.

Side effects due to Bee Balm plant

There are no known side effects in using Monarda plant. But, if you should develop rashes or other allergic reactions, stop using it and consult a physician to get all Bee Balm medicinal uses and health benefits.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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