Friday, July 9, 2010

Red Wild Bee Balm

Lately I have been branching out far beyond my Luck Cabin to other parts of the woods within walking distance. Sometimes I trek a good few miles getting lost in the vast beauty and the strangeness of being alone in deeper darker woods. Sometimes I happen upon a clearing, a patch of something special (usually it's nettles).... today it is red BEE BALM! I have seen tiny amounts of bee balm in the forest before - even under canopies of total shade, they don't seem to be all that picky in the wild. But here in this secret spot tucked far away I found fields of it...
Isn't it a striking unusual flower? Hummingbirds, butterflies and moths LOVE it too!
There are bunches of uses for the bee balm plant, from head to ground (but not the part underground....)
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"The red variety is commonly known as Oswego Tea. It was used by colonists in place of English Tea after the Boston Tea Party, when they threw the English tea in the harbor to protest the high taxes imposed on it by the British.
Bee Balm was used as a medicinal plant extensively by Native Americans who recognized four varieties that had different odors. Wild Bergamot was used also as an active diaphoretic (sweat inducer) for ceremonial sweat lodges. A decoction of the herb was made into hair pomade. " :::: read more at -altnature.com
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You can see in the pic above the leaves are long and narrow - and when ya crush them they have a very distinct smell (similar to thyme and hippies, a deep frangrance hard to describe.). The flowers bloom June through July and come in a few colors... so now's the time to look out for them. :) My favorite flavor is the white-ish ones cause they smell like lemon yumminess!
But who can't love endless space filled with red flowers!?!
XOxoxoox Yay!

3 comments:

kirk said...

Bee ute tiful I am going to pick red clover and self heal tomorrow--pink and purple flowers.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Kirk!
WHat do you use clover for?

xoxo

kirk said...

horse
I add it to a my tea blends i make --the roots go down deep into the earth and pull out minerals. Another plant i use to get the minerals is alfalfa sprouts.