This Bee Balm Honey recipe uses raw local honey to make a delicious remedy for a wide range of issues. I’ve fallen in love with Bee Balm (Monarda spp.) since moving to northern Arizona three years ago. Here in the highlands of northern Arizona you’ll find this flashy member of the mint family in moist canyons and drainages. There are myriad species and I’ve also seen nursery varieties with dramatic flowers planted as ornamentals. Bee Balm is also known as Wild Oregano and Oregano de la Sierra (Oregano of the Sierras) due its spicy taste and aroma. In cooking, the leaves can be substituted for Mexican or Italian Oregano.
Infused in raw local honey, Bee Balm makes a delicious remedy for a wide range of issues from sore throats, colds and flu to indigestion and menstrual cramps. The leaves and flowers can also be prepared as a simple tea (an infusion), or as a tincture or glycerite. (If you want to know more about tinctures,check out this post, What’s A Tincture and Why Would You Want One?
Medicinally, Bee Balm is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, antiseptic, and diaphoretic (stimulates sweating). Its strong antimicrobial actions make it a good choice for respiratory infections (upper and lower), sore throats, and flu. Bee Balm is also an anesthetic, which make the infused honey in this post especially soothing to sore throats. I have found the tincture to be a good remedy for sinus congestion and swelling with a feeling of fullness or blockage in the ears. No doubt its anti-inflammatory action coupled with its antimicrobial properties account for this effect. Abundant in the moist places of the southwest, Monarda was widely used by native people as a reproductive tonic, to ease menstrual cramps and to bring on delayed menses. Like other members of the mint family, Bee Balm is an anti-spasmodic and carminative that can be used to ease gas and bloating.
Bee Balm honey is easy to make. Now is the time to harvest the fresh flowers so you can enjoy this delicious remedy all winter long. This recipe calls for raw honey and I highly recommend that you use raw local honey for all of your honey infusions. Raw honey is highly nutritious and possesses potent healing properties of its own. Raw honey has not been pasteurized or filtered and maintains more of the beneficial nutrients and properties than processed honey. Therapeutically, it is an anti-oxidant (the darker the honey, the more so), energizing and useful for recovery from intense exercise, antiseptic, antibacterial, and an effective wound healer.
Let’s make Bee Balm Honey!
Ingredients // Materials
- Raw Honey
- Fresh Bee Balm Flowers (Monarda spp.)
- Jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Gently fill your jar with the flowers.
- Pour honey into the jar until the flowers are completely submerged and the jar is full. Gently stir with a small spoon or chopstick (the herbalist’s tool of choice) to remove air bubbles.
- Cap the jar and label.
- Allow the honey to sit undisturbed for 4-6 weeks. Gentle heat will encourage the extraction. You can place the jar in a brown paper bag in a sunny place or in a dehydrator set to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Voila! After 4-6 weeks you can strain out the flowers if your like or leave them in the honey. Add the honey to hot water or tea or take it by the spoonful.
I hope you are happy in the garden and forest and that you come to known this potent plant ally where ever you find her. If you have questions, be sure to leave a comment here.
wishing you health and happiness,