This beneficial tea not only tastes great, but is good for helping fight off colds and the flu.You can make it using either fresh or dried leaves and flowers, resulting in a soothing, mild minty drink to sip and enjoy.If you add in some of the flowers, it will turn your tea a lovely light pink or magenta color.The best time to harvest bee balm for making tea is in the late spring, or early summer before the flowers start to fade.So discard any that have white spots, blemishes, are yellowing, or ones that show signs of powdery mildew.The best part about this oswego tea recipe is that you only need two ingredients, water and the leaves.3-4 fresh picked or dried bee balm leaves (or use as many as you like for desired flavor).Like I said, monarda tea is super easy to make, and you’ll only need a few supplies.If you don’t have an infuser, you can drop fresh leaves and flowers into the cup whole (you’ll just need to strain them out later).Step 5: Remove the tea from the water – Pull out the infuser, or strain the loose leaves and petals out with a fork or mini kitchen strainer.– Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your homemade bee balm tea.NOTE: Though there are many known health benefits of drinking oswego tea, there are also some possible side effects. .
How to Harvest and Dry Lemon and Lime Balm
Snip a sprig now and then to enhance a cool glass of iced tea or a fruity summer cocktail.Or add a hint of lemon or lime to salad, salsa, chicken or fish dish with just a few leaves.Given its vigorous growth, lime and lemon balm can tolerate one to three heavy harvests throughout the summer.Just remember to prepare it for dormancy over the cold winter months by making your last harvest sometime in mid to late August (later if you live in warmer zones).By cutting the stems just above where other leaves have formed, (about 2 inches above ground level), you actually encourage the plant to grow two new shoots.Water droplets will cause the leaves to turn dark brown or black when hung to dry, so try to remove as much moisture as you can.To store your lemon or lime balm, keep the leaves and stems in big pieces to retain as much flavor as possible.Getty Stewart is an engaging speaker and writer providing tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas to make home cooking easy and enjoyable. .
How to Grow & Use Bee Balm
If you do not like the scraggly look Bee Balm gets in winter, then remove the dead stems and flower heads in fall, after they have finished blooming, once the plant has gone dormant.Just prune it all the way down to the ground- everything that is currently above the soil will be dead after winter hits, and the plant grows back from its roots in the ground, not from existing growth. .
Dried Bee Balm
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10 Ways to Use Bee Balm and Bee Balm Bread Recipe
Note that Bee Balm can be found at any of your local gardening centers and even home improvement stores.Since it is a perennial, there is no need to replant your Bee Balm each year as it will return on its own bigger and stronger each spring!Simply tear off a leaf or small portion of the stem and apply the liquid inside to your minor cuts and scrapes.Place the leaves and blooms of Bee Balm in a tea kettle or pot and add water.Bee Balm is excellent for helping you doze off in a blissful state each evening!The blooms on a Bee Balm plant are quite fragrant and make a perfect addition to homemade potpourri.Break off the blooms and dry them, then crumble and add to any of your potpourri mixtures or just sprinkle in a small space for added freshness.The mild, minty flavor of the Bee Balm plant make it perfect for spicing up jelly.Apple jelly is especially tasty when Bee Balm leaves are added and allowed to permeate the mixture.Bee Balm leaves can add a fresh boost to your fruit and vegetable salads.The leaves of Bee Balm are nice when added to ice tea or lemonade.1 egg Directions Add the yeast, water, butter, and honey to your mixing bowl and stir well.Place the ball in a bowl or on a cookie sheet (greased) and allow an hour for it to rise.Place your two loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a damp towel.Brush the top of the bread with an egg wash and sprinkle with any remaining petals.This bread is tasty when served with butter, jelly, or your favorite breakfast spread.Give it a try and see how tasty the Bee Balm makes this easy to create bread. .
4 Ways to Use Beautiful Bee Balm on the Homestead – Mother Earth
When it comes to landscaping the farmstead or urban homestead, it’s nice to be able to include plants that are both beautiful and functional.Bee balm is just as wonderful when used in homemade herbal tea blends simply to bring a little extra flavor to the mix.A tea made from bee balm leaves and flowers, also called an infusion, isn’t just for drinking.Bee balm used this way can a provide cooling, soothing wash for minor burns and sunburns, or a useful poultice for cuts, boils, and other skin care needs.Fresh bee balm leaves can be added to pesto, and the flower petals make a pretty and aromatic garnish.Add enough brandy or unflavored vodka to the jar to cover the bee balm with an inch of liquid.The alcohol provides shelf life and also helps extract the beneficial properties of the bee balm.Place a tight fitting lid on the jar and gently shake the herbs and alcohol to combine.This herb prefers full sun, but it can adapt to part shade and is deer resistant.As easy to grow, versatile, and beautiful as bee balm is, it’s sure to become one of your favorite homestead flowers.Photos provided and copyrighted by Annie Hall and Jane Metzger, Herbal Academy.All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. .
Are Bee Balm Edible
Bee balm (Monarda) is a flowering perennial plant in the mint family.Also known as horsemint, bergamot, and Oswego tea, its colorful leaves add beauty to any garden.Native to North America, bee balm is hardy in zones 3-9 and blooms from July to late summer.Dried bee balm leaves are often used as a spice in many food dishes, tasting similar to oregano or thyme.In the past, bee balm was often used by Native Americans and European settlers in America as a beverage and for medicinal purposes.As a member of the mint family, when bee balm is used in teas, it can help with digestive issues, bloating, sore throats, and nausea.Short answer - Bee balm is edible for humans and is considered safe for dogs, cats, and other animals to ingest. .
How To Make Lemon Balm Tea – Sencha Tea Bar
Commonly known as Melissa tea, this exquisite beverage pairs well with a variety of herbs and sweeteners so you can play up the flavor and discover new tastes.You’ll learn about the health benefits, flavor profile, and techniques for harvesting so you can brew the best cup of lemon balm tea.Read on to find our favorite lemon balm recipes and discover the flavor of this lemony and minty tea.Lemon balm has a long history of culinary use dating back to the times of the Ancient Greeks.Some purported health benefits of lemon balm tea include stress reduction, infection prevention, and improved sleep.Studies also show that lemon balm tea may help reduce anxiety and depression by targeting the nervous system (1).Additional research shows that drinking lemon balm tea may help reduce blood pressure and protect the heart from serious cardiovascular disease (2).Only harvest leaves from organic lemon balm [plants to preserve the natural flavor and avoid negative side effects from chemicals and fertilizers.The plants have the highest amount of healthy antioxidants and essential oils at this time resulting in better flavor.Harvest season typically occurs in late spring or early summer but can vary depending on your region and climate.Pruning the plant this way will encourage new shoots to grow, thus increasing the potential for harvest yields.Rinse the fresh lemon balm leaves using cold water and lay out to dry on a baking sheet.Pour the hot water into the teacup and allow the lemon balm leaves to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.Fill the glass container with cool water and add the lemon balm leaves.Add a little fire to your tea drinking experience with this recipe that features a dash of cayenne pepper to liven things up.Whether you choose to make lemon balm tea using dried or fresh leaves, you're sure to enjoy the delightful flavor profile of this beverage. .
How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Bee Balm
Bee balm is a tall perennial herb native to North America.Bee balm is also called by its botanical name—Monarda, and is also called bergamot (because the scent is similar to the citrus fruit bergamot, an orange), and is also referred to as Oswego tea (the Oswego Indians made tea from the leaves).It has a minty fragrance and the leaves are used for making tea and are added to salads and jellies.The blooms have a colorful, shaggy appearance and can be planted in both the herb garden and perennial border.Best location: Bee balm prefers partial shade but tolerates full sun.Plant where there is good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew which can hit leaves in late summer.Bee balm prefers partial shade but tolerates full sun.Plant where there is good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew which can hit leaves in late summer.Start bee balm seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last spring frost.Transplant well-rooted bee balm plants to the garden one week before the last spring frost.Planting depth: Sow seed ¼ to ½ inch deep.Companion planting: Bee balm is said to enhance the growth of tomatoes and peppers.Feeding: Apply ½ inch of compost to the planting bed each spring.Diseases: Rust and powdery mildew can attack bee balm in late summer.Flavor and aroma: Bee balm tastes and smells like mint with citrusy undertones of orange and lemon.Bee balm tastes and smells like mint with citrusy undertones of orange and lemon.Use fresh flowers and leaves in fruit, salads, teas, lemonade, pork, poultry, and jellies.Use fresh whole or chopped leaves to flavor duck, pork, meat sausages, and curries.Inhaling the steam produced by combining leaves with boiling water will relieve a sore throat.Fresh and bee balm leaves make good teas, alone, or in combination with other herbs.Inhaling the steam produced by combining leaves with boiling water will relieve a sore throat Culinary complements: Bee balm’s citrusy flavor complements fruits, strawberries, apples, oranges, tangerines, and melons.Ground dried leaves and flowers can be used as a substitute for oregano and marjoram.Grow bee balm can be grown from seed, cuttings, and divisions.Seeds are best stratified (placed in the refrigerator) for three months before sowing; germination occurs in 14 to 21 days.Dip tip cuttings in a rooting hormone and plant in organic potting mix.Dip tip cuttings in a rooting hormone and plant in organic potting mix.Stems that touch the ground will grow roots and can be divided to form new plants.Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa): Lavender flowers and a very strong fragrance.Growing season: Spring and summer; plants die back in winter.Bee balm is resistant to cold and heat; it’s cold hardy to -20° Plant form and size: Bee balm is a bushy plant that grows 3 to 5 feet tall; the leafy, branching stems grow from clumps; bee balm has shallow, spreading roots.Bee balm is a bushy plant that grows 3 to 5 feet tall; the leafy, branching stems grow from clumps; bee balm has shallow, spreading roots. .
5 Ways to Use Bee Balm
Bee balm is definitely a plant that pollinators of all kinds adore and while that is reason enough to have it in the herb garden it is also full of tasty and medicinal uses for us as well.Dehydrate by tying bunches of the stems upside down and hanging in a dark space until crispy.When dry strip the leaves and blossoms from the stems and store in labeled glass jars.To make tea: Cover 1 teaspoon of dried leaves and/or flowers with 1 Cup of boiling water.Bee balm is antimicrobial making it useful for helping aid the body heal from colds, congestion, and sore throats.As an antifungal and antimicrobial, bee balm makes the ideal base for a healing salve.Bee balm can act as a nervine and is helpful to folks dealing with anxiety and depression.Make a tincture by filling a jar 3/4 full with fresh bee balm and then covering it with vodka. .