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5 Ways to Use Bee Balm

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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. If you want to get creative with this beautiful perennial try these 5 ways to use bee balm.

A pink bloom of bee balm with text overlay

Before Using Fresh Bee Balm

Wash and dry leaves well. Soak the flowers for a bit to float out any insects that might be hidden inside.

1. Bee Balm Jelly

Bee balm jelly is essentially just bee balm petal tea with sugar and pectin. It’s lovely in the jar and carries a light honey flavor with minty undertones. It’s delightful with cream cheese or simply spread on toast. Makes a great gift.

2. Dried for Tea

Bee balm has traditionally been used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and flatulence. Keep it on hand for these digestive issues by drying it. 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.

Mint tea blends with tea ball and honey photograph.

To make tea: Cover 1 teaspoon of dried leaves and/or flowers with 1 Cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes before straining and enjoying.

Besides the medicinal benefits, the tea is just plain tasty on a cold winter night.

3. Oxymel for Cold Relief

Bee balm is antimicrobial making it useful for helping aid the body heal from colds, congestion, and sore throats. An oxymel is basically an herb infused into a mixture of vinegar and honey. It’s easy and tasty.

Harvest the flowers and leaves of summer flowers to make bee balm oxymel for relief from colds and sore throats later this year.

4. Healing Salve

As an antifungal and antimicrobial, bee balm makes the ideal base for a healing salve.

Make 5 healing salves in one afternoon with the weeds from your garden to treat bug bites, chapped skin, sunburn, sore muscles, and bruises.

5. Tincture

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. Let steep for 1 month before straining and storing.

Bee balm is good for pollinators as well as being tasty and medicinal for us, these 5 ways to use bee balm will help you keep it in your home.

To use the tincture: Take 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces of water up to 3 times a day.

Who Should Avoid Bee Balm

Bee balm can interfere with certain thyroid medications, so be sure to ask a doctor if you’re taking one before using bee balm internally or externally. It can also be an issue for some pregnancies, check with an herbalist or doctor first before using if you are or might be expecting.

This covers just some of the many ways to use bee balm, so get out there and harvest some for your home. Do leave some for the bumblebees and other pollinators, too, please!

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Sunday 21st of July 2019

Does it matter whether the flowers and leaves are fresh or dry for an oxymel?

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 21st of July 2019

It is usually done with fresh. However, if you're going to use dried, use 1/3 less than fresh (so if you were using 1 Cup of fresh flowers use 2/3 cup of dried.


Friday 31st of May 2019

What is the healing salve recipe?

Love this information, thank you! I just bought the plant and trying to search and learn how to use it.

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

You can find my healing salve recipe here:

Jacey Lea Neubauer

Saturday 4th of May 2019

Can it help with pregnancy nausea?

Terri Martinez

Thursday 6th of June 2019

Lemon Essential oil usually relieves pregnancy nausea. Place a drop on a cotton ball and inhale deeply three or four times...or as much as you need.

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 10th of May 2019

I can't say with 100% confidence, I would think mint or ginger might be a better option for that but check with a local herbalist.

Rebekah Laflin

Friday 15th of March 2019

Just want to thank you for sharing info on Monarda :)

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 15th of March 2019

Thank you for saying so!


Monday 30th of July 2018

What is the latin name please?

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 31st of July 2018