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How and Why to Make Bee Balm Oxymel

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Bee balm oxymel is a tasty and easy way to make healing remedies from the flower garden.

And thankfully the we can use any of the bee balm (Monarda) flowers in this tasty concotion, the color of the bloom doesn’t matter – just be sure it’s Monarda.

Bee balm oxymel in a bottle surrounded by fresh bee balm flowers on a table.

Bee Balm as an Herbal Remedy

These beautiful flowers are in the mint family and tasty in and of themselves but also pack a few medicinal punches.

Bee balm has antibacterial properties making an ideal herbal treatment for infections internally and externally

Naturally high in thymol, it is used as an antiseptic in medical and dental applications. 

Infusing it in honey helps soothe sore throats

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

As a native plant, it was historically used both as an external and internal remedy to treat everything from cuts with a poultice to colds with an infusion.

The Ancient Oxymel

An oxymel is a traditional drink that combines honey, vinegar, and herbs. It’s been used since antiquity and can be a soothing and fun way to get medicinal herbs into the system.

It tastes good and for a sore throat especially it seems that the combination of honey and vinegar is healing even without the herbs.

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

Use Flowers & Leaves

To make bee balm oxymel feel free to use both the leaves and flowers. Skip the stems they can be just slightly bitter.

Bee balm flowers in the garden.

Simply strip the flowers and leaves from the stems and give them a wash.

Then heap the leaves and flowers into a pile on the cutting board. Roughly chop the pile with a sharp chef’s knife and use all those bits for the oxymel infusion.

How to Use Bee Balm Oxymel

For sore throats, adults can take a tablespoon as necessary throughout the day for relief.

To support the immune system during a cold, adults should take up to 3 tablespoons a day.

It’s truly not that much different than a shrub or drinking vinegar. Try drinking some over ice with sparkling water for a refreshing and healing drink.

Yield: 1 Cup

Bee Balm Oxymel

Bee balm oxymel in a bottle surrounded by fresh bee balm flowers on a table.

Bee balm oxymel is a tasty and easy herbal remedy for the relief of sore throats and colds.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 28 days
Total Time 28 days 5 minutes


  • 1/3 Cup Bee Balm Flowers & Leaves, Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Combine everything in a glass jar and stir well.
  2. Put a lid on the jar and store in a dark cabinet for 1 month. Shake when remembered.
  3. At the end of the month, strain and store the liquid in another clean labeled jar.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

This is recipe is easily scalable for larger or smaller batches, simply combine equal parts bee balm, honey, and vinegar in the jar. 

Before the summer blooms fade, harvest a few flowers to make bee balm oxymel and support your immune system and healing later this winter. 

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Jerri Johnston

Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Tried your Oxymel recipe... was a bit worried about the vinegar as I can't tolerate sour... but it's surprisingly tasty. Gonna make a big batch now to share with my daughter as this is a great alternate for the grandkids since it is alcohol free! Thank you for sharing.

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 8th of September 2020

Oh I'm so glad to hear it.

Amy Delventhal

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

I am about to sample my first finished batch of Monarda Oxymel! I've got sooo much of it planted so that I can enjoy the color and the dozens of hummingbirds it attracts.


Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Thank you Kathie:) just found your lovely site. I especially liked reading about your window as a child and seeing the hummingbirds:) I, too, have so much Bee Balm outside our large picture windows & love watching the hummingbirds compete for nectar. Your recipes sound great so giving them a go. God bless and thank you for sharing your wisdom 😉🙏🏻🐝 Robin Nolan

Marilyn Shriver

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Do you use only the petals, or the middle part of the flower, too?

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

The whole flower head and leaves (not the the stem) get chopped and used when I make it.

Ally Marks

Friday 28th of September 2018

Just decanted my first try, thank you so much! I love my minarda plants for the pollinators they bring (especially the very strange "hummingbird moth") and now I can take a little for myself!

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Oh I'm so glad to know you tried it. Enjoy!