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Bee balm / Monarda didyma

Benefits of Bee balm, medicinal uses, dosage, & side effects

Bee balm is an aromatic herb whose flowers have one of the most striking appearances with bright colors. These flowers appear in the summers and are perennial. Because of its capita waiting appearance, it is used widely for gardening purposes. Its flowers are asymmetrical, two-lipped, and are dense with terminal heads.

This plant can even stand in wild and rough weather conditions. It is named bee balm because of the liking of bees for the plant. It is not only used for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies but also possesses several medicinal properties for treating various disorders.

Botanical name- Monarda didyma

Family- Lamiaceae

History of Bee balm

Vivah was first used by American tribals called Oswego; this area is now known as New York State. It is used in the form of tea or as a substitute for black tea during the time of the Boston Tea party. Since the time of 1700s, John Bartram introduced this plant to England and now it is widely cultivated for ornamental and medicinal purposes throughout Europe. It has a long history to use this plant for medicinal purposes as an antiseptic for minor wounds and skin infections.

A tea made from these flowers was used to treat throat-related infections caused by gingivitis and dental caries due to the presence of thymol. This active ingredient is used to prepare mouthwash in modern commercials.

Morphological characteristics of Bee balm

Bee balm is a perennial plant that grows up to the height of 20 to 90 cm. Its stem is 7 to 14 cm long but the flowers are in bilateral symmetry and tubular with lips in which one part is narrower while the other one is wider. Its leaves are slender, serrated, and lanceolate which are arranged oppositely on the stem. Flowers are present in clusters with bracts of leaves and have both male and female structures present in them. They may vary from pink to dark red and purple and are generally last from July to September.

It is mainly native to the United States and in some parts of Asia and Europe.


Its cultivation is done in partial shade and well-drained soil. There should be at least 18 to 24 inches of space in between two flowers for their proper growth. Usually, these are grown are cultivated for attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds because these are rich in nectar and very attractive. But some of the species are cultivated only to extract the essential oil from them which is used in cooking. Roots, leaves, and stems have a delicious aromatic Orange perfume.

Medicinal properties of Bee Balm

  1. Antifungal
  2. Analgesic
  3. Digestive
  4. Nutritional
  5. Anti-inflammatory
  6. Antimicrobial
  7. Decongestant
  8. Nervine tonic
  9. Antispasmodic

Health benefits of bee balm

Bee balm is used as a medicine mainly in the treatment of digestive-related issues. Its diuretic property also helps to treat various urinary disorders. The essential oil obtained from it is used as an external application in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Other benefits of bee balm are-

Vomiting- Bee balm works as a natural antiemetic that treats nausea as well as vomiting. This herb mainly works on the gut and helps to digest food. It also shows results on the brain by blocking symptoms to the vomiting center.

Cough and cold- Being a decongestant, it helps to relieve congestion by dilating blood vessels of the nasal passage. This herb also works as an expectorant that expels out the accumulated mucus in the nasal passage and makes the secretions thin. As a cough suppressant, it reduces or stops the cough reflex.

Indigestion- Indigestion-related disorders neutralize the acid content in the stomach. It increases digestive fire and improves appetite naturally.

Therapeutic uses of bee balm

  1. Being an anti-inflammatory, its local application on the site of scrapes, rashes, or bee sting relieves pain, inflammation, swelling, and irritation.
  2. The decoction prepared from it helps to treat sore throat and mouth sores due to the soothing property.
  3. It also treats bloating and other digestion-related issues.
  4. Because of its good taste, it can also be used for cooking purposes is in various forms like making cookies, topping off the salad, muffins, bread, etc.
  5. Being a nervine tonic also so keeps the nervous system healthy by treating anxiety and stress naturally. It also provides a soothing effect to the nerves.
  6. It also works as a digestive herb that eats the digestion process and treats disorders that are caused due to improper digestion like vomiting, nausea, indigestion, etc.
  7. A tea prepared from its dried flowers can also be used to relieve digestive issues like abdominal bloating, indigestion, etc.

Bee Balm flower benefits

Bee balm flowers are used to prepare herbal tea which helps to treat digestion-related problems like abdominal bloating, indigestion, etc.

Dosage of Bee Balm

Flowers Decoction (10 to 20 ml)

From this article, it is concluded that bee balm shows various medicinal uses like an anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antifungal, antimicrobial, analgesic, etc. Local application of this herb on the bee sting or rashes provides good results in pain, irritation, swelling, etc.

Decoction prepared from its flowers can be used as a mouthwash to sore throat, mouth sores, etc. The herbal tea prepared from this herb helps to treat digestion-related issues. As there are no side effects seen if used in a proper dosage but consult your doctor for using it in case of pregnancy and lactating mothers. 


Can we use bee balm leaves for tea?

Yes, you can use bee balm leaves for tea as they will also work as same as flowers in treating digestion issues.

How can we use bee balm medicinally?

You can prepare a decoction of its flowers for treating various disorders. Bam can be made or steam can also be taken in case of nasal congestion.

Is bee balm poisonous?

No, bee balm is not poisonous.

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to bee balm’s benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume this on the basis of this information. Before taking it  as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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