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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Making Bee Balm Honey


People have relied on honey infused Bee Balm at the first hint of a sore throat. Bee Balm, also known as "Sweet Leaf" (Monarda)has long been used by American Indian healers. Bee Balm is a member of the mint family. All parts of the plant are high in essential oils and has more thymol than thyme. Thymol is a powerful agent found in thyme and bee balm with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Today, I had my hand at making Bee Balm Honey. I have Bee Balm growing in my herb garden and I've been waiting for it to start blooming for just this occasion. I started by harvesting the flowers, leaves and stems (being careful to groom the plant rather than disfiguring it). Next, I got out a very high quality local honey. I then placed the Bee Balm in a mason jar and then poured the honey into the jar to the point all the parts of the plant were covered. This infusion will take about two weeks. In two weeks, I will remove the plant from the honey and the honey can then be used for sore throats, fevers, or just topping over fresh fruit.

Bee balm can be used in cooking and can be used as an oregano substitute. You csn slso cook with the flowers. It has no known toxicity and is classified with many safe mints used in cooking.

Reference: Mathew Woods "The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicine".

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