Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wild Bee Balm or Bergamot

Update and correction:  according to the UNC Press Wild Flowers of NC, a much used resource on our bookshelves, Bee Balm is the red bloom that can make Oswego Tea and Bergamot is the rest of the blooms that can range in colors.  Johny deserves credit for pointing this out...thanks Mountain Man!

The first time I saw this flower I thought it was one of the most unusual blooms I'd ever seen (we don't have them around our river place, or at least I've never seen them).  Wild Bee Balm, also called Bergamot, is an edible wildflower that grows all over our mountain at the edge of the woods providing delightful splashes of color.  Both the flowers and the leaves can be eaten raw and they are said to have a very nice flavor, which is not surprising as it's a member of the mint family.

The red Bee Balm blooms and leaves can be used to make Oswego Tea and is known for it's medicinal properties that include helping with digestive problems and if mixed with chamomile can help with insomnia.

Interestingly, it comes in many colors...white, pink, purple, red and sometimes shades in between.

We've not tried eating it yet, but we did collect some today and are going to make Oswego tea.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Do you every eat wild flowers?  Have you ever tried Oswego tea?

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

I have had an Oswego Tea "relative" that included Bee Palm and it solved a stomach/digestion problem that I had. Hugs!

Lise said...

Good to know dad, we haven't made it yet. Hugs back!