From Stop and Eat the Flowers by Rachel Sanfordlyn Shreckengast, this is a nice tea to relax with. The common name, Bee Balm, comes from the folk use of the flowers, pounded into a poultice, to ease the pain of bee stings. Bee balm is a member of the mint family, and is also called Bergamot. Bee balm's alternate name "Oswego Tea" was bestowed upon it by pioneer botanist John Bartram (1699-1777) who observed Oswego Indians using it for tea. As a tea, the odor & flavor is a mix of citrus & mint, well worth harvesting from one's garden for this purpose. He sent the seeds to England, where it is cultivated commercially. Bee balm grows in many areas of the United States, including New England, Mid Atlantic, Mid West, Southwest, and the West. Also England.
- Bring water to a boil. Place bee balm in a cup (or a tea ball and then in a cup). Pour boiling water over bee balm.
- Add sweetener, if using, to taste. Let steep for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
This is such a lovely tea with a delicate, distinctive flavor and aroma (not to mention a beautiful magenta color). Wonderfully relaxing while you sit and chat with your friends or watch TV. I'm grateful I have access to lots of bee balm and can imbibe often. Also grateful to Sharon for letting me in on this great new floral tea.