Monarda is a flowering plant of the mint family, containing both the annual and perrenial types of herbaceous herbs. It is a native plant of North America and is often given the simple name of Bee Balm. They grow to around 90cm in height and are slender with serrated leaves which grow oppositely up the stem. The flowers are tubular and bilaterally symmetric, with a narrow upper lip and a wider lower lip. The wild flowers are single, but some cultivated forms have double flowers. The wild variety has flowers in red, purple and violet.
Bee balm was traditionally used by Native Americans as a seasoning for wild game, particularly birds. Although somewhat bitter due to the thymol content in the leaves and buds, the plant tastes like a mix of spearmint and peppermint with oregano. The flowers and leaves are very good in pot pourri and the oils are used in perfumery. a long history of use as medicinal plants by many Native Americans, such as the Blackfoot, Menominee, Ojibwa and Winnebago. The Blackfoot recognized the strong antiseptic action of the plants, and used them in poultices for skin infections and minor wounds. Native Americans and later settlers also used it to alleviate stomach and bronchial ailments. A tisane made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee balm is a natural source of the antiseptic compound thymol, the primary active ingredient in some modern commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a bee balm tisane as a general stimulant. Bee balm was also used as a carminative herb by Native Americans to prevent excessive flatulence. An infusion of crushed, boiled Monarda has been used to treat headache and fever. The red variety is commonly known as Oswego Tea. It was used by colonists in place of English Tea after the Boston Tea Party, when they threw the English tea in the harbor to protest the high taxes imposed on it by the British.
Magickally very little is known but what we do know is it is believed to be a good herb for money and success in business-related spells. Carry a few leaves in your wallet to attract money, or rub leaves on the skin before a business meeting or job interview for success. Burn at any ritual to increase its power.
#monarda #magick #ritual
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