Bee balm (Monarda spp) is a herbaceous perennial from the Mint family. Bee balm produces scarlet and deep purple blooms that are long and tubular. Bee balm has been used extensively by Native Americans who recognized four varieties that had different odors. It's essential oil contains 26 active compounds and high amounts of flavonoids in it's leaves and particularly it's flowers. The major chemical components are thymol, p-cymene, limonene and carvacrol.
Respiratory system: Monarda punctata essential oil has been traditionally used for treating respiratory tract infections. Inhalation therapy has been shown to be particularly useful due to their ability to help maintain the ventilation and drainage of the sinuses and reduce inflammation of the trachea. Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily Blog recommends the use of bee balm as an immune system booster and as an aid in promoting good respiratory health. She provides several recipes for herbal teas and for a basic salve, using bee balm.
Antibacterial: Monarda punctata essential oil has good activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pneumonia.