Author Topic: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm  (Read 3864 times)

Abha

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Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« on: July 21, 2011, 07:33:11 PM »
Glad we now have this as a separate section, and I am so glad you showed up here MWH!!

I had thought that lemon balm and bee balm were the same thing, but it turns out they are quite different.

Here is what lemon balm looks like, and the photo is a link to more info on it:



VARIETIES OF LEMON BALM
M. officinalis ‘Citronella’: To 16 inches tall. White flowers July-August.
M. officinalis ‘Aurea’ (Golden Lemon Balm): To 16 inches tall, very fragrant, with decidedly yellow-green leaves. White flowers July-August. Nice for borders.
M. officinalis ‘Lime’ (Lime Balm): To 20 inches tall. Lime-scented and flavored leaves; white flowers July-August.
M. officinalis ‘Quedlinburger Niederliegende’: Improved variety bred for an extra-high essential oil content. Very fragrant.
M. officinalis ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Lemon Balm): To 24 inches tall, with gold-splashed green leaves. White flowers July-August.


Here is what bee balm looks like:



Uses:

Bee balm is a fantastic example of a multi purpose herb. For landscaping, it offers one of the most stunning flowers, in a variety of colors. Bees and hummingbirds are highly attracted to it.

Culinary herb growers will love the refreshing, unique taste of bee balm in tea. Simple dry the leaves and use them alone, or in your favorite herb tea blends.

Medicinally, Bee balm is used as a skin wash for rashes and other irritations. A rinse for mouth sores and throat problems.

If you would like an all purpose herb, that can stand out in a landscaping design, Bee balm is the answer.


Lemon balm does smell a bit like the swarm lure I bought off of ebay, but then too I am not sure that was legit. I didn't get any bees in that hive after I put it in.

Location: PNW--Seattle

Abha

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Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 07:41:14 PM »
I got two lemon balm plants about 2 years ago, and put them in a large planter. It is in one of the sunniest parts of the yard, and this time of year it goes nutz and overshadows everything growing near it. I cut it down some this week. It does very well in a large container.

I have low thyroid and I read that it is not good for me to drink teas made from this herb. I went into my situation more here. It sure does smell good though.

Location: PNW--Seattle

midwestherbalist

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Re: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 07:57:42 PM »
Great post Abha!
I enjoy a tincture made from cutting off the flowering heads of the bee balm. I place them in a diffuser, and set the diffuser in scalded water for several minutes. This tincture is known as oswego-tea, named after the Oswego Indians who along with the Niitsítapi reportedly enjoyed the tea very much.

It is good to note the distinction between Lemon Balm M. officinalis, and Bee Balm Monarda didyma.
Thanks for the list of attributes of some of the varying cultivars of Lemon Balm as well. I am seriously going to have to look out for some Quedlinburger Niederliegende.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 08:01:10 PM by midwestherbalist »
"It don't matter if you want it or not... the only thing that's gonna' be served is subsistence living. Got shovels?"-MWH

Peaceful atom, my foot.  Oppenheimer was right all along; the only thing that nuclear power was good for was to distract people from the fact that this is all about bombs. -> rbrgs

kermujin

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Re: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 09:12:49 PM »
Great post Abha!
I enjoy a tincture made from cutting off the flowering heads of the bee balm. I place them in a diffuser, and set the diffuser in scalded water for several minutes. This tincture is known as oswego-tea, named after the Oswego Indians who along with the Niitsítapi reportedly enjoyed the tea very much.

It is good to note the distinction between Lemon Balm M. officinalis, and Bee Balm Monarda didyma.
Thanks for the list of attributes of some of the varying cultivars of Lemon Balm as well. I am seriously going to have to look out for some Quedlinburger Niederliegende.

If I'm not mistaken, bee balm is also known as bergamot, which is the flavouring in Earl Grey tea. Yum.

Abha

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Re: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 08:00:20 PM »
I already have lemon balm growing in a pot, and I bought bee balm seeds to plant up for next year.

Bee Balm, Wild Bergamot
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 08:02:05 PM by Abha »
Location: PNW--Seattle

kermujin

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Re: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 07:35:05 AM »
Oh, that's interesting! What a drag they're not the same thing. Mind you, looking at what (real) bergamot's indications are, no wonder I'm feeling so tip-top...! :)

Is Earl Grey tea also popular in the US, or is it a weird Canuck thing? It's black tea flavoured with bergamot. In fact, I recently found *double* bergamot EG tea...

Wondering, as usual, how much of the medicinal properties really come through tea...

Wow. I guess I'll just enjoy the bee balm and leave it to reseed itself...

Abha

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Re: Lemon Balm vs. Bee Balm
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 07:08:09 PM »
Coffee is much more popular here in the States than tea is. I guess that goes back to the Boston Tea party where they ditched the tea in the Boston harbor during the revolution??

I myself love tea and never got into coffee as the amount of caffeine in it is too strong for me and I never liked the taste either.  But,  I developed low thyroid so I stopped drinking tea because it contains a lot of fluoride--LINK. Tea takes up fluorides from the soil, and if it is non organic, it is even worse.  Fluoride compounds are a big part of pesticides, so non organic tea would contain even more fluoride. Fluoride binds to the receptor sites in your thyroid for Iodine and kicks it off. You must have iodine to stay healthy.

I have switched to Rooibos (pronounced Ray Boss) as my "tea" of choice--another red tea but no caffeine. I have read that it has more antioxidants than regular tea. I seem to crave that: Rooibos Tea Benefits

Edited to add...it seems Rooibos does have some fluoride, but not nearly as much as black tea....sigh.


« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 07:21:12 PM by Abha »
Location: PNW--Seattle