N.A.S.S Dingwall Branch Information Page

Bergamot/Bee balm Herb

North American native became a popular garden and plant in Europe after settlers sent back seed The name Monarda honours the Spanish medical botanist Dr Nicholas Monardes of Seville, who wrote his herbal on the flora of America in 1569. He probably called this herb bergamot because its leaf scent resembles that of the small, bitter, Italian bergamot orange, Citrus bergamia, which produces the oil used in aromatherapy, perfumes and cosmetics. The Oswego Indians infused bergamot as a drink, and it became a popular tea substitute in New England after the Boston Tea Party, in 1773. Several Indian tribes used wild bergamot for colds and bronchial complaints, and, as it contains the powerful antiseptic thymol, it is worthy of further research.