here’s my quick contribution for this month’s herbal blog party. the theme is sweet medicine and is hosted by kiva rose at the medicine womans roots– please head to kiva’s blog to see the other contributions!
i had planned to write a bit more about this but we finally had a thunderstorm here so i had to stay off the computer.
first, i should mention that i am absolutely madly in love with monarda. some of you may know of this plant as bee balm, sweet leaf, or wild bergamot. the local variety is monarda fistulosa. take a look at a beautiful blossom:
gorgeous right!? and as you can see, the bumblebees love monarda too.
some of the monarda started blooming here a little less than two weeks ago and some plants are just starting now. a week ago i went outside to gather blossoms to infuse into honey.
on a nice day, go outside (or if you were already outside, then that’s even better). sit with the monarda and admire. harvest blossoms. remember to leave PLENTY for the bees. fill glass jar with blossoms. stare at glass jar and feel like you might faint from all that beauty being packed into one jar (make sure you’re sitting down!). you can add monarda leaves to the jar too if you want. cover blossoms with honey (preferably local raw honey). stir so that the honey is coating the blossoms. put lid on jar nice and tight. back inside your shelter (whatever form that takes) place the jar somewhere that you will pass by often. flip jar upside down whenever you walk past. this helps the honey really coat everything. let sit for a few weeks. taste-test OFTEN (no, not because it will go bad but because it is oh so good). flowers can be strained but its much more fun to eat them.
(note: the 100 proof vodka in the pic above is not for honey-making but for monarda tincture, another awesome herbal medicine!)
monarda honey is particularly good for a burn dressing (in the event that you haven’t made the infused honey but you’ve got monarda around, you can chew the leaf and place it on burns) or for a sore throat or just for eating or putting into tea!
monarda honey is sweet and spicy and SO very yummy!
p.s. a special request: if you have native monarda fistulosa growing where you live and you know that your variety is specifically monarda fistulosa var. mollis, please see my wish list page or leave a comment here. thanks:)