Wild bergamot or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild bergamot or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) is part of the mint family and is native to North America. While wild bergamot can be made into a tea, it’s not to be confused with the bergamot citrus fruit, a product of the tropical citrus bergamia plant, that’s used in earl grey tea. Fistulosa means tubular, referring to the elongated, cylindrical corollas sprouting from the top of the plant. Bee balm attracts a variety of butterfly, bee, and hummingbird pollinators. And should you or someone you know be suffering from a bad case of halitosis, bee balm is a natural source of thymol, a chemical with antiseptic properties that’s an active ingredient in mouthwashes.

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