Monday, April 23, 2018

Oswego tea

Botanically name Monarda didyma L. Other common names: scarlet bee balm, bergamot, crimson bee balm. The name Oswego Tea refers to is use as a beverage by Indians from the Oswego River area in New York. The name bee balm came as evidence of bees’ love for the flowers’ nectar.

It was introduced to American colonists by native Americans, who used it both as a beverage and medicine, and it became the tea of choice for colonists just before the revolutionary War, when heavy taxes imposed by the British led to a boycott on imported tea.

Medicinally, it is a natural source for the antiseptic thymol, which is the active ingredient in many modern mouthwashes. It is used as an anthelmintic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and a stimulant. Dried leaves and flower heads are used to make aromatic teas. Fresh leaves and shoot tips are used to add flavoring to salads.

The tea is soothing and relaxing and makes a good night-time drink. Used by Indians as a tea, the leaves are still used that way and also in lemonade, jams, jellies, salads, stuffing, and with pork.
Oswego tea
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