Bee balm is used to make herbal medicines or teas and can be eaten in salads and other dishes. The blossoms and leaves of the plant can be used in most preparations.
A tea made of the leaves of bee balm is traditionally drunk to relieve digestive issues, such as nausea and bloating. To make bee balm tea, steep a handful of leaves in very hot water for up to five minutes, and then strain the liquid and discard the leaves. The tea can also be used as a compress for cuts and scrapes or used to treat psoriasis and other skin ailments, such as eczema. The freshly made tea has traditionally been added to bath water to relieve minor cold symptoms, as a wash for fungal and yeast infections, and to treat cough and cold symptoms.
To make a cough and cold remedy with bee balm, add 1/2 cup dried bee balm to 1/2 cup raw honey and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar in a lidded jar. Allow the mixture to remain undisturbed for several weeks, then strain. Take 1 teaspoon as needed for cold symptoms, such as sore throat or cough.
Bee balm can be used in place of rosemary or oregano in most herbal preparations, and it is also a spice that may be eaten fresh. Pluck the petals from the flower, and add them to salads and other dishes to add a spicy mint flavor.