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Monard fistulosa seedsMonarda fistulosa
Wild Bergamot
This member of the mint family got its name because of the similarity of its scent to bergamot, which is used to flavor Earl Grey tea. This magic herb is ruled by Venus, like many in the mint family, and it is wonderful for love magic. Try adding some to your bath for love spells. Its aromatic leaves signify its association with Elemental Air as well, and it is excellent for purification. Native folks used wild bergamot medicinally, but what is especially interesting is how they used this plant in other ways that bear on magical uses. The Cherokee used it for hysterics and to induce restful sleep, so consider experimenting with this herb prior to astral work. The Lakotas chewed it while singing and dancing, and the Kerest chewed it while hunting; this latter makes me wonder if there is something in the herb that can assist glamouring. The Crow perfumed themselves and their clothing with it, and the Cheyenne perfumed their horses with the leaves. Dakota bachelors wore it in their coats for the nice smell, and Cheyenne maidens stuffed pillows with it that they used from puberty until marriage, so this is a young person's herb. The Kutenai put it on hot rocks to scent the sweat house, and the Cheyenne combined wild bergamot with pine needles and threw them on hot coals for their fragrance. Clearly, this plant has a lot of magical possibilities for the open-minded witch's garden. Top

Monarda fistulosaThis plant is not the same as bergamot, which is in the citrus family, or bergamot mint, which is Mentha citriodora, or orange mint, which is Mentha citrata. This plant's scent contains some of the same components as in lemon zest, thyme, mace, pine resin, cardamom, pennyroyal, and rosemary, so it's got a nice complex scent--lots to play with here! The scented leaves can be made into tea (esp. good for colds and digestion) by adding two teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. The fresh plant parts can be eaten in salads. The fragrant flowers can be pink or lavender and are good  as cut flowers, can be dried, and make a nice edible garnish. Wild bergamot likes to grow in "disturbed" areas, like old fields, thickets, and clearings (it's a welcome site along open woodland paths). The flowers bloom mid-summer through fall and attract hummingbirds and butterflies as well as bees. In strong sun, the stems are purple. Wild bergamot is also known as mint-leaved bergamot, mint-scented bee balm, oregano de la sierra, and wild oregano. Top

How to Grow Wild Bergamot
Barely cover seeds to germinate in 10-14 days at room temperature. Harden off and transplant to full sun or partial shade. It is not that picky about soil. Thsi North American native plant is a perennial almost everywhere in the lower 48.  It gets up to 48"/1.5m tall and 20"/.5m wide. It can also reproduce from dividing clumps. You can harvest the leaves a little at a time or pull up the whole plant at the end of the season and strip them off. Either way, allow the leaves to dry out of the sun for two days and then store as any tea. General growing info Top

  

Monarda fistulosa
Wild Bergamot
Pkt. of seeds $3.00



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magick:

Love Magic
Elemental Magic
Astral Work
Glamours
Venus Herb

2006, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission