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Wild bergamot, also known as bee balm, is a plant that belongs to the mint family. This perennial herb is native to North America, and it can be found growing in fields, meadows, and open woods. With its beautiful pinkish-purple flowers and its aromatic leaves, wild bergamot is a popular plant for both ornamental and medicinal purposes.

The leaves of wild bergamot have a distinct, minty aroma, and they can be used to make a flavorful tea. The flowers, on the other hand, are rich in nectar, making them a favorite among bees and other pollinators. In fact, the common name “bee balm” refers to the plant’s attraction to bees.

Aside from being a favorite among pollinators, wild bergamot also has many medicinal properties. The plant has been used by Native Americans for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments, including colds, flu, and respiratory infections. The leaves and flowers of wild bergamot contain essential oils, which have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

One of the best ways to use wild bergamot is to make a tea from the leaves and flowers. To make the tea, simply steep a handful of fresh leaves and flowers in hot water for a few minutes. You can add honey or lemon to taste, or enjoy it plain.

Another way to use wild bergamot is to make a salve from the leaves and flowers. The salve can be applied topically to help soothe skin irritations, insect bites, and minor cuts and scrapes. To make the salve, you will need to infuse the leaves and flowers in oil, and then mix the oil with beeswax to create a balm. There are many different recipes available online, so be sure to do your research to find the one that works best for you.

When foraging for wild bergamot, be sure to do so responsibly. Always get permission before harvesting from private property, and never pick plants from protected areas or endangered species. Only harvest what you need, and leave plenty for other wildlife to enjoy. With its many uses and benefits, wild bergamot is definitely a plant worth seeking out on your next foraging adventure.

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