I was literally jumping up and down for joy when Abby shared that she was choosing bee balm (Monarda didyma) for this episode because this is such a fun plant. More than that, though, bee balm is powerfully medicinal, can be used for seasoning food (more on this later), and it’s great for pollinators.
By the end of this episode, you’ll know:
► Multiple ways to work with bee balm medicinally (it’s great for colds and flu, among other things!)
► What bee balm teaches us about balancing community with personal space
► Tips for growing bee balm yourself
► Why it’s important to incorporate community into the practice of herbalism
You’ll also receive instant FREE access to a recipe card for Abby’s Wild Oregano (Bee Balm) Salt. Not only is this recipe easy to make and medicinal, it’s also delicious! Abby shares that she uses it to season anything where you’d want oregano and salt: eggs, popcorn, and mushrooms are just a few ideas to get you started.
CAUTION: Bee balm is an emmenagogue and should not be taken during pregnancy.
Here is one of my favorite takeaways from our conversation:
“Bee balm always grows in community. When I see it in the wild, I never see it growing alone.”
Botanist, Herbalist, and Professional Forager, Abby Artemisia, was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she spent her free time climbing trees and creek wandering. This is where her love of nature began. Her love of plants had a diverse foundation from apprenticeships on organic farms on the west coast and in the Midwest, to a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Miami University and an apprenticeship in herbalism with Herbalist, Leslita Williams, along with owning and operating her own tea business.
After visiting Pisgah National Forest, she fell in love with the biodiversity of the southeast. Abby then founded the WANDER School, the Wild Artemisia Nature Discovery, Empowerment, and Reconnection School. Through the school, Abby offers the Wildcrafted Herb School Program, customizable workshops, and botanical property surveys. The WANDER School became a nonprofit in 2020 to provide botanical education, herbs, and herbal medicine to underserved communities, and practice Acknowledgement and Reciprocity for Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Abby is also the author of the Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders and The Wild Foraged Life Cookbook, along with the host of the podcast Wander, Forage, & Wildcraft.
Abby is currently working on Botany Breakdown: A Virtual Course for Botanists & Foragers to create the confidence to safely harvest the wild food and herbs that grow around us every day.
I love that Abby shared information, not only from her personal experiences, but also from traditional acknowledged sources. I’m so happy to share our conversation with you today!
Get full show notes and more information at: herbswithrosaleepodcast.com
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On the podcast, we explore the many ways plants heal, as food, as medicine, and through nature connection. Each week, I focus on a single seasonal plant and share trusted herbal knowledge so that you can get the best results when using herbs for your health.
Learn more about Herbs with Rosalee at herbswithrosalee.com.
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal and co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and teaches many popular online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.