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  Monarda (Bee Balm)
Monarda fistulosa (ch geraniol), wildcrafted leaves, flowers, aerial parts; harvested and distilled in France. (Sometimes called “Wild Bergamot” which has caused no end of confusion to those who know the herb by its common name.)

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I remember years ago at a conference I felt a coldsore coming on. Suzanne Catty was there, showing her oils and hydrosols. I asked her for a drop of Melissa, and she said no, take the Monarda. I had never heard of Mondarda (Purple Bee Balm oil) before that day. She told me it was a powerful but gentle antiviral and antibacterial oil.

The aroma is “sweetly herbal” gently floral, but not feminine and not at all medicinal. It would be a wonderful addition to sweeten a blend and add antibacterial and antiviral properties. I have seen it recommended for oily skincare, and for acneprone skin.

I have seeen this powerful oil recommended for use (in a facial steam) for treament of a sinus infection or sore throat. Diluted in Calophyllum inophyllum it offers a more pleasantly scented treatment for cold sores than the normally recommended Ravensara or Ravintsara, and a more sweetly scented remedy than Melissa.

Catty wrote, years ago, “In all cases of Otitis Media in children and infants the primary oil and hydrosol for topical treatment has been Monarda fistulosa (Purple Bee Balm, Bee Balm). M. fistulosa is just one of several Monarda’s that produce essential oil and hydrosol. M. didyma, and M. citriodora contain high levels of carvacrol (up to 35%) and moderate levels of thymol (10-15%) and are far too aggressive for pediatric use. M. fistulosa on the other hand contains a well-balanced mix of monoterpene alcohols, primarily geraniol (up to 92%), and linalool, as well as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. In French clinical aromatherapy the most common choice for pediatric use is Thymus vulgaris CT thujanol (Thyme thujanol) and I have explored this option but my own clinical experience has shown Thyme thujanol more effective in teens and adults than in children and infants and I wonder if changes in body chemistry make this oil more effective after puberty.”—Suzanne Catty

Research indicates that it may have “pronounced therapeutic effects for the treatment of seborrhea. Studies of its antibacterial, antimycotic, and anti-inflammatory activities showed that it inhibits microorganism growth and is superior to hydrocortisone in combination with vitamin B6 by its antiinflammatory activity.” (Source.)

Tisserand recommends a maximum dermal dilution of 5.7% because of the high content of geraniol (in this specimen, over 90%).

We occasionally see formulas or recommendations calling for Thyme ch geraniol. My sources in France all agree that no one is commercially producing Thymus vulgaris ch Geraniol any more, and they are unanimous in suggesting Monarda as an effective and cost effective substitute.

Certificate of Analysis:
Batch No. FR-654015

BLENDS WITH: All Floral Oils, Sandalwood and other woods.


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Monarda fistulosa, ethically wildcrafted and distilled in the Ozark Mountains, USA. learn more
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