For passionate gardeners and ornamental flower growers, the name "monarda" will not be unknown. But few of them will know that these variegated flowering plants used to be also recognized medicines. Together with the conifer (Echinacea), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), white sage (Salvia apiana) and other herbs belonged to the obligatory equipment of Indian shamans.

These herbs belong to the family Hantaceae, the subfamily Shant (Nepetoideae). There are many other medicinal and aromatic plants in this subfamily, such as lemon balm, lavender, basil, sage, thyme, hyssop, rhinoceros, mint or shanta. Some of them are even considered sacred, either for their ability to heal or to help induce higher states of consciousness (shanta, sacred basil, miracle sage or the already mentioned white sage).

The wraps come from North America, where about twenty species grow. Some of them are annuals, others perennials. We rank among the most strongly aromatic types of wraps Monardu citrodorawhich contains essential oil very similar to bergamot. Purple spices are suitable as a spice in the kitchen or for making tea Monarda menthifolia. The healing effects are the famous double wrap.

Wraps (monards) grown in gardens as ornamental plants are mostly hybrids, hybrids. The good news is that especially older varieties are often hybrids of our well-known double wrap. Crossed can be with Monardou fistulosawhich tolerates drought better and is resistant to leaf diseases. The color of the flower is light pink, or lavender blue or also white (var. albescens). In 1998, a total of 61 varieties of different color shades were recorded, from white through pink, scarlet red to purple.

The flowers of the double wrap are scarlet red. It is a perennial that forms a clump of about half to a meter and a half tall stems with ovoid, serrated, dark green leaves with red veins, which are 6–15 cm long and 3–8 cm wide. Tubular flowers with a long, double-lipped crown grow in the pinnipeds of the uppermost leaf pairs and are supported by bracts. It blooms in June and July. The whole plant smells pleasant.

Its original territory is the eastern United States. He was the first to describe it in his book Medicinal plants of North America published in 1571 by the Spanish botanist Nicholas Monardes, after which it received its Latin name (Monarda). Indigenous North American cultures considered it one of the most medicinal, and therefore sacred, plants.

They used it in the form of a hot infusion, mainly for fevers, chills and diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Blackfoot treated and disinfected wounds with her. In 1820, it was also recognized by official medical science and listed by the US Pharmacopoeia as a remedy for rheumatism and digestive aids.

The drug used is either a leaf, collected just before flowering, or the entire flowering stem. The plant contains terpenes, tannins, flavonoids, bitters, organic acids and essential oils, such as thymol. Other substances have not yet been investigated.

Thymol is a monoterpene phenolic derivative of cymene, also contained in thyme, thyme or goodwill. Since ancient times, it has been used wherever people wanted to prevent the growth of fungi, mycoses and bacteria - as a wound disinfectant, against infections, as a preservative. In modern times, it is part of mouthwashes and cigarettes because it dilates the trachea. It also has sedative (significantly calming) effects that can be used in the medication of some mental illnesses.

In addition to these effects, the double wound is used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, pulmonary catarrh, bronchitis, chills and fever, digestive problems and gastric neuroses. It relieves menstrual pain and monard oil is a famous means of massage for back pain.

It is usually used as a tea, which by the way is very tasty. If our throat hurts, we can use the infusion as a gargle, or inhale hot steam for coughs and lung problems. In case of gynecological problems, we combine it with female herbs (yarrow, butterbur), in case of digestion we add one of the bitter herbs, eg butterbur or wormwood.

Zavinutka works great externally as well. The bath helps with rheumatism, eczema and allergic rashes, also in case of poorly healing wounds (it has an antiseptic effect). For rheumatism and arthritis, a combination with pansy, rhizome, heather and chicory is recommended. It also cures various mycoses.

We can use the calming effects of insomnia. Monard milk has traditionally been recommended in this context. Let a tablespoon of dry milk infuse in half a liter of hot milk for about 7 minutes, then strain and drink. We can sweeten with honey. Because the wrap has no side effects, this milk (as well as tea and all other forms) can also be given to children or pregnant women.

Monard oil is known in the USA and Canada. It is pressed either from a double, dotted wrap (M. punctata) or Monardy fistulosa. It is mainly used for massages of sore muscles, combating skin rashes and purulent ulcers and in aromatherapy. We can also find a tincture that has a similar use.