We were looking through some photos that we had taken in September and realized that we have not shared with you all the ways that the Cherokee used Horse Balm. These photos were taken in our personal Cherokee garden where most of the plants received filtered sunlight. The Horse Balm was rescued about two years ago and as you can tell it is quite happy were it is located. We do not often find it on rescues so are always on the look out for it.
Horse Balm grows in rich woodlands and can reach up to three feet tall. Light yellow blooms appear during August and Septmeber and they are fragrant. It prefers part shade with medium moisture. The leaves and flowers of this mint family plant have a citronella like fragrance. The leaves were used to make a tea.
The Cherokee had several medicinal uses for this plant. A compound from the leaves and flowers were used to treat swollen breasts. Mashed leaves and flowers were also used as a deodorant. The Cherokee would also make an infusion and use it as a drench for horses with colic (plant medicine for animals was also very common with the Cherokee). This plant contains alkaloids and they would make a tea to use as a diuretic.
As you can see it is an attractive plant in your woodland garden. After the first frost it will drop it leaves and go dormant until next spring.