The leaves and flowering tops of Monarda punctata, Linné (Nat. Ord. Labiatae). Indigenous to the greater part of the United States, in sandy fields and barrens.
Common Name: Horsemint.
Principal Constituent.—A volatile oil (Oleum Monardae), a pungent, aromatic, yellowish to yellowish-red or brown oil; soluble in alcohol, and depositing the stearopten thymol (C10H13OH) (monardin) (25 to 56 per cent).
Preparations.—1. Oleum Monardae, Oil of Monarda. Dose, 2 to 5 drops, on sugar.
2. Infusum Monardae, Infusion of Horsemint, (1 ounce to Water 16 fluidounce.) Dose, ½ to 2 fluidounces.
Derivative.—Thymol. (See Thymol.)
Action and Therapy.—External. Locally applied the oil is rubefacient, and if too closely or long applied painfully vesicant. It has been successfully used in local neuralgias
Internal. Infusion of monarda has long been a popular remedy for retarded menstruation from cold. Both the plant and its oil, which is sharply pungent and diffusive, are stimulating, carminative, antiemetic, and diuretic; in hot infusion diaphoretic. Both may be used to relieve nausea and vomiting even when there is diarrhoea, in flatulent distention of the bowels, in the tympanites of typhoid fever, and the catarrhal vomiting of the drunkard. It checks the serous diarrhoea of debility, and tends to promote rest and sleep from exhaustion when associated with nervous excitation. Monarda has recently come into renewed prominence as an available source of thymol, now largely used as the most generally effective agent against hookworm. Oil of Monarda is an ingredient of domestic preparations lauded for their asserted effectiveness in pertussis.