Horsemint (Monarda punctata L.) is a wild mint that grows in East Texas and much of the rest of the eastern United States. It has a pretty purple flower and a strong medicinal odor. Pictured below: Wild horsemint
My old survival mentor, who taught me so much about the wild plants of East Texas, told me to never drink horsemint tea; that it is much too strong. If you smell a batch of this “tea” brewing, believe me, you won’t be tempted to drink it. But he did show me how to make a good muscle rub, kind of a survivalist Ben-Gay ointment, out of horsemint. Here’s how you do it.
Gather a couple of handfuls of horsemint leaves.
Bring about two cups of water to a boil, drop in the horsemint leaves, turn off the stove, cover the pot, and let the leaves steep for about fifteen minutes.
While the horsemint is steeping, take a cup of vegetable shortening or lard and melt it in a small cook pot over a low flame. Don’t overheat the shortening. Just warm it until it melts.
When your horsemint “tea” has brewed pour a half cup of it through a tea strainer into the melted shortening.
Stir the two together and then set aside to let it cool. The tea and the shortening will separate as they cool, but that’s OK. The oil in the horse mint, which is the active ingredient, will mix into the shortening. Take a fork and kind of whip the mixture together. It should be about the consistency of thin yogurt.
Now pour the mixture off into a jar a put a lid on it.
If you have sore muscles just take your liniment jar, shake it up to mix it back together, and rub a little liniment onto your muscles to help ease the pain. Be forewarned that this is pretty greasy; not like the stuff that you buy at the store, so use it sparingly.