From the Mountain Valley Growers Tea Herb Garden:
Native to the eastern United States, Oswego Tea was a welcome addition to the tea chest for tea drinkers during the Boston Tea Party. Its deep, rich flavor gave the robust body to herbal tea that was needed to mimic what people were used to drinking, China Tea. Oswego Tea is also known as Bee Balm.
A riot of color in spring, it should be pruned back to about an inch above the ground right after flowering. This will ensure a vigorous fragrant crop of leaves for harvesting and drying before winter frosts knock the plant back to the ground for its long dormant rest. Oswego Tea leaves are most flavorful when dried and the flowers are best when used fresh, but can be dried. Oswego Tea can be added to Black tea for an Earl Grey flavor, or blend it with any citrus-flavored herb for a morning eye-opener.