Citrus bergamia is a small tree which blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit. The distinctive aroma of the bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea.[6] The juice of the fruit has also been used in Calabrian indigenous medicine to treat malaria,[7] and its essential oil is popular in aromatherapy applications.

An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavor Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas, and confectionery. It is often used to make marmalade, particularly in Italy. In Sweden and Norway, bergamot is a very common flavorant in snus, a smokeless tobacco product.[citation needed] Likewise in dry nasal snuff it is also a common aroma in traditional blends.[citation needed]

Bergamot peel is used in perfumery for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. Approximately one third of all men's and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil.[citation needed] Bergamot is a major component of the original Eau de Cologne composed by Farina at the beginning of 18th century Germany. The first record of bergamot oil as fragrance ingredient is 1714, to be found in the Farina Archive in Cologne. One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about three ounces of bergamot oil.[11]

  • Bergamot peel is also used in aromatherapy to treat depression and as a digestive aid.[citation needed]
  • Citrus bergamia has aromatic roots that are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.
  • Bergamot contains extremely large amounts of polyphenols, as compared to other citrus species and may directly inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in a similar way to statins and they are not found in any other citrus derivatives[15]
  • Bergamot is also a source of bergamottin which is believed to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.[16]
  • Bergamot is ideally suited to help calm inflamed skin, and as such is contained in some creams for skin conditions such as psoriasis. [17] It also has antiseptic properties which help ward off infection and aid recovery.
  • Bergamot essential oil has been found to reduce excitotoxic damage to cultured human neuronal cells in vitro, and may therefore have neuroprotective properties.[21
  • Bergapten and citropten are strong inhibitors of IL-8 expression and may have potential to reduce lung inflammation in people with Cystic fibrosis.[23]
  • Citropten and bergapten are powerful inducers of differentiation and γ-globin gene expression in human erythroid cells, a potential therapeutic approach in hematological disorders , including β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.[24]
  • Peel waste from oil extraction contains pectins and flavonoids a potential source of natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.[25]
  • And finally, Bergamot juice seems to have hypolipidemic activity.[8][26][27][28]
  • In several studies, application of some sources of bergamot oil directly to the skin was shown to have a concentration-dependent phototoxic effect of increasing redness after exposure to ultraviolet light[13] This is a property shared by many other citrus fruits.
  • Bergapten has also been implicated as a potassium channel blocker - in one case study, a patient who consumed four liters of Earl Grey tea per day suffered muscle cramps.[14]- so consumption is limited.

Healthy Solutions 101 carries both the essential oil and the tasty Bergamot drink. Contact us

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