Have you ever savored a cup of Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea? There is an orangey flavor that gives the teas their characteristic pungency. That flavor comes from bergamot (Citrus bergamia), a very sour member of the citrus family. Bergamot fruits aren’t fit to eat, but they can be used to produce an essential oil that has a variety of health benefits. (The following information comes from Liz Fulcher of the Aromatic Wisdom Institute.)
Bergamot is emotionally balancing. It relaxes and uplifts and can help with insomnia and anxiety. It can reduce soreness in the muscles and is antispasmodic. It can also help with sickness as it combats viruses and fungi and strengthens the immune system. It can also help with digestive issues.
A word of caution, however: bergamot is phototoxic, which means that when exposed to sunlight, it will burn the skin. Don’t use bergamot and then expose your skin to the sun – wait for at least 12 hours. And of course, never apply bergamot undiluted to your skin. The oil is very strong, and while this is a good thing when used properly (as it does a ton of good for your health!), it can cause damage if used incorrectly.
Of course, you may have recognized bergamot from yesterday’s post – we use it to scent our housemade laundry detergent, one of the products we’re selling at the this weekend’s Herbfest!
Have you ever used bergamot before?
What products from yesterday piqued your interest?