Citrus Begamia

Botanical Name :Citrus begamia
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Species: Citrus bergamia

Synonym: Citrus bergamia Risso
Common names : Bergamot orange bergamot
Other Names:Italian bergamotto, modification of Turkish bey armudu; literally, the Bey’s pear.
Parts Used: Essence expressed from peel

Habitat : Citrus bergamot is native to Asia and is commercially grown in Calabria (Italy), in France, and in Ivory Coast.

Description:
Bergamot grows on small trees which blossom during the winter. The distinctive aroma of the bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea, though the juice of the fruit has also been used in Calabrian indigenous medicine as an herbal remedy for malaria and its essential oil is popular in aromatherapy applications.

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The bergamot orange is unrelated to the herbs of the same name, Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa, which are in the mint family.

Cultivation
Propagule  Buds   Cutting   Seed Pollination method  Parthenocarpic Planting style    Crop spacing    Row spacing    Cold frame  Planting period    Harvesting period  Dec 01 – Feb 28 Frost tolerance    Heat requirement    Fertilizer  Typical Time to harvest

Constituents: linalyl acetate, bergamotine, beraptene, d-limonene, linalool

Uses  In food
An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavour Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas, and confectionery. An Italian food manufacturer, Caffé Sicilia in Noto, Syracuse, Sicily, produces a commercial marmalade using the fruit as its principal ingredient. It is also popular in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus as a preserve, made with bergamot peel boiled in sugar syrup.

As a fragrance
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 was a component of the original Eau de Cologne developed by Italian perfumers in 17th century Germany. One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about 3 ounces of bergamot oil.

Bergamot peel is also used in aromatherapy to treat depression and as a digestive aid.

Companion plant
Bergamot’s aromatic roots are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.

Common Uses: Anxiety/Panic * Candida/Yeast Infection * Deodorants/Perfumes * Depression * Digestion/Indigestion * Herpes * Sore Throat/Laryngitis *

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Properties: Antibacterial* Antispasmodic* Carminative* Cisatrisant* Deodorant* Digestive* Febrifuge* Sedative* Skin tonic* Vermifuge* Vulnerary* Analgesic*

uplifting scent of bergamot essential oil is used to stabilize the emotions, calm and tone the nervous system, relieve tension and insomnia, and is beneficial for anxiety and depression.

Bergamot essential oil has been used in traditional medicine for intestinal worms and fever, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin problems. Bergamot essential oil is very useful as an anti-infectious agent and is effective against a wide number of microorganisms.

Bergamot essential oil aids the digestion and can relieve symptoms of colic and gas when massaged into the abdomen.

Toxicology
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 (due to the chemical bergapten, and possibly also citropten, bergamottin, geranial, and neral) . Bergapten has also been implicated as a potassium channel blocker, which in one case study of a patient who consumed 4 liters of Earl Grey tea per day led to muscle cramps.

Bergamot is also a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, 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.

Bergamot orange and sun exposure
In the past psoralen — extracted from bergamot oil — has been used in tanning accelerators and sunscreens. Psoralens penetrate the skin where they increase the amount of direct DNA damage. This damage is responsible for sunburn and for an increased melanin production.
It can also lead to phytophotodermatitis, a darkening of the skin as a result of a chemical reaction that makes the skin extra sensitive to ultraviolet light.

These substances were known to be photocarcinogenic since 1959, but they were only banned from sunscreens in 1995. These photocarcinogenic substances were banned years after they had caused many cases of malignant melanoma and deaths.Psoralen is now used only in the treatment of certain skin disorders, as part of PUVA therapy.

Bergamot oil is cold-pressed from the peel of the nearly ripe fruit. The aroma of bergamot oil is sweet and citrusy, but has a warm floral quality absent in lemon and orange. Along with neroli and lavender it is one of the principal ingredients in the classic Eau-de-Cologne. It is an excellent deodorizer or room spray and a refreshing and relaxing bath oil. Bergamot’s fresh uplifting aroma is used in aromatherapy to stabilize emotions and relieve tension. It is a nervous system tonic, with a calming influence on states on anxiety and depression. Use the oil in massage blends, aroma lamps, and baths.

Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties  antispasmodic   digestive tonic Medicinal parts  Essential oil Has medicinal uses  yes Do not self-administer  no Do no use if pregnant  no Legally restricted  no Toxicity precautions  Do not take essential oil internally. Medicinal notes  The fruit is 2 to 3 inch diameter, round slightly flattened at one end, and an orange colored aromatic rind which is used commercially for its oil. Citrus bergamia is most often used as oil. Bergamot (sometimes called Bergamot orange) has been used in traditional herbal healing as either an antispasmodic or a digestive tonic. Traditional medicinal remedies are made from the essential oil. Do not take essential oil internally.

Neuroprotective effects
Recently, bergamot essential oil has been found to reduce excitotoxic damage to cultured human neuronal cells in vitro and may therefore have neuroprotective properties.

Side Effects:
Increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Bergamot oil has a slightly irritation effect on the skin in high concentrations, but the reverse if used in moderation (1%). It must never be used neat on the skin in the presence of sunlight.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergamot_orange
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail7.php
http://www.crescentbloom.com/plants/specimen/ci/Citrus%20bergamia.htm

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