Bergamot: The Fiery Beauty

Bergamot’s rich, deeply aromatic scent and it’s beautiful lure adds to its intense appeal. According to the Ageless website, this exotic herb tastes just like it looks; sweet, fruity, stimulating, and oh so tangy.  It also has a rich history, claiming particular popularity among Native American cultures. In voodoo it is thought to ward off evil and danger. Bergamot got its name from the city where it was cultivated, which was Bergamot, Italy. It is thought that Christopher Columbus brought the tree to Spain and Italy where it was used in teas and perfumes.

Bergamot is a radiant herb that is equally at home in a lavish home garden or the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant.  Whether you prefer to gaze upon its beauty, sniff its aromatic scent, or use it in a recipe or healing poultice, bergamot is a needed addition to your home and life.

What to look for:
Bergamot is a sparkling, radiant citrus herb that resembles a tiny burst of fireworks.  And just as its vibrant hues invigorate the senses, its culinary and medicinal uses stimulate the palette.

Offered in hues of mauve, pink and deep, rich scarlet, bergamot—a member of the mint family– makes an eye-catching addition to any garden.  Few herbs rival its lush natural beauty; and surely any lady would marvel at a gift of handpicked bergamots.

How Mother Nature loves it:
Bergamot roots have a citrus like aroma that protect other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots. It makes a good companion to other vegetable gardens. Bergamot is mostly grown in Italy due to the favorable temperatures. It can also be found in Argentina, Brazil and in Georgia (USA), as well as Turkey.

How to use it:
In the kitchen bergamot is used as an active ingredient in fruit drinks, and as a common salad ingredient.  It also goes into the making of Oswego tea; a very popular drink known for its exotic taste and invigorating properties.  Bergamot essential oils deliver this same effect, and the herb is used in the creation of healing, soothing tea balm.

Bergamot is also renowned for its numerous and intense healing properties.  It is known to relieve bad colds, stuffy chests and raw throats, as well as for treating minor digestive disorders.  It boosts both the urinary tract and the respiratory system (literally covering both ends of the spectrum, as it were), and battles common conditions such as skin diseases and varicose veins.  Bergamot can treat wounds, in addition.

This herb is also useful as a tool in treating psychological disorders, and can be utilized in combating nervous tension as well as anxiety.  Aside from being an anti-anxiety agent, bergamot is also known as an analgesic, an anti-depressant, an antiseptic, an anti-spasmodic, a carminative, a cicatrisant, an expectorant, a sedative, and a tonic.

Bergamot is also useful as an ingredient in deodorant and insecticide.

And bergamot is also a luxury item, as its leaves and petals, whether dried or fresh, can be added to hot bath water for a truly invigorating experience.

Indeed, although bergamot may not be as well known as lavender, another beautiful, healing herb, this herb may well be regarded as lavender’s scarlet cousin.  Although not directly related to the fragrant herb that has become a household name, bergamot shares the qualities of beauty, fragrance and practicality that make both herbs vital additions to any garden, pantry, kitchen or bathroom.

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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