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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Bergamot Orange (Citrus bergamia)
Photo: Bergamot Orange (Citrus bergamia) 1. A small tree of the Orange family (Citrus bergamia), having a roundish or pear-shaped fruit, from the rind of which an essential oil of delicious odor is extracted, much prized as a perfume.
2. The fruit of this tree.

Also see monarda as it is often referred to as 'wild bergamot'.

This tree native to India is the source of one of the most commonly used oils in the perfume industry. Bergamot essential oil has been found to reduce excitotoxic damage to cultured human neuronal cells in vitro, and may therefore have neuroprotective properties. Peel waste from oil extraction contains pectins and flavonoids a potential source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.

Citrusy and spicy, this oil originates from the tree that produces star-shaped flowers and a yellow fruit that resembles both oranges and grapefruits in taste. It is used to flavour the very popular Earl Grey tea, and, as with many citrus extracts, can cause photosensitivity when applied to the skin.

In the past, psoralen extracted from bergamot oil was 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.

WARNING: May cause photosensitivity (redness of the skin) after exposure to ultraviolet light (due to the chemical bergapten, and possibly also citropten, bergamottin, geranial, and neral).

Used for:

  • Disappointment
  • Fear
  • Hysteria
  • Emotional Fatigue
  • Tension
  • Antibacterial
  • Burns, cuts & skin irritations
  • Acne
  • Pre-menstrual Syndrome
  • Antiseptic
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Increase Appetite


Edible Flowers Should you be lucky enough to live in a region with the Bergamot tree, the flower is a wonderful accompaniment to pork, poultry and curries. You could substitute Monarda flowers (also known as "Wild Bergamot") in a pinch for a similar flavour.

Related studies, articles, and news items

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Disclaimer: This content is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat. Check with a qualified Health Practitioner before using any herbal treatment. Use of these reference pages signifies acceptance of this notice and our Terms and Condition.

Information on this website is for information purposes only.
Please consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any course of action.
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