Bergamot: Benefits, Using Tips and Side Effects
Bergamot oil is usually made from the inedible, bitter green, pear shaped citrus fruit of the bergamot tree. The peel of the fruit is cold pressed that releases the pale emerald green oil. The oil has a delicate, light, citrusy and floral scent and has many uses.
The therapeutic properties of bergamot essential oil are euphoric, antiseptic, cooling, and a tonic to the digestive system. The main constituents in bergamot essential oil are nerol, limonene, linalyl acetate, and linalool. All these substances are antiseptic and astringent. This allows bergamot essential oil to help with many situations and conditions.
One of the conditions bergamot essential oil helps with is acne and eczema. You can use the oil in a facial steam bath that will help cleanse and heal the face. It is fairly simple and easy to make a steam bath. Just apply few drops of bergamot oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Cover a towel over your head and shoulders, and lean over the bowl. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 minutes with eyes closed and do not use steam bath if you have broken facial capillaries.
Bergamot is an American herb that was once widely used by the Native Americans. It was introduced to the early colonists by the Oswego Indians and the Oswego tea was made by colonists during the time of the Boston Tea Party. The pink, red and purple flowers smell pleasantly of oranges. They are a nice addition to the flower border and they attract bees.
As was often the case the early North American settlers learned of the medicinal properties of this genus of plants from the natives of the land. The Native Americans treated skin disorders and inflammations with poultices made from various species of Bergamot. They also used Bergamot teas and steam inhalants made from the leaves to treat respiratory difficulties. Bergamot is a sedative yet uplifting making it ideal for all states of anxiety, depression and stress related conditions.
Relieves the sore throats, tonsillitis, colds, flu and all the respiratory infections. All the stress related conditions improve such as eczema and psoriasis. Use for contagious conditions such as scabies, chicken pox and head lice It also helps skin, acne, spots, boils and herpes. It is known to uplift the mood, Bergamot is excellent for the solar plexus and heart.
Bergamot is a perennial plant that grows best in soil that stays damp in the summer, however it dislikes damp winters. The plant is not suitable for some soils like the chalky soil. It prefers sun but is adaptable to the shade as long as the soil remains damp. The plant will benefit very much from the addition of bone meal. Bergamot does make a nice container plant.
Cuttings of new growth can be taken in the spring and they very quickly root and establish themselves. Clumps of the plant form a mat-like growth and become bare in the center if not divided every three to four years. When lifting the plant, discard the old growth and woody stems. Lemon Bergamot can be started from seed indoors and then set out in late spring.
This herb can be used for fresh young leaves sparingly in salads, fruit salads and fruit drinks. Five or six large fresh leaves or 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 8 ounces boiling water does make a refreshing and relaxing tea. It does improve the flavor of pork dishes and its other uses include use of the leaves to make a facial steam. The leaves and flowers add color and flavor to the potpourri.
Modern herbalists do recommend Bergamot tea for sore throats, coughs, nausea, and menstrual cramps. The essential oil of Bergamot also has antibacterial and antiseptic applications. Bergamont does contain thymol, which has shown to be effective in repelling the intestinal parasites and in destroying bacteria. There have also been studies, which suggest that Bergamot may inhibit the action of herpes simplex and other related viruses. However, this constituent has not been standardized to a level of therapeutic benefit without any undesirable side effects and use of the pure form can produce vomiting and diarrhea. Usually, a synthetic form of thymol is now being used in formulas intended to be ingested.
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