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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




BERGAMOT
RUTACEAE
aka Bergamot Orange
(Citrus bergamia syn C.b. rutaceae syn C. aurantium var. bergamia)
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CAUTION: Do not apply the oil directly to skin. It increases PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

A tree of the citrus family to 30 feet which is similar in appearance to Bitter Orange aka Seville Orange (C. aurantium), but with wider leaves and a more aromatic rind on the fruit. Both Neroli oil from the flowers, and Bergamot oil from the rinds, are obtained by distillation.

Extensively cultivated in southern France and Italy for a long time, it is believed the orange blossom as a symbol for marriage originated there.

The name BERGAMOT is shared by unrelated perennial plants of the Monarda species.

PART USED: Flowers, ripe fruit peel.
RELATED SPECIES:
BITTER ORANGE (Citrus aurantium ssp amara): The peel is CONTRAINDICATED with stomach or intestinal ulcers; NOT given to children (possible toxic effects); NOT with ultraviolet or sun therapy (increased photosensitivity).

USES

MEDICINAL:
Bitter, aromatic; relieves tension; antispasmodic; digestive aid.
Oil is considered sedative and healing.
Orange blossom water has been used for infant colic.
Bergamot oil has been used in douches and baths for vaginal infections.
Formerly, the dried flowers were used in infusion form as a mild nervous stimulant.

AROMATHERAPY:
Bergamot oil is considered sedative and healing and used for stress related problems, depression and anxiety. Neroli oil is considered stimulant and aphrodisiac. Both are used for skin conditions.

COSMETIC:
Increases tanning (do NOT apply directly to skin - photosensitivity)
Oil used in perfumery, diffuser (aromatherapy), massage, bath.

CULINARY:
Bergamot oil is used to flavor Earl Grey tea; also hard candy, tobacco, some chewing gum, baked goods and desserts.
Orange blossom water is used in desserts such as blancmange and in pastries.





©2000 & 2003 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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