Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Bergamot orange is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow colour similar to a lemon. It is commercially grown in southern Calabria (province of Reggio), Southern Italy, where more than 80 percent are produced. The name is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, where the oil was first sold. Citrus bergamia is a small tree which blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit. The distinctive aroma of bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea. The juice of the fruit has also been used in Calabrian indigenous medicine to treat malaria, and its essential oil is popular in aromatherapy applications and most widely used in the perfumery and toiletry industry. Bergamot oil, with its clean and refreshing citrus fragrance, is an effective antidote against depression, anxiety, urinary tract infections and nervous indigestion. Its oil aids digestion and can relieve symptoms of colic and gas when massaged into the abdomen. The oil has a balancing and toning effect on the nervous system which makes it effective against psychological disturbances as well as painful spasms. Bergamot has excellent antiseptic and antibiotic properties so is used quite extensively in the skincare industry.