The bergamot fruit is most famously known for the citrus notes it gives to Earl Grey Tea. It is also a key ingredient in the perfume industry.
The pink flesh of the fruit is extremely sour but with a subtle floral undertone that no other citrus fruit has.
The rind releases an aromatic oil which is the part used to flavour tea, and used in perfume.
While citrus fruits are promoted for their Vitamin C content, Bergamot has an even more potent power – it is wonderful for the heart and cholesterol and blood sugar regulation.
Over 90% of bergamot is grown in Calabria, southern Italy. It is known as Calabria’s “green gold”
One of the biggest studies is the ground-breaking 2011 citrus bergamot trial conducted by a group of pharmacobiologists in Italy. In their trial, researchers found that citrus bergamot reduced triglycerides while boosting “good” HDL cholesterol. It is the triglyceride to HDL ratio that is the most important ratio to watch when it comes to heart health.
The brilliant American cardiologist Dr Stephen Sinatra explains how bergamot helps to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood stream while also keeping the lining of our blood vessels healthy.
Bergamot has also shown great promise in antiaging medicine for its blood sugar supporting abilities. As evermore research emerge, the benefits of bergamot look very promising!
If you can get hold of some fresh bergamot, make an infusion to drink by putting a slice or two into some hot water and letting it steep for two minutes. If you have the essential oil, add a couple of drops to a natural carrier oil and use as a body oil – the scent is known to trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin which both regulate mood.
Wishing you all good health and happiness,
Dr Maria Amasanti