Logo NHC

What is Citrus Bergamot?

citrus bergamot

What is citrus bergamot used for? Its many applications range from uses in aromatherapy and personal care products to teas and liqueurs to various natural health supplements. But before diving into the potential uses and benefits of citrus bergamot, it’s helpful to start with a simpler question: what is citrus bergamot?

About Citrus Bergamot

Bergamot is a citrus fruit native to the Mediterranean, with most bergamot trees found in Calabria in southern Italy, a region known for its unique soil and climate conditions that are believed to contribute to the plant’s distinct properties.

Citrus bergamot, sometimes also referred to as bergamot orange, is the fruit produced by the Citrus bergamia, a small winter-blossoming tree. While the origins of the fruit are not fully known, experts believe that it is likely a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon. This lineage can be seen in the fruit itself: citrus bergamot is a yellow or green citrus fruit about the size of an orange and slightly pear-shaped.

The fruit and juice of a bergamot orange are edible. Still, because the fruit’s flavor is notably sour and bitter, it is rarely eaten on its own, or “in hand,” like an apple. Professional chefs and home cooks alike can take advantage of the fruit’s powerful flavor and high acidity in the kitchen, however. Citrus bergamot can bring out the flavor of lemons and oranges in some recipes, and can also serve as a recipe substitute for lemons, limes, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits. Some easy ways to enjoy the culinary possibilities of citrus bergamot include:

  • As a replacement for lemon, lime, or orange zest
  • Grated into cake batter
  • Rubbed into sugar and candied
  • To infuse into vodka or swap for another citrus in any of your favorite cocktails
  • As an ingredient in citrus cures or curds

Along with other citruses, fresh bergamot pairs well with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamon, and fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Revered in the culinary world, bergamot may be best known as a key ingredient in Earl Grey tea, partially responsible for the tea’s distinctive flavor.

What is Citrus Bergamot Good For?

The distinct, intense flavoring of citrus bergamot can add a lot to a dish, dessert, or cocktail. But there are reasons to consider finding ways to use citrus bergamot that extend beyond taste. The essential oil extracted from citrus bergamot is also used in perfumes, colognes, and – thanks to its calming scent – even in aromatherapy.

As a citrus, citrus bergamot contains several beneficial properties associated with positive health outcomes. Citrus bergamot has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-reducing functions. Recent preliminary studies have also confirmed that citrus bergamot has antimicrobial properties, giving it potential to fight against infections.

Where to buy citrus bergamot depends on what your needs are. You can shop for citrus bergamot supplements from a health food store or a holistic website such as Natural Healthy Concepts. Our certified nutritionists have vetted our citrus bergamot products for quality and efficacy.

Bergamot essential oil is a popular option. Try Wyndmere Essential Oils Bergamot Essential Oils as a tonic to soothe frazzled nerves, help balance a healthy mood, and combat odors. You can also take bergamot capsules as a dietary supplement. Try Natural Healthy Concepts Bergamot for its flavonoids, which have cholesterol-balancing and cardio-protective properties.

Citrus bergamot has long been used in natural or alternative health traditions, particularly in Italian folk medicine. The potential effects of bergamot vary according to clinical trials, so while the use of citrus bergamot to promote overall health is not a new discovery, its many beneficial properties help explain why citrus bergamot is gaining more widespread popularity as an ingredient in health food supplements today.

What is the best bergamot supplement? Click here to find out.