Bergamot,  is an aromatic plant and one of several fragrant herbs of the genus Monarda (family Lamiaceae )  or the fruit of the bergamot orange ( Citrus ×aurantium). The bergamot herbs and the bergamot orange have a similar characteristic floral fragrance and are commonly used in perfumes and as a flavouring. The bergamot herbs are perennial plants and are native to North America.  They are commonly grown as ornamentals to attract bees, buterflies, and humingbirds.  Bee balm, or Oswego tea ( Monarda didyma ) was used as a beverage common of the Oswego American Indian Tribe.  It was also one of the drinks adopted by Colonists during the boycott of British tea.

Most common ways Bergamot is used in culinary dishes:

Bergamot is usually thought of as a tea herb. Its spicy, citrusy flavour is reminiscent of Earl Grey tea when using it to create an herbal tea.  Standard tea can be infused with it and it can be used to make a straight tea alternative.

Health Benefits of Bergamot

Bergamot induces perspiration, lowers fevers, and through its carminative action, aids digestion. It has been used for colds, fevers, headaches, gastric disorders such as flatulence, nausea and vomiting. Externally, the fresh leaves are applied to pimples and other skin eruptions. 

Other common uses for Bergamot as a dietary suppliment or treatment.

People use Bergamot in diffusers in occupied rooms to reduce stress and tension levels  Some apply to skin while showering as a cleanser while simultaneously inhaling the calming aroma.   Bergamot is commonly used as a potpourri.

Substitutions for Bergamot in Reciepes

Lemon balm provides many of the same qualities that you want from bergamot.

Storage Tips for Bergamot 

You can harvest the flowers and leaves of bergamot at almost any time during the growing season.  Cut off bergamot flower heads when they bloom in early to late summer using garden shears or a sharp knife. Make the cut just below the base of each flower head.  Inspect the flowers for and remove any insects or debris.  Gather the flower heads into small bundles, then put each bundle in a paper bag.  Put the bags in well-ventilated area to allow the flowers to dry.

Our standard word of caution….

As with anything.  Every person and body is different.  Interactions are not likely but depending on diet, other suppliments or medicines taken one shouldnt blindly ingest Bergamot.  Though reactions or concerns are highly unlikely it is recommended and just plain good advice to consult with your doctor prior to using, trying or adding to your routine.  A little moderation is usually best and overdoing anything isnt good for you.