Evergreen tree growing to 30 ft (10 m). Has pointed oval leaves, scented white flowers, and fruit with aromatic peel.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to tropical Asia, bergamot is cultivated in sub-tropical regions, especially in southern Italy.
Bergamot contains a volatile oil including linalyl acetate (30–60%), limonene (26–42%), and linalool (11–22%), bergapten, and a diterpene.
History & Folklore
Bergamot oil, expressed from the peel, provides the distinctive flavor of Earl Grey tea. The oil (or constituents of it) is sometimes added to suntanning oils.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Bergamot is little used in herbal medicine, but it can be used to relieve tension, relax muscle spasms, and improve digestion.
Do not take bergamot essential oil internally.