Friday, October 16, 2009


Bergamot (Monarda didyma) also known as ‘Oswego tea’ is indigenous to
Eastern North America and is a member of the Lamiaceae family. This
highly fragrant plant grows 2-3 feet high. Flowers vary in color from pink to
reddish and are in large curlicues on top of the stem. Dark colored leaves
are rough surfaced and contain citrus flavor. Leaves and flowers form the
consumable parts of the herb.

Bergamot is considered to be an expectorant, tonic, deodorant and anti-
spasmodic. Additional properties include anti-anxiety, antiseptic, carminative,
digestive, insecticide and analgesic. These properties help in ailments like
nausea, vomiting, cough, flu, stomach upsets and sinus. Bergamot primarily
acts as a stimulant and helps with digestion. Consuming Bergamot tea is
known to provide relief in cold, throat and digestion problems. It can also
help in chest problems, insomnia and flatulence. Bergamot oil is useful in
aromatherapy and aids in treatment of anxiety, nervous tension and helps
with the urinary tract and respiratory system. Topical application of the oil is
considered to be good for skin problems like eczema, acne and psoriasis. It
is useful in wounds and swollen veins.

Bergamot leaves and flowers are widely used for its fruity flavor and aroma.
They can also be used in fruit drinks and salads to add flavor as well as for
garnishing. It particularly enhances pork recipes. Leaves are used for making
refreshing herbal tea as well as a facial steam. Fresh as well as dried leaves
and petals can be added to bathing water to have a refreshing and perfumed

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