I absolutely love the smell of Bergamot essential oil. Whenever I have a bottle of this oil, it doesn’t last very long because I feel the need to carry it in my pocket so I can smell it whenever the mood hits me and reap the aromatherapeutic benefits of the oil. This has made me wonder if it is something I can grow here.
Now, this is where I get a little confused. As I search for information about bergamot and try to find seeds so I can attempt to grow this plant, I find two different types of bergamot: the herb and the small citrus tree. Both are capable of producing an essential oil, but I am not sure which one is the one that creates the oil I love. From what I can find, I believe it is the citrus tree (the oil is cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit).
Since the tree version is a citrus tree, created by combining a lemon tree and an orange tree (http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/bergamot-oil.aspx), I am not sure it is something that I can grow here. I suppose, if I had a green house, I could try to grow one in there, but I don’t so…? I’ll have to look more into that. I wouldn’t mind giving the trying to grow one of these small trees a shot.
The seeds are easy to find for the herb. One of the articles I have read about growing this herb says it takes a long time to grow this plant from seed but there are others that have no mention of it taking a significant amount of time. I think I am going to try to get one or two of the already growing herbs and a packet of seeds and see how it goes.
This herb is a member of the mint family, which is something I didn’t know. It would appear that I have an attraction to all things mint. The leaves and flowers of this herb are used for a number of therapeutic remedies. as well as having some culinary uses.
A tea made from the leaves can be used. medicinally, to make a tea that helps with relieving symptoms of a cold. Throwing some of the leaves and flowers, dried or fresh, into a tub provides a bath that is not only amazing smelling but is said to help rejuvenate the soul. Slip some of the leaves into a fruity drink for an extra zing or give an extra pleasant appearance to salads by decorating with the flower petals.
The oil from this herb can be mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or grape seed oil, and used as an all over skin moisturizer, as well as a wonderful smelling insect repellent. I have heard that this helps with the appearance of varicose veins. Place the oil in an oil burner/diffuser to aid in the relief of anxiety and depression. Carrying a bottle of the oil in your pocket, where it will be warmed by your body heat, allows the benefits of this oil to be available at any time by placing the bottle under your nose and inhaling the centering scent. This oil is said to have antiseptic properties, so a salve mixed with this oil is great for healing wounds.
Bergamot has a number of different properties to it. It is really a wonderful herb and I think adding this to my herb garden this year will be a very nice addition. Sure, I won’t be able to grow enough of the herb to process the essential oil out of it, but I will definitely enjoy learning just how this lovely herb grows.
Tomorrow: Clary Sage