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Bergamot Mint

Bergamot mint or mentha citrata is an erect and well branched out herb having slender and ovate or elliptical shaped leaves with small thick terminal spikes. This aromatic plant is also known by the names such as marsh mint, vilayati-pudina and lemon mint. The plant is native to southern and central Europe and also the eastern North America. Around 50 to 60 tonnes of oil is produced by India annually. Bergamot is a perennial plant which is characterized as being of hybrid nature. Lemon, Lime and Orange Bergamot are some varieties of the bergamot family. The oils of the bergamot, derived form the nearly ripened fruit of the plant, are used in soaps, perfumes and other toiletry items. Linalool and linalyl acetate are two of the useful components of the flowers of the bergamot herb.

Bergamots adapts easily to various environments. It grows to heights of over 3 feet and generally has scarlet colored flowers. The rounded leaves are small and have purplish edges, being tinged with purple and bronze shades. The small, tubular and multi colored flowers are densely coagulated in the upper axils of the plant. Bee balm is also known as bergamot herb. It has thin and smooth leaves and purple flowers. With its mesmerizing citrus scent, it is used to make potpourri and also used in drinks.
 

Cultivation
The bergamot plant is a perennial herb with white, mauve and pink flowers but the bright scarlet variety is the most popular. The sun, type of soils and other factors greatly affect the plant growth. The methods of root divisions are the best way for growing these plants, but it can also be grown with the cutting method. The roots which are moving away from the bergamot plant are extracted and the small plants can be transplanted anywhere. The bergamot is a thick and short shrub which reaches height of upto one meter. The bergamot thrives in moist and well drained soils and can survive well in areas with shade. Even in the temperate climates, the bergamot mints can flourish and provides higher amounts of oils. High fertility levels are required for the soils to thrive and additionally, it needs plenty of manure,

mulch and compost, mixed with lots of straw. It can face problems such as mildews and rust attacks on the leaves.
 

Uses
The leaves and flowers of the bergamot are used for various purposes. It is used to make the Chartreuse Liqueur. The sweet and strong citrus flavor makes it quite ideal for flavoring teas, desserts or iced beverages. It is used to flavor lamb and fish dishes. The brightly colored bergamot flowers are a source of great attraction to the bees, butterflies and other insects and make a great addition to any orchid or vegetable garden. The leaves are harvested for drying just before or after the flowering of the plant. Loaded with Vitamins A and C, the leaves of the bergamot herb are used for preparing salads, garnishes and other sweet based dishes. The petals of the bergamot are also used for decorating salads and are edible. The orange mint, also called bergamot mint, can be used to make jellies, vinegars and mint sauces.


Bergamot mint is used in perfumery items and is loved by perfumers around the world. The oil also has high cosmetic value attached to it. The distinct lavender and floral scent of the bergamot makes it a highly valuable scent for soaps, perfumes, colognes. bath teas and masks. It is also used for exfoliation purposes to make the skin clearer and beautiful. The leaves and the petals, either in dried and fresh form, are added to hot water and then used as scented bathing water. Bergamot mint functions as a good strewing herb

The bergamot mint has a savory and fruity aroma. It has several medicinal properties and is known to fight colds, chest and throat infections. It can improve digestion and also be used to treat stomach related problems. It is an aromatic stimulant and can be highly useful in treating various types of skin infections. The American Indians used the bergamot mint to make herbal teas. This herb has high levels of thymol, which has well known antiseptic properties. Bergamot oil is used to flavor the Earl Grey tea and it is derived from the bergamot orange and also to a lesser extent from the bergamot mint.

 

Bergamot Oil
The scent of the oil is described as citrus, fruity, balanced and warm. The essential oil of the bergamot is used to counter anxiety, nervous tension, and other stress related disorders and is highly recommended by aromatherapy. It can reduce fatigue and strengthen the immune system. The oil is utilized by perfumers for the soothing and aromatic scent it emits. It is useful for treating infections of the urinary tract and respiratory system. It can also be used to treat skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. The oil is used to treat herpes, varicose veins, wounds, seborrhea and shingles. The properties of the bergamot are well known and it functions as an analgesic, anti-depressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, deodorant, sedative, cicatrisant, digestive and as

an insecticide. This oil works great in combination with citrus oils, geranium, rose, florals and ylang ylang. The use of the oil, though, presents risks of photosensitivity for the skin.
 
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