Found almost exclusively in the Calabria province of Southern Italy, Citrus Bergamot is a small citrus fruit with powerful benefits. Often described as a cross between a lemon and an orange in looks, this fruit is rich in polyphenols that are responsible for its antioxidant activity and potential benefits such as reducing cholesterol, blood sugar levels and anti-inflammatory effects.
Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Health
Bergamot is rich in polyphenols that are said to help reduce cholesterol levels. Various studies have found evidence of this, showing that polyphenols found in the citrus fruit have the ability to increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels and reduce triglyceride levels in the liver. Research found that the compounds extracted from the peel of the fruit act in a similar way to drugs used to reduce cholesterol.
Rich in antioxidants, citrus bergamot has the ability to scavenge free radicals caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be linked to many diseases, including heart disease, inflammation and arthritis.
Studies carried out on animals showed found that citrus bergamot had the ability to lower inflammatory activity in the liver, as well as lowering inflammation in the gut of animals with irritable bowel syndrome.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘prince of citrus’ due to its powerful citrusy scent, citrus bergamot has been used in various forms of traditional medicines for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used to improve vital energy and improve digestive health, whilst the indigenous people of Italy used the juice of the fruit to treat Malaria. Lastly, the citrus bergamot oil was used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide array of ailments including; reducing acne, skin rashes, sore throats, bladder infections, depression and eczema – just to name a few.