Tea with bergamot: useful properties and contraindications
To drink a cup in between work, to comfort a friend with a hot drink or to enjoy themselves on a dark winter evening a fragrant tea - for tea drinking does not need a big reason, and the pleasure of the process always lifts the mood. Now there are the most unexpected and extravagant types of tea. The abundance of varieties and additives gives everyone the opportunity to find something that will suit his or her taste. It is not for nothing that the English have made tea culture their main "thing". Research confirms that in terms of health England is in the top twenty and, funnily enough, the main credit goes to the systematic consumption of tea up to 6 times a day! In addition to taste and aesthetics, all tea contains antioxidants. One of the most beneficial and not losing popularity for several centuries is considered to be tea with bergamot.
- What is bergamot
- Composition and calories
- What is useful for tea with bergamot
- For Women
- For Men
- During Pregnancy
- For children
- Tea with bergamot increases or decreases the pressure
- How to brew bergamot tea correctly
- Harm and Contraindications
- Allergy to bergamot tea
- What is the best tea with bergamot: black or green?
- When to harvest and how to dry bergamot for tea
- How to Dry it
- Growing bergamot in the room
- Interesting facts about bergamot
What is bergamot
Most people think of bergamot as an herb. There is a substitute for the real plant that also has beneficial properties. It is a herbaceous perennial monarda, but it is important to understand that citrus bergamia is actually an evergreen citrus tree. It belongs to the ruta genus and its fruit is shaped like a pear. Trees grow up to 10 meters tall. Its branches are covered with long spines, which makes harvesting very difficult.
Bergamot blooms in spring and is harvested from mid-October to late November. Because of its appearance, the second name for the fruit is the princely pear. The ripe bergamot is yellow-green in color with a thick, wrinkled peel rich in essential oils and has a characteristic pleasant smell.
The piney, cool and delicate citrus aroma will not leave anyone indifferent. The smell of bergamot is a natural pheromone that attracts the opposite sex. Due to its fresh aroma, bergamot is widely used in perfumery and cooking in addition to tea. The largest plantations of this crop are located in the southern Italian province of Calabria. Countries in Asia and South America, which have the same subtropical climate, are trying to catch up with the Mediterranean in sales turnover of bergamot, but the palm of primacy is still in Italy for a long time. The most fragrant and high-quality citrus is considered to be grown on its shores and under its sun. Today the bergamot plantations on the Ionian coast occupy 1500 hectares. In the capital of this fragrant spice, up to 20,000 tons of fruit per year are harvested.
The earliest mention of the use of this citrus dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Nicola Parisi planted the first "bergamotteto", i.e. bergamotto, back in 1750. The fruit is a hybrid of citron and orange blossom, also two citrus fruits, whose beneficial properties have made the princely pear a universal remedy for a wide variety of health problems. The plant is relatively unpretentious and can be grown at home, including in the apartment.
Composition and calories
The caloric value of tea with bergamot depends on additives such as sugar, honey, etc. The citrus itself has the most carbohydrates (8.1 g per 100 g of product), while proteins and fats are much lower (protein - 0.9 g per 100 g, fat 0.2 g - per 100 g). Tea retains almost all the vitamins and trace elements of citrus. These include saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A, C, PP, some of the group B, E. Extracts of bergamot are also rich in minerals, among which are zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, selenium and manganese.
Princely pear owes its odor to organic flavoring agents - arenes. Despite the small amount (alpha-bergamotene 0.3% and beta-bisabolene 0.6%), these substances provide the tree with impenetrable protection against insect pests. Well, for a human bergamot combines the sweetness of mandarin, the sourness of lemon and a slight bitterness of orange blossom, creating a unique bouquet of flavors.
The most useful things in bergamot would be the furocoumarins contained in the pulp. They are responsible for the photosensitizing effect. It is these substances that are responsible for all the positive qualities of bergamot related to the skin. Also the citrus has bisabolene, limonene, bergapten, terpineol and nerol - from the essential oils of the peel, on which all the medicinal properties of the plant are based.
What is useful for tea with bergamot
Beverage with bergamot will help girls to solve skin problems. Absolutely any peeling and rash can be treated with bergamot tincture. With careful handling of the concentration of active substances, the tea eliminates inflammatory processes (acne) and soothes skin irritations of varying degrees of complexity. The number of pimples and black dots will decrease due to the antiseptic action, the general secretion of sebaceous and sweat glands in oily areas of the epidermis will be normalized. It will help women who suffer from sweating, because the antioxidants in the tea will contribute to the narrowing of pores.
The product has a positive effect on the health of the female reproductive system. Tea with bergamot has a particularly powerful effect on the skin, having in its composition a lot of furocoumarins. They in turn contribute to the lightening of age spots due to the formation of melanin.
The drink has an antiparasitic effect. For an even tan the drink can also be drunk, but you should do it with caution - it is better not to consume it less than 1-1.5 hours before sunbathing, otherwise the probability of getting burnt increases.
To accelerate hair growth and reduce hair loss, it is enough to make a strong tincture of bergamot tea and rinse your locks with it after washing your head. Such a procedure will strengthen the roots, help in solving scalp problems and dandruff, hair will become easier to comb and stop breaking.
A cup of tea with bergamot is as invigorating as a mug of strong coffee. The hot beverage will help the stronger sex stay energized even after hard work. Laboratory studies proved that the aromatic substances of fragrant citrus help you feel more confident and improve your mood. Perfume manufacturers often use bergamot as a way to attract the opposite sex. But it is not always necessary to resort to the purchase of expensive fragrances, it is easy enough to pass a used peel of bergamot behind the ears to repeat the effect.
For people who lead an active life, tea can help eliminate the devastating effects of stress and relieve anxiety. If a person for a long time is haunted by a feeling of unreasonable anxiety, it is recommended to drink a cup of tonic drink every day. For men, bergamot is a strong aphrodisiac, and also helps to restore reproductive function.
Pregnancy is a very important and responsible period in a woman's life. She should treat her health with special care, because the future mother is also responsible for her child. Tea with bergamot will be useful for pregnant women, but they shouldn't overdo it. One cup a week will help to strengthen the immune system, protecting both mother and fetus from viruses. The main thing is that a woman is not prone to allergies, because allergic reactions to citrus are particularly strong.
Also bergamot essential oils have a strong effect on the nervous and sexual system. If you have certain problems with pregnancy, it is better to consult with a specialist before using to avoid the threat of miscarriage.
As with pregnancy, the useful properties of the drink should be used with caution. The first 3-4 months after childbirth, doctors do not recommend drinking tea with bergamot (as well as with lemon), because you can cause a negative reaction in the newborn.
Women sometimes face the problem of lack of milk. A hot tea drink can help increase lactation and keep it going for a long time. If neither the mother nor the baby has a negative reaction to citrus fruits, the correct dosage of tea will strengthen the child's not fully formed immune system and help the female body recover after childbirth. But drinking more than 2-3 cups of tea a week is not worth it.
The active ingredients in the tea have a positive effect on mental health. In addition to a general calming effect on the nervous system, which prevents outbursts of aggression and nervousness, bergamot improves concentration, promotes intense brain activity, increases memorization - this is only part of the overall effect of tea on the baby.
In addition, the hot beverage prevents depression and reduces fatigue. It will also be useful for children who are often ill with colds, because the fruit has a strong antiviral property. So, the tea can be used as a prophylactic for acute respiratory infections. If a child suffers from a persistent cough, the essential oils in the composition can soothe an irritated throat. Even illnesses such as sore throats and pneumonia are known to be treated. Some mothers practice inhalations with infusions of bergamot. The concentration of active substances will be in it more than in tea, so it is not recommended to drink it, but from a runny nose such treatment can quickly help not only children, but also adults. The main thing is not to spend too long inhalation, as excessive time of the procedure can cause harm to the body. Effective destruction of pathogens quickly treats the symptoms and lowers the fever, and vitamins and ascorbic acid in the composition of the fruit strengthen the weakened immune system.
For weight loss
Tea with bergamot will definitely help to get rid of excess weight! Contributing to the shedding of extra pounds, the fragrant drink performs several functions at once. First of all, tea improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract. The healthier our digestive system works, the more effective the weight loss process will become.
Princely pear has an astringent effect. Tea with bergamot is recommended for people who have diseases such as pancreatitis, chronic gastritis, cholecystitis, as well as reduced acidity of the gastric juice. But proper weight loss without harm to health is possible only after recovery.
The substances contained in the extract of bergamot disinfect and clean the intestinal walls of mucus, which accelerates the absorption of necessary elements. Thus, the tea helps accelerate metabolism and regulate the water-lipid balance.
The second function is to improve blood flow. The drink cleans blood vessels and normalizes lymph flow, and the latter plays one of the most important roles in burning subcutaneous fat. Those who want to control the desire to eat should consider that tea improves appetite, and for those who need to normalize the regular consumption of food, on the contrary, a strong brewed drink is a good fit.
Tea with bergamot raises or lowers blood pressure
Many people are concerned about the question of what effect tea with bergamot will have on blood pressure. It is safe to say about the normalizing effect of bergamot. The main enemies of our cardiovascular system are stress and increased nervous tension. Adrenaline combined with other accompanying hormones causes the blood vessels to contract, which subsequently leads to hypertension. Bergamot favors the cause of anxiety by calming the nervous system and boosting mood.
Of course, tea with fragrant additive can not be called a full-fledged treatment, but the drink can provide significant help. If you drink tea hot with a little sugar, your blood pressure will rise, but you should not abuse the effect. In the case when it is necessary to lower the BP, you just need to drink it cold, throwing an ice cube into the mug. That is, the drink will be able to "kill two birds with one stone", while having an overall positive effect on the cardiovascular system.
How to brew bergamot tea correctly
Before brewing the tea, it is necessary to heat the dish in which you plan to make the drink. It will be enough to rinse the kettle with boiling water from the inside or to hold hot water in it for 30-60 seconds. The correct proportion for black tea with bergamot is 1 teaspoon per 200-250 ml of water. Next, you need to pour hot water into the kettle. Note that the temperature should not exceed 85 degrees, otherwise the tea may lose its taste and medicinal qualities.
After the container is filled, you need to wait 4 minutes and take out the brew. If desired, you can add honey. Fragrant tea with bergamot ready!
Harm and contraindications
Despite the large number of positive properties, tea with bergamot has a strong effect and can be harmful and even dangerous if used too much or not as directed.
- This drink is contraindicated for people with a strong nervous excitability, the invigorating effect of bergamot can lead to insomnia.
- Children under 10 years of age and nursing mothers should not consume this tea too often. For women with late pregnancy, it is better not to drink it at all.
- Because of the pungent smell, people with hypersensitivity may experience dizziness, weakness, and even a feeling of lack of air or headache.
- In the presence of cardiovascular diseases before drinking the drink should consult a doctor - in rare cases, tea can have a negative effect. In order not to harm yourself, it is better to make sure that it is relevant and safe to take it internally.
- Women who have problems in the field of gynecology should not use this type of tea either, because it can provoke uterine contractions and vaginal bleeding.
If a person has no contraindications, you need to understand that everything is good in moderation, because the powerful effect can make you feel bad.
Allergy to tea with bergamot
As you know, citrus fruits are strong allergens. They contain complex protein compounds that cause severe symptoms. It is important to remember that if a person after drinking tea with bergamot has itching and reddening skin, hives, lacrimation, bronchospasm or wheezing began, it is necessary to quickly give him an anti-allergy medicine.
If the symptoms do not go away, swelling continues to develop, you must immediately go to the hospital for emergency help, because the most severe forms of allergy, such as anaphylactic shock, Quincke's edema can even lead to death. The essential oils in the drink are a concentrate of substances contained in the fruit, so they pose a great danger to allergy sufferers. Accordingly, people who suffer from individual intolerance are strictly contraindicated to drink this tea.
What kind of tea with bergamot is better: black or green?
Black tea with bergamot is considered traditional and is called Earl Grey around the world. It is made using Indian or Ceylon tea, sometimes Chinese varieties are also used. But today, the tea industry is growing rapidly, so there is a green kind with the addition of fragrant citrus. Of course, adherents of green tea will prefer rather a non-classical version, and the main thing is that the benefits of bergamot will not suffer from this in any way.
Black varieties have a higher content of useful caffeine than green ones, which reduces the tonic effect of the drink during the transition. The caffeine contained in tea has a rather positive effect on the cardiovascular system, because it dilates the blood vessels not in a spasmodic manner, but gradually. So a person works for a long time productively, with increased attention and concentration.
Bergamot drink with green tea varieties has more effect on the nervous system - antioxidants relieve tension. Thus, green tea with bergamot is preferable to drink at night, and black tea - in the morning or in the middle of the working day.
"Excess" water is eliminated from the body together with salts, getting rid of edema. It is because of its metabolic acceleration, diuretic and cleansing effects, green tea with bergamot is considered a great aid in weight loss.
When to pick and how to dry bergamot for tea
During flowering, large and variegated flowers with a sweet odor appear on the tree. The fruit, while still green, has a dense, juicy rind that has a brighter, sour-bitter flavor that the ripe citrus does not have. This is when it will be most suitable for harvesting.
The most valuable product for food and tea making will be the essential oil, which is created by pressing the concentrate from the leaves, flowers of the tree and the skin of the bergamot itself. If a person is seriously interested in the prospect of making tea with bergamot completely on their own, then they should know that the most valuable oil is considered to be hand-pressed and it is from the fruit. The work to be done is quite laborious, because from 1 kg of harvested fruit you can get about 5 grams of oil. In fact, all the benefits of bergamot tea lie in the oils. They are used to treat teapots, which need to be flavored, and with the latter they acquire the benefits of essential oils.
How to dry it
If an herb is used to make tea that needs to be harvested, drying will be required. Bergamot is crushed, removing the coarse and thick particles at once. Drying is done in the shade in the fresh air (allowed to dry the herb on the balcony with the windows open). A sign that the raw material is dried - its brittleness.
Dried herbs stored in glass jars with tight fitting lids, so that raw materials do not lose their useful properties.
Growing bergamot in the room
Many people have a desire to grow plants at home, which most like to eat. The fate has not escaped and bergamot, because a delicious tea can be made not only from the green fruits, but also from the leaves. Outdoors because of the cold winters it will be problematic to grow the tree, but in the apartment is quite realistic. The flowering period of the princely pear lasts from March to April. Bergamot inflorescences are also valuable for making tea because they have large red or white flowers that exude a sweet smell with a tangy bitterness.
Propagation of the culture is done by seeds or by cuttings. It is worth considering that if you plant seeds, you will not be able to get fruits. You need to cut cuttings of 10-15 centimeters from the tree, and then plant them in small pots. Use soil bought in a store for lemons, then the plant will feel comfortable. It is important to observe favorable conditions for the seedling: a temperature of 22-25 degrees of heat and good lighting. Once the cuttings have taken root - which will be within 3-4 weeks - they can be transferred to a bigger pot. Two weeks after transplanting, it is advisable to fertilize the plant. This is best done with a special fertilizer for citrus.
Bergamot tree is not very fastidious in care, but grows slowly. For the same reason, it does not need frequent transplants, and they should be carried out only if the roots took up all the soil in the pot. The best way for the bergamot to cope with the change of soil during flowering, because in March-April the plant is full of strength. Water the citrus as the soil dries out, and in winter even less often. Good light is necessary even in the cold season, if the plant will be dark, the leaves will start to wither and then fall off. It is better not to let this happen, but it is still not worth worrying about. In the spring, the leaves will fully recover. Despite the fact that the average daily temperature can be lowered to 12-15 degrees, you need to protect the plant very carefully from draughts and move it to a warmer room if it freezes.
To make fragrant tea, young bergamot leaves are crushed and allowed to infuse with the brewed tea. If your tree already has fruit, it will be enough to leave a few pieces of citrus peel for 10 minutes in the drink, after which the tea will have the desired flavor.
Interesting facts about bergamot
- There are several versions of why princely pear tea spread so quickly. The basic version is that bergamot tea was created by accident. In the days when tea was brought to Europe from India, a certain Englishman Gray, in addition to the valuable leaves, carried the oil of ripe bergamot in barrels. But the ship was caught in a storm on the way, and the oil spilled onto the bags of tea. The loss of such a valuable shipment would have been catastrophic for the Earl, and he decided to sell the "spoiled" tea. To his surprise, the bergamot leaves paid off much faster, and the people of England wanted to keep buying the fragrant drink.
- In Britain, because of the drink's fondness for it, there is a saying that a kiss should be as strong and sweet as tea, and some jokingly add: "And with bergamot!"
- In Germany and Italy, bergamot tea was the chief antiseptic for three centuries. It was used to disinfect cuts and cauterize large wounds. It was thanks to the folk medicine of southern Europe, a little less than a century ago the plant came to the attention of scientists.
- The most massive counterfeiting of bergamot and its products was during the Second World War. This was due to the fact that the main consumers and the main producers of tea were "on different sides of the barricades". Many nations around the world began to look for local substitutes for the princely pear. After a long time it has been discovered that each country with its own tea culture can offer its own "bergamot" Earl Grey. It seems that ordinary people want to cheat by selling cheaper analogues instead of the real additive, but it is not that simple. This significant increase in the variety of tea has led to a significant progress in the market, competition and improving the quality of the product, even if it is not exactly bergamot.
- In Mauritius, bergamot also grows, but in addition to tea, locals prefer to drink its juice in its pure form. The thing is that even the ripe bergamot is positioned as inedible because of its inherent strong acidity and bitterness, despite the beautiful flavor. It is believed that only a "real man" can drink this juice, so in many tribes rituals included the consumption of citrus juice.
No matter what time of day one wants to enjoy the hot beverage. It is said that tea can heal wounded souls, and one cannot disagree with that! People lovingly brew the drink for their significant other, infuse herbs for relatives who have been stricken with illness, and simply make it for themselves to spend a pleasant Saturday evening in the company of a book. Now that progress in the study of biology and physiology makes it possible to study in detail the processes going on in the body, more and more new properties of long-known plants are being discovered. Medicine, coming from the depths of time, knows how to use the gifts that nature provides us, and modern knowledge gives scientific proof of that. The same fate has befallen bergamot tea. Its exceptional taste, combined with its benefits for the whole body, makes it a universal remedy, whether it is a runny nose, a scratch or an autumnal moping. The most important and favorite among thousands of people all over the planet is still the incomparable velvety taste of classic Earl Grey tea.
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