Citrus fruits


Bergamot (Citrus x bergamia
Risso & Poit .) from Calabria (not to confuse with Wild, White & Purple Bergamot, Monarda spp.)

Citrus fruits are the fruits of the trees belonging to the genus Citrus L., in the subfamily Aurantioideae Eaton of the family Rutaceae Juss.

Well known all over the world as fruits characterized by a typical soursweet (more or less sweet or sour according to species and variety) and sometimes bitter taste, they are mostly used as food, either raw or processed in several food preparations and recipes (e.g., marmalade), or possibly as flavoring ingredients (i.e., the dried or candied peels).

Unlike from what happens in Chinese Medicine, citrus fruits are almost unused in Western herbal practice, and this is really a pity considering the interesting properties they are endowed with. In fact, this is strictly true only for the contemporary western herbal practice: in the medical treatises of the sixtieth and seventieth centuries, indeed, citrus fruits are described similarly to the other medicinal herbs known at the time.

For instance, the Italian author Castore Durante wrote, in his Herbario Nuovo [Durante], about two of these fruits:

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