Tropea Onion: Calabrian survivor


There is a product which does not show the sign of time passing by: a bulb made up of layers of purplish-red tunics, oval, long or round, the red (violet) “onion of Tropea”.

This everlasting fruit of the land of Calabria is authentic and mediterranean, known of different varieties, including spring onions, early store onions and late harvest onions.

Pliny the Elder cited this vegetable in his “Naturalis Historia”, declaring that it was curative as well as more nourishing and tasty. And it is impressive the fact that in that ancient land, Calabria, even if it was invaded by Greeks, Arabs, Franks, this onion survived to these cultural passages.  Namely, many historical and bibliographic sources attributed the introduction of the onion to the Phoenicians and later the Greeks. Historians since 1700 and 1800 spoke of red-violet onions of Tropea.

Due to its unique sweetness, Tropea onion is the most famous and appreciated onion of Calabria, abroad. It grows, typically, on the cliffs that descend from Mount Poro towards the sea between Cape Vaticano, Zambrone, Tropea and Briatico, in the provinces of Cosenza and Vibo Valentia, but the larger land of this onion is the coastal medium-high Tyrrhenian of Calabria, areas of the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro and Vibo Valentia, where the cultivars belong to fresh soils, overlooking the sea, with conditions of humidity, typical of the area of the upper-middle of the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria.

The cultivars of Tropea’s onions, belonging to the lily family, are three:

  • “cipolla da serbo”, dry, crunchy, sweet;
  • “cipollotto”, sweet, soft and white;
  • “cipolla fresca”, more red/violet, with a long stem.

The fruit is sweet, fleshy and light, with a rather delicate fragrance, so that it is excellent for preparing lots of different dishes. Nowadays, it is essential to so many recipes that they cannot miss such element, for example any Calabrian daily soups, omelettes, jams, salads fresh and sweet delights of summer. Further, Tropea onion can be prepared in several different ways: baked, boiled, for production of delicious onion marmalade, as appetizer and on roasted peppers.

The fruit has, anyway, many organoleptic properties, given that it is diuretic and laxative and highly digestible and rich in vitamins. It is so rich in antioxidants and healthy as well as excellent anti-inflammatory, that sometimes we can even forget to remember its unmistakable sweet flavor. Further, recent studies have again shown that this onion has further hypoglycemic and anticancer properties, in addition to its antiseptic functions, alleviating both cold and flu symptoms. It was evidenced that it strengthens the cells and tone the arteries, lowers blood pressure, and can be used in dermatology.

Bergamot Against Cholesterol



The bergamot is nowadays included in the international anti-cholesterol guidelines. The green gold of Calabria can be used in the treatment of patients intolerant to statins or with metabolic syndrome (“statins”, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are a class of lipid-lowering medications. They reduce cardiovascular disease and mortality in those who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease).

Bergamot enters fully among the list of lipid-lowering nutraceuticals, both in national and international guidelines. Among the different factors, its reduction of total cholesterol and LDL-c (low density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels is an important help for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, the main cause of worldwide death and disability in developed countries.

A different approach

An increase of cholesterol causes many diseases and is a general health problem, with a great economic impact: the expenditure of the Italian National Health Service for hypocholesterolemic therapies amounts to over a billion a year, while it reaches 15 billion euro for the management of cardiovascular diseases.

Based on statistics of Italian Institute ISTAT, population aging is expected to increase the likelihood of their incidence and prevalence in the near future; just think that the increase in chronic patients has led Italian healthcare spending to grow faster than the national health fund.


Inside this scenario, the nutritional supplement of Bergamot juice emerges as an excellent candidate to be included in a strategic framework of primary prevention, combining bergamot juice consumption with tools such as proper nutrition and sporting activity, inside the well known paradigm shift of prevention of diseases, instead of only a posteriori medical treatments.

The juice offers a wide spectrum beneficial for patients because it guarantees the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and health conditions that prevent the establishment of chronic invalidating events.

As nutraceutical the bergamot is now included in the cardiometabolic area among the lipid-lowering factors, thanks to the contribution and work of a large panel of experts. In a recent scientific article, titled “Lipid lowering nutraceuticals in clinical practice: position paper from an international lipid expert panel” there are clinical studies on bergamot, which highlights its lipid-lowering effects in reducing the levels of sdLDL (cholesterol in small and dense lipoproteins) and TG (The Triglyceride) with a significant increase in HDL-c levels (the so-called good cholesterol).

Research and Nature

Some other studies have also been interested in evaluating the administration of bergamot derivatives in association with statins; the positive results showed significant efficacy in terms of reduction of LDL and TG levels. The absence of side effects has also promoted the bergamot as a valid substitute in those conditions of intolerance to statins, or in association with the latter to reach the therapeutic target, avoiding the typical side effects such as myalgia .


Therefore it is suggested the possibility of resorting to bergamot in the treatment of hypercholesterolemic and / or hypertriglycemic patients, intolerant to statins or with metabolic syndrome.

Drink this magnificent juice and Best wishes!