Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the tree Citrus bergamia (Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia) of the Rutaceae family and is also known as Bergamot orange.
Oil properties: The scent of the oil is basically citrus, yet fruity and sweet with a warm spicy floral quality, and is reminiscent of Neroli and Lavender oil. The color ranges from green to greenish-yellow and has a watery viscosity.
Origin of bergamot oil: This tree is native to South East Asia but was introduced to Europe, and particularly Italy, but is also found in the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
Bergamot oil is made from a tree that can grow up to four meters high, with star-shaped flowers, and smooth leaves, bearing citrus fruit resembling a cross between an orange and a grapefruit but in a pear-shape. The fruit ripens from green to yellow.
The oil is one of the most widely used in the perfumery and toiletry industry and forms, together with Neroli and Lavender, the main ingredient for the classical 4711 Eau-de-cologne fragrance and is used to flavor Earl Grey tea. The name Bergamot is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy where the oil was first sold.
Extraction: The rind of both ripe and unripe fruit is used to extract the oil by expression, which yields about 0.5%.
Chemical composition: The essential oil is composed of various chemical constituents and includes the following: Limonene, Linalyl Acetate, Linalol, Gamma Terpenene, Bergaptene and Dipentene.
Precautions: Bergamot oil can cause severe burns when used on a sensitive skin exposed to sunlight, since the high content of bergaptene can cause photo-toxicity and it is advisable to keep out of the sun if used on the skin.
Even when the ingredient Bergaptene (Furocoumarin) is removed from the oil and photo toxicity is therefore minimized, it is still advisable to keep treated skin out of the sun.
Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of Bergamot oil include: antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-spasmodic, stomachic, calmative, and a febrifuge.
Uses: Bergamot oil can be used in the treatment of depression, stress, tension, fear, hysteria, infection (all types including skin), anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence.
Summary: When you are looking for an oil to help with depression, SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) or generally feeling just a bit off, lacking in self-confidence or feel shy, then consider Bergamot. It also has antiseptic qualities that are useful for skin complaints such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Burners and vaporizers: In vapor therapy Bergamot oil can be used for depression, feeling fed-up, colds and flu, PMS and SAD.
Blended oil or in the bath: Bergamot oil can be used in blended massage oil, or diluted in a bath to assist with stress, tension, SAD, PMS, skin problems, compulsive eating, postnatal depression, colds and flu, anxiety, depression, feeling fed-up and anorexia nervosa.
Bendable in base cream: It is used as a constituent in blended base cream, Bergamot oil. It can also be used for wounds and cuts, psoriasis, oily skin, scabies, eczema, acne and cold sores.