Bergamot Essential Oil <br/><em>Citrus bergamia</em>
Grab your Earl Gray, sit back, and have a cuppa to experience the zing that is bergamot. The legendary flavor is also a legendary scent, known for its complex orange and lemon citrus scent that includes a little hint of floral and spice. The fruit routinely confounds description. Some say that the fruit is like a cross between a grapefruit and an orange. Others claim it’s more of a melding of a lime and an orange, while still, other people swear that it’s a cross between a sour orange and a lemon.
That “je ne sais quoi” that helps bergamot defy description carries over into its effects. Given its citrus fragrance, you’d probably think that the aroma of this essential oil is energising. That’s actually the opposite of bergamot’s effect, which is calming and soothing.
History of Bergamot: The Mysteries Abound!
Given bergamot’s inconclusive citrus status, it won’t surprise you that its history is a little murky too. It may be native to Calabria. Alternatively, it may be from the Canary Islands and Greece, in which case it’s possible that Christopher Columbus brought it to Italy during one of his expeditions.
The name of the fruit is, yes, also a bit of a mystery. The Greeks believe the name comes from the Ottoman Turkish word “beg armudi”, which means “prince’s pear”. The Italians, who produce 80 to 90 percent of the world’s bergamot, insist that the fruit is named after the village of Bergamo at the base of the Bergamo Alps.
Behold the Benefits of Bergamot
Bergamot essential oil boasts a basketful of benefits, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Many of these benefits are a result of the fruit’s content, which includes limonene, linalool and linalyl acetate.
- Fever. Traditional Italian medicine used bergamot to reduce fever as well to treat a host of respiratory, throat and urinary infections.
- Congestion. Vaporised bergamot essential oil is often used to clear nasal and respiratory congestion.
- Indigestion. Bergamot oil stimulates digestive juices and intestinal muscle contractions, so many people use it to ease indigestion and constipation.
- Cavities. The oil’s antibacterial properties help to calm infected teeth when applied to the gum tissue around the tooth or when added to a mouthwash.
- Aches and Pains. Bergamot’s linalool and linalyl acetate help to block the perception of pain. As a result, many use the essential oil to ease headaches and muscle pain. The oil also has antispasmodic properties that help to calm muscle cramps and contractions.
- Scars. The oil balances the skin’s melanin, helping to fade acne and other skin scars.
- Skin wounds. Bergamot oil’s antiseptic properties also benefit the skin, being used frequently for cracking skin, eczema and wounds.
- Deodorant and Perfume. Antibacterial wonders and an appealing scent combine to make bergamot a popular choice for a personal deodorant. In fact, it was used in the original eau de cologne by Farina in 18th-century Europe. It’s still used in about a third of all men’s colognes and nearly half of all women’s fragrance.
- Oily Skin. Bergamot oil helps control oily skin and acne.
- Depression. The oil’s limonene and alpha pinene lightens depression and provides an uplifting effect.
- Anxiety and Nerves. Flavonoids in bergamot fight nerves, stress and anxiety.
- The aroma of bergamot essential oil brings joy, strength and love to your spiritual life. Energy is buoyed by the scent, and the mind is cleared to focus on the physical and spiritual bodies’ needs. It also helps us to reach a higher spiritual plane where we can connect with our guides.
- Chakra. The scent’s connection to love, joy and clarity make it a good choice for heart chakra balancing.
- Magickal. Bergamot oil is thought to help you attract prosperity and success. It’s also a useful tool in purifying, cleansing and relaxation rituals.
Do not ingest essential oils. Applying bergamot essential oil in concentrations above .4 percent to your skin can cause phototoxicity, a form of light sensitivity. To alleviate its phototoxicity, some FCF and bergapten elements have been removed from the oil. Also, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using bergamot oil.
- Botanical Name: Citrus bergamia
- Common Method of Extraction: cold pressed
- Plant Part Typically Used: rind/peel
- Color: greenish or green-yellow
- Consistency: thin
- Perfumery Note: top
- Strength of Initial Aroma: medium
- Aromatic Description: blend of citrus aromas including orange and lemon with slight floral and spice