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Bergamot

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BERGAMOT  citrus bergamia

Aroma & Colour

Delicate, sweet, flowery, fresh, citrusy with balsamic overtones.  It is a light greenish-yellow to moss green colour ~ on aging the oil turns to a brownish olive color.

Blends

Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Roman Chamomile, Wild Oregano, Ylang Ylang.

Safety data

Certain furocumarins (including bergapten found in Bergamot) are photo toxic on human skin. This causes sensitivity and skin pigmentation when exposed to sunlight. Therefore exercise caution when using Bergamot in sunny weather. Bergamot should never be used undiluted on the skin. Severe burning may result.

Uses - Physical/Pschological

  • Uplifts, refreshes and relaxes.
  • Bergamot oil has a strong affinity for the urinary tract and is valuable in the treatment of cystitis and urethritis.  It should be used in the bath or as a local wash at a 1% dilution. 
  • In helping with mental states, Bergamot is most valuable for its uplifting effects as it encourages cheerful emotions.  For tension anxiety or depression, bergamot should be used in a massage oil or in a dally bath.  Bergamot can be used in the treatment of tensions causing dietary problems such as over and under eating.
  • The antiseptic qualities of Bergamot make it ideal for the treatment of skin complaints such as acne, oily skin and all infections of the skin.
  • Bergamot is cooling in feverish conditions and has effective insect repellent properties.
  • Bergamot has an inhibiting effect on certain viruses, in particular herpes simplex 1 which causes cold sores.  Bergamot will also reduce the pain of shingles and ease chicken pox in small children.
  • Bergamot is used extensively as a fragrance and is also found in toiletries and cologne.

Extraction & Components

The essential oil is produced by cold expression of the rind/peel of the nearly ripe fruit.  Although many oils are produced by mechanical processes, the best quality oil is produced by hand.

The oil is known to have about 300 components, the main being linalyl acetate 30-60%; linalol 11-22% and other alcohols, sesquiterpenes, terpenes, alkanes and furocoumarins 0.3-0.39%.

Background

Native to Morocco and tropical Asia it is grown commercially in the Ivory Coast and is extensively cultivated in Southern Italy. It was first cultivated around Bergamo, from where it takes its name.  Citrus Bergamia is a small tree about 4.5m high with smooth oval leaves.  It belongs to the same family as the orange tree.  The fruit has been used for hundreds of years in Italian folk medicine; however, the fruit was unknown outside Italy and wasn't exported until recent times. The oil was primarily used for the treatment of fever and intestinal worms.

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