A smallish medium sized, moderately vigorous, thornless tree of approximately 4 - 5 metres high, bearing small round, high juice content fruit, maturing from green to a yellow fruit - like a miniature Orange tree. Regarded as the "King of citrus fruits", the Bergamot fruit is cultivated specifically for the production of oil, as the fruit proves inedible due to its acidic, bitter and sour flavour.
The essential oil is obtained from cold-pressing of the course grating of peelings or rind of the unripe Bergamot fruit. * Bergamot essential oil contains naturally occurring bergaptens or furo/furano-coumarins, which are known to cause skin phototoxicity. This means that skin can discolour when exposed to direct sunlight, and in some cases cause burning. *
Bergamot mint oil is also available, however it is produced from a herb Mentha citrata, a relative of Peppermint and Spearmint. The therapeutic actions of this oil are completely different.
Bergamot essential oil is said to help ease congestion, as well as coughs and colds, and some infections, while aiding and maintaining the digestive system. Helps to relieve depression, nervous tension, stress and anxiety, and insomnia with a refreshing and uplifting quality. Used for concentration, motivation, general well-being and happiness. May be beneficial for oily skin and acne prone skin, minor skin irritations like eczema and psoriasis, cold sores, as well as minor wounds like cuts, scratches and abrasions.
Safety Precaution : Flammable. Phototoxic - Application to skin may increase sensitivity to sunlight. Adult use only.
Blends well with : Chamomile, Coriander, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniperberry, Lavender, Neroli and Violet.
FACT : During the 17th century, the oil has traditionally been used in the fragrance industry, particularly eau de cologne, for its light, fresh odour. This extended to flavouring uses in the 18th century, to enhance Earl Grey Tea. The well-known semi-scented English-style tea, Earl Grey, is prepared by spraying the blended tea with oil of bergamot - some say this secret is said to have been shared by a Chinese person of influence to the second Earl Grey around 1830. Lastly, tobacco is sometimes perfumed with Bergamot oil.