Benefits and Properties of
Bergamot Essential Oil

Botanical Names of Bergamot
Citrus auranticum ssp. bergamia Rutaceae

Place of Origin
It was first cultivated in Bergamo in Northern Italy where the tree got its name. It is believed to have been introduced in the Canary Islands by Christopher Columbus. Others have tried to cultivate it in the Ivory Coast and South of France but with little success.

Plant Description
It is a tree that grows to about 5 M (about 16 feet) tall. The fruit is like miniature oranges, but some what pear-shaped, about 2 ½ to 4 inches long and yellow when ripe. The fruit is inedible. The tree has lush green leaves and thorny branches. The white star-shaped flowers have a sweet fragrance.

Bergamot is a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon.

Essential Oil
It is hand pressed from the peel of the bitter sour green fruit. The oil has a fruity, citrusy, fresh, warm fragrance with a delicate emerald green to olive green color.

Bergamot can be used as an alternative to true balm oil.

Contains
ALCOHOLS 50% ;geraniol; linalol; fenchol;nerol; alphaterpineol; ALDEHYDES; citra; ESTERS; linalylacetate 40%; MONOTERPENES 40%; camphene; bergamotene; limonene; COUMARIN;bergapten 3-39%; furocumarin 5%

Blends well with
any of the flower oils; cedarwood; camomile; camphor cypress; fennel; geranium; jasmine; lavender: lemon; lime; neroli; ylang ylang;
Bergamot is a top note essential oil.

Safety
After applying bergamot essential oil be sure and stay out of direct sunlight as it is phototoxic and attracts sunlight, the photosensitising effect can last for several days.
Use with caution on people with very sensitive skin.
Always dilute in a carrier oil before adding to bath and use in a low dilution, if not the oil will make a film on top of the water and get deposited on to large areas of your skin.
Using in a dilution of less than 2% of the total concentration in bath and during sunny weather does not seem to be as phototoxic.
Never use undiluted especially on exposed skin areas to keep from getting burned.



Beneficial Effects – Physical
Antispasmodic; cephalic; antibiotic; anti-inflammatory; antiseptic; fever-reducing; appetite stimulant; bactericide; parasiticide; digestive stimulant; muscle relaxant; deodorant;

Beneficial Effects – Mental
Agitation; insomnia; depression; stress; tension; discouragement; anxiety; emotional imbalance;

Benefits
Bergamot works very well for urinary tract infection, depression and anxiety, and also skin care.

Aproximate drops per use (30 ml = 1 ounce): For 25 ml use 3 drops; 50 ml use 6 drops; 100 ml use 12 drops. This is just a gage to go by, it can vary, depending on your oil, the method you are going to use, and what you are using it for.



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Uses

Cystitis
This oil works very well for treating cystitis and urethritis. (use along with chamomile, sandalwood and tea tree). Cystitis usually starts in the urethritis and then the infection travels up to the bladder. Using this oil in the early stages can often prevent the infection from spreading. It is a powerful disinfectant of the urinary system.
The other oils are very good at treating the physical effects of cystitis but do not leave out bergamot as it also helps with being tense, anxious or depressed which can cause recurrent cystitis. Bergamot can break this chain by relieving the tension and depression along with the physical causes.
Add it to your bath (always mix with a carrier oil before adding to bath water). Use it as a local wash (which also is good for vaginal itching). Always use in a low dilution of 1% or even smaller like 0.5%. (Be sure and see you doctor if an attack of cystitis does not respond to treatment) For bladder infections you can also use it internally in a propolis infusion. Complement this treatment with sitz baths, a salt free diet, and herbal teas like golden seal or yarrow.

Infections/Viruses
Bergamot can inhibit certain viruses like the one that causes cold sores. It works well as an alternative to expensive balm oil. Most people carry this virus, but it only shows up as the blisters when you are stressed, run down (like with a cold), or other infections. Just dab it the oil on neat or diluted in a little alcohol at the first sign of the cold sore, use it alone or combine it with eucalyptus which is another oil that is a powerful anti-vital agent. It can also be used to reduce the pain of shingles and chickenpox which is caused by another herpes virus.


Bergamot works well to help disperse acid crystals formed on arthritic joints, use in a combination with juniper and cypress.

Emotional
Essential oils can work wonders and has many benefits for treating depression, anxiety, and hysteria. It has a relaxing and calming effect and can also be a stimulant and tonic depending on the situation. With its multi-layers it can be uplifting if you are exhausted or calming if stressed or nervous and you regain your self-confidence. Try using it to help calm yourself if you are trying to quit smoking. Combine it with lemon and myrtle to help clear and freshen a smoke filled room. You can mix it with other oils to come up with a fragrance that is more attractive to you. Or mix it with other oils that are also good for emotional imbalances.

Use in an aroma lamp, for a aroma bath, or in a massage oil.



Skin Care
Be sure and dilute it correctly, especially if you have sensitive skin and look for furocumarin-free oil.

When properly diluted it is great to use on combination skin that is both dry and oily. It is used to give a pleasant fragrance to body lotions, facial mask, and creams while also helping with dry, chapped or infected skin, combine it with chamomile for this. Combine it in good carrier oil with ylang-ylang for a relaxing facial oil. It works wonders for treating eczemas and psoriasis.

Other Uses
It is used to flavor Earl Grey tea. Try making some tea by adding bergamot oil to regular black tea. It is a well kept secret in the culinary industry where they add it to cheese and angel food cake to give them a surprising extra flavor. The cosmetic industry is fond of bergamot oil, it is in ‘real’ eau de cologne or cologne water along with neroli, lavender and petigrain. Use it for an excellent deodorant. It works well in an insect repellant in combination with other essential oils, you do need to re-apply it often though.



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