Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Plant Family Rutaceae
Synonym: Unrectified bergamot
Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia Risso&Poit
The bergamot orange is a species similar to the bitter orange. The most likely origin of the name is that it derived from Bergamo, in Lombardy, where the fruit was sold. Production of the essential oil started during the early eighteenth century in Italy, and since then bergamot oil has become one of the most important perfume materials. It is the main constituent of eau de cologne as well as being used in lotions, creams, perfumes, sweets and soaps. It is bergamot oil that gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavour.
Bergamot oil is produced by cold pressing the fresh peel and collecting everything that is expressed. This is then fresh clarified and filtered to become expressed oil of bergamot. It is necessary up to 150-200 kg of Bergamot peel to obtain 1 kg of essential oil.
Nature of the Oil
Bergamot oil is a light yellow or pale green liquid with an extremely rich, sweet, green and fruity smell.
Perfumery Note – Top. The aroma lasts up to 24 hours.
|(+)-Limonene||27.4 – 52.0%|
|Linalyl acetate||17.1 – 40.4%|
|Linalool||1.7 – 20.6%|
|gamma-Terpinene||5.0 – 11.4%|
|beta -Pinene||4.4 – 11.0%|
|alpha-Pinene||0.7 – 2.2%|
|beta-Myrcene||0. 6 – 1.8%|
|Neryl acetate||0.1 – 1.2%|
|Bergamottin||0.68 – 2.75%|
|5-Geranyloxy-7-methoxycoumarin||0.08 – 0.68%|
|Citropten||0.01 – 0.35%|
|Bergapten||0.11 – 0.33%|
|Bergaptol||0.0 – 0.19%|
|5-Metoxy-7-geranoxycoumarin||0.04 – 0.15%|
|Psoralen||0.0 – 0.0026%|
Antidepressant, antiseptic (pulmonary, genitourinary), antispasmodic, antitoxic, carminative, diuretic, deodorant, febrifugal, laxative, parasiticidal, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vermifugal, vulnerary.
Bergamot is a cooling and refreshing oil. Its main action is on the nervous system, where it acts as a tonic, and is invigorating without being overstimulating. It makes pleasant, fragrant addition to many massage and bath oil blends
Bergamot has a soothing effect, and is a good nerve tonic when tension makes you feel hot and sweaty. It is also useful for tension headaches. Its cooling and refreshing properties make it an oil that helps during times of stress and when you are feeling cross, irritable and overwrought. It blends well with Melissa and Rosemary to clear the mind.
Bergamot has carminative and antispasmodic properties which makes it useful for problems of the digestive system; especially where there is colic, painful wind and indigestion. The antiseptic properties of the oil can help in treating gastroenteritis and other gastric infections — massage it over the abdomen.
In Italy, bergamot is used for treating fevers as it is cooling and antiseptic. It has a special affinity for the mouth and throat and is traditionally employed in the treatment of sore throats, mouth ulcers and bad breath.
Bergamot oil alleviates genitourinary infections where there is burning, heat and inflammation; use in the bath or as a douche. It is also widely used in the treatment of skin conditions for its antiseptic, healing and deodorizing properties and is particularly recommended in the treatment of acne, herpes, psoriasis and seborrhoea of the scalp.
This oil increases photosensitivity of the skin, which means the skin tans more readily. For this reason you must be careful not to apply bergamot to the skin before going out into the sun or you may burn very easily. It is possible to buy bergamot oil that has had the component bergaptene removed and this will not cause photosensitivity.
In first-aid, bergamot is used as an antiseptic in the treatment of wounds and ulcers. It will act as a parasiticide for eliminating scabies. It also makes a deodorizing and refreshing room spray.
Colds and ‘flu, cystitis, fever, infectious illness, anxiety, depression, pre-menstrual syndrome.
Bergamot is an appropriate oil if you are the type of person who pursues goals in life with a determination to succeed at whatever cost. It is cooling and refreshing for the cross, critical, exacting person who begins to suffer from digestive and skin problems, and whose nerves become edgy and raw.
Blends Well With
Essential oils of Angelica, Basil, Cedarwood, Chemomile, Clary sage, Coriander, Cypress Geranium, Juniper Lavender, Melissa, Neroli, Pine, Rosemary.
Our safety advice
Non-toxic, non-sensitizing, no-irritant. Use bergaptene-free bergamot, or do not use in concentrations of more than 0.4% if applying to the skin within 12 hours of exposure to sunlight.
Old or oxidized oils should be avoided. Maximum dermal use level: 0.4% to avoid phototoxicity (see Regulatory Guidelines).
1. C. Wildwood “The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy”, Vermont, Healing Arts Press, 1996
2. R. Tisserand, R. Young, E. M Williamson “Essential Oil Safety. A Guide for Health Care Professionals”, Churchill Livingstone ELSEVIER, 2014
3. S. Curtis “Essential Oils”, AURUM, London, 1996
4. R. Balz “The Healing Power of Essential Oils”, LOTUS LIGHT SHANGRI-LA, Twin Lakes, 1996
5. Л.ГДудченко, Г.П.Потебня, Н.А.Кривенко «Ароматерапия и аромамасаж», «Максимум», Киев, 1999