Earlier this month, I shared with you some of the benefits of lemon essential oil when I posted my tutorial for Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub. Today, I wanted to sing the praises of another, lesser known essential oil, Bergamot.
When you open a bottle of Bergamot for the first time, there’s a good chance it will have you thinking about tea. That’s because Bergamot is the small citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey it’s distinctive je ne sais quois. It’s also been used in men’s and women’s fragrance for centuries. It’s origins are unclear, but a popular theory is that the fruit trees were brought by ship to Bergamo, Italy after a voyage to the Canary Islands. Bergamot is still grown in Italy, as well as some parts of France and Turkey, where it’s used to flavor the delicious dessert, Turkish Delight.
When used to make essential oil, the rind of the fruit is cold pressed, as it is with all citrus oils. What results is a fresh, slightly sweet, almost floral fragrance. It plays extremely well with others. In fact, you’d have a hard time coming up with an oil that Bergamot doesn’t blend with. It holds it’s own, too. I love wearing it in my diffuser necklace, as personal perfume and diffusing the single note in my home. When bad moods, stress and tension try to take your down, Bergamot can be a wonderful means to lift your spirits and stabilizing the emotions. According to Ayurveda, it can also help to balance Vata and Kapha. There have been some interesting studies on the use of Bergamot for a variety of skin complaints, such as acne and psoriasis.
In general, citrus oils have some issues that are worth noting. First, they can be toxic to cats, so don’t apply them directly to your sweet fur-kids. As a rule of thumb, I don’t put any oils on my pets that I haven’t first researched heavily and then talked to my vet about. You’re probably not going to encounter any issues with diffusing it in your home, but dosing fluffy just isn’t a good idea. The other thing to be cautious about when using citrus oils is photo-sensitivity. Citrus oils can cause skin irritation when exposed to direct sunlight for up to 72 hours after using them, so try and limit your time outside if you’re using then on the skin, or just play it safe and stick to inhalation methods only. If you’re still going to apply them, be sure to dilute your oils in an appropriate carrier or lotion. Though it’s a controversial position, I’d also stay away from using any essential oils internally. We just don’t know enough about what the long-term effects of essential oil ingestion are and what happens when we mix them with medicines and supplements. Your health is far more important than any suggested benefit by using oils in this way. Bergamot specifically is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, so mommies, please be careful.
Ready to add Bergamot to your essential oil line-up? I get my favorite one from Mountain Rose Herbs. High quality, Certified Organic Bergamot can be a little on the pricey side and I don’t need a wholesale membership to get a good deal. You can get your own bottle of Bergamot here. I do get a small commission for any business I send their way, but it allows me to keep content like this on my blog and it keeps me in Bergamot, too. I can’t wait for you to sniff this stuff!
I want to hear from you. Are you already using this beautiful oil? What do you love about it? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Wishing You Total Well-Being,