The distinctive flavor and aroma of world famous Earl Grey tea comes from a wrinkled orange-like fruit called bergamot, or citrus bergamia. The fruit has a notable citrus-like aroma with spicy undertones. This same fruit is used to create a highly acclaimed essential oil, which has many therapeutic benefits. The most prominent reputation for bergamot is its utilization as a calming agent. Therefore, it is frequently used in massage and aromatherapy, and to promote a restful sleep.
Used since the 16th century, citrus bergamia, commonly known as bergamot, comes exclusively from the South of Italy in the Calabria region. It is named for the city, Bergamot, in Lombardy. This is the location where bergamot essential oil was originally sold. This oil has been used by the Italians in folk medicine for decades, especially for the treatment of fever.
It has also been shown to be useful for the treatment of skin diseases, respiratory problems, as well as urinary tract and mouth infections. Bergamot essential oil is obtained from the cold expression of the peel of nearly ripe fruit. Bergamot oil is used for both its therapeutic properties and as an ingredient of a fragrant eau-de-cologne. The essential oil used for therapy is cold expressed.
What is cold expression?
The majority of essential oils go through a steam distillation process. However, oils from citrus and other fruit peels are cold expressed. Essential oils that have been cold expressed from citrus fruits are most frequently used for therapeutic oils, while steam distilled oils from fruits are used primarily in the cosmetics industry for colognes and perfumes.
The process of cold expression preserves all of the fruit's aromatic botanical properties. This process entails piercing the skins of either the fruit peel, or the whole fruit, and pressing the essential oil out. By virtue of the methods used to extract the oil, a small amount of juice is also extracted, which is separated from the oil in an additional step.
Uses for Bergamot essential oil:
Bergamot oil has many therapeutic uses. Its high content of the alcohols and chemicals esters make it a gentle oil to use. According to Dr. Axe from Food is Medicine, bergamot essential oil can be used as a mood enhancer and to build confidence. It can be used to kill bacteria, minimize freckles, sum spots and other marks on the skin, and to heal scars.
The oil is an:
Other health benefits and therapeutic uses for bergamot essential oil:
- Cough reduction
- Stress reduction
- Kills bacteria and germs
- Cleans oily skin
- Soothes skin irritations
- Digestive aid
- Helps relieve muscle and joint pain
- Powerful antidepressant
- Releases emotional pain
Bergamot and Depression
Depression can manifest itself with many different symptoms that include feelings of helplessness, sad mood, fatigue, low sex drive, disinterest in common activities, lack of appetite and other symptoms. Research conducted by Tang, et al (2014) expounds on the antidepressant properties of bergamot.A study was conducted on an aging population who experienced depression about pain that they were experiencing.
After treatment with bergamot during aromatherapy, a significant reduction in negative emotions were observed by the researchers.
Bergamot allergic reactions and precautions
Tang, Shuk Kwan, and M. Y. Mimi Tse. “Aromatherapy: Does It Help to Relieve Pain, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in Community-Dwelling Older Persons?” BioMed Research International 2014 (2014): 430195. PMC. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.
The distinctive flavor and aroma of world famous Earl Grey tea comes from a wrinkled orange-like fruit called bergamot, or citrus bergamia. The fruit has a notable citrus-like aroma with spicy undertones. This same fruit is used to create a highly acclaimed essential oil, which has many therapeutic benefits.