Weekly essential oil highlight…Bergamot

Do you smell orange? Maybe lemon, or could it be lime?  Think earl grey tea with a slice of lemon.

The aroma is beautiful. I find it so refreshing. Green but with a hint of sweetness. Bergamot is the warmth and vivacity of early summer before the heat sets in. An oil that blends with most other oils. Citrus, spices, florals, herbs and woody aromas all befriend bergamot. I took the gorgeous photo of bergamot when I visited Sicily the summer before last.

Bergamot is a fruit similar to the bitter or seville orange. Typically the fruit is inedible but it used in earl grey tea and is a key ingredient in the perfume industry. In aromatherapy, it is generally used as a natural anti depressant helping with tension, stress, anxiety and depression. It is uplifting and relaxing having a regulating and balancing effect on the nervous system. It can help regulate poor sleep patterns.

A major skin oil. One of the best to use with boils using a hot compress to bring the boil to a head and ease the inflammation and pain. Very effective with the treatment of cold sores. Eczema and psoriasis benefit from its cytophylactic properties.

An immune stimulant. An oil that I would use if was feeling one degree under as I have been for the past few days. Good for flu and colds. Try bergamot, black pepper and eucalyptus in a hot bath. It really works. Blows away the cobwebs and is so clearing. Use with May Chang for an uplifting ‘pick you up’.

When I’m treating my clients I always use a distilled version which means that there are no phototoxic issues. Bergamot can also be bought in an unrectified version which is phototoxic therefore cautions apply. If you are using this version do not use in concentrations above 0.4% and if you are applying to the skin do not expose yourself to sun or sunbeds for 12 hours after use. It also has a short shelf life so needs to be used fresh.

Please consult a professional aromatherapist for advice and dilution usage if you are at all unsure as to its safety issues.