Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Description: The Bergamot tree can grow up to four meters high, with star-shaped flowers, and smooth leaves, bearing citrus fruit resembling a cross between an orange and a grapefruit but in a pear-shape. The fruit ripens from green to yellow.
Aromatic Scent: The aroma is basically citrus, yet fruity and sweet with a warm spicy floral quality, and is reminiscent of Neroli and Lavender Oils.
Blends well with: Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orange, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Ylang ylang.
Cautions: Bergamot has phototoxic properties and exposure to the sun must be avoided after use. It may also interfere with the action of certain prescription drugs.
The name Bergamot is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy where the oil was first sold. Bergamot received its name from the city where it was first cultivated, which was Bergamot, Italy. It is said that Christopher Columbus brought the tree from the Canary Islands to Spain and Italy. Bergamot oil was very valued oil during the 15th to 16th century; it was used in teas and perfumes. In voodoo it is thought to ward off evil and danger. The Italians used Bergamot in many skin care creams and lotions because of its refreshing nature. They found it helpful for acne, boils, cold sores, herpes infections, alleviating pain of shingles and chickenpox, oily complexion, psoriasis (may be excellent), scabies, and varicose ulcers. Also, clearing excess mucus, halitosis, mouth infections, tonsillitis, gas, loss of appetite, cystitis, leucorrhea, thrush, colds, fever, flu, antiseptic, infectious diseases. The Italians would smell Bergamot for anxiety, depression, stress, and its refreshing and uplifting quality, while it calmed anger and built self-confidence. Bergamot was ideally used in creams to help calm inflamed skin, and is an ingredient in some creams for eczema and psoriasis today. It is also a favorite oil of aromatherapists in treating depression. It has also been known to help break smoking habit when it is diffused in the air. This tree is native to South East Asia but was introduced to Europe, and particularly Italy, but is also found in the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.