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Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot Essential Oil is one of my favorite citrus oils to enjoy in the diffuser and to mindfully use in topical applications. The aroma of Bergamot Essential Oil is reminiscent to that of orange, but it is wonderfully more complex. It almost seems to possess an underlying floral characteristic to it. Drinkers of Early Gray tea are especially familiar with the flavor and aroma of bergamot as the oil is used to flavor the tea.
Bergamot Essential Oil may be helpful in use during periods of depression, sadness or grief, and it is known for its ability to help combat oily skin and acne.
Because cold pressed Bergamot Essential Oil it is highly phototoxic, it must be used with care on the skin and avoided when exposed to the sun or UV rays. Bergaptene is the naturally occurring constituent found in cold pressed Bergamot Essential Oil that makes the cold pressed oil highly phototoxic. Varieties of furocoumarin-free (FCF) cold pressed Bergamot Essential Oil are available that have the bergaptene removed. Bergamot Essential Oil is also sometimes available as a steam distilled oil.
Common Method of Extraction
Cold Pressed or Steam Distilled (less frequently)
Plant Part Typically Used
Citrus Rind (Peel)
Strength of Initial Aroma
Fresh, orange/lemon/citrusy, slightly floral.
Bergamot Oil Uses
Acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, depression, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents.
[B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 39-40. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1988-1991 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1993), 7, 175.A. Verzera, A. Trozzi, I. Stagno D'Alcontres, et al., The Composition of the Volatile Fraction of Calabrian Bergamot Essential Oil. (Riv. Ital. EEPOS 25, 1998), 17-38. P. Dugo, L. Mondello, A.R. Proteggente, et al., Oxygen Heterocyclic Compounds of Bergamot Essential Oils. (Rivista Italiana EPPOS 27, 1999), 31-41. SCCP, Opinion on Furocoumarins in Cosmetic Products. (Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, 13-Dec.-2005), SCCP/0942/05. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 211.]
Cold pressed Bergamot Oil is phototoxic. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum use of 0.4% to avoid phototoxicity. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile on this oil is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 87, 211.] Rectified FCF/Bergaptine-Free versions of cold pressed Bergamot Oil are available that dramatically reduce the phototoxicity of the oil.
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The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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