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Understanding Bergamot Essential Oils and its Health Benefits

Extracted from the cells of a bergamot orange fruit using cold-pressed method, this essential-oil is a top ingredient in perfumes. The scent is very similar to that of a sweet and light orange peel that has a floral fragrance.  It is found in popular black teas such as Earl Grey and was the original base component of Eau de Cologne.

Origins

The fruit where the oil was derived comes from the orange Citrus bergamia. This is a highly fragrant fruit that has a yellow color similar to a lemon. It is not related to the herb or wild bergamot as the orange species is a hybrid of the citrus family.  This small citrus tree blossoms during the winter. Also called as the Prince of Pears, the juice of a bergamot orange is less sour than lemon but it is more bitter than grapefruit.

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Sour orange by La.Catholique, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Seaton

Extraction

A process called sfumatura (folding process) was the traditional way where bergamot oil was manually extracted. Today, the extraction involves a machine which scrapes the outer portion of the orange using water to get an emulsified solution. It is then channeled to a centrifuge where the oil can be separated from water. The end product yields a clear green liquid to greenish.

Benefits

  • One of the benefits of using this aromatic essential oil is that it acts as a anti-depressant along with having stimulant properties.
  • Since it contains alpha pinene and limonene, it improves the circulation of blood which promotes freshness, joyous and energetic mood.
  • It also stimulates hormonal secretion which in turn increases the secretion of digestive juices thereby maintaining a proper metabolic process.
  • It also shows an improved neurological and mental condition brought by the stimulated hormonal secretion.
  • It can also act as an antibiotic and a disinfectant where some components of the oil are disinfecting in nature. With this, it inhibits the growth of germs, viruses and fungi especially on your skin.

Avid users of Bergamot oil regularly use it during shower where they use it in their soap and claimed that their skin becomes healthier and shinier. It can also be an analgesic where some have claimed that it reduces the feeling of pain felt in the body. This is due to the secretion of certain hormones that lessens the sensitivity of nerve related to pain. Using the oil in massage, it can treat headaches, sprains and muscle aches.

Beware of Fakes

If you are convinced of the benefits of using this oil, be aware that there are fake products that has been considered an adulterated bergamot oil. Since the plantation of true bergamot orange fruit is limited only to the coastal areas of the Ionian Sea in Italy and other parts of the world with patch farming, production is very much limited in quantity.

Aside from the limited production, oil yield extraction is very minimal where one hundred pieces of bergamot oranges will only yield three ounces of oil. With this, it is often added with other essential oils and distilled water giving you a poor quality oil. These fake products are usually very cheap and you should not expect to have the health benefits of its true potential.

For more information on other essential oils and its benefits for Eczema please read my article here.

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I grew up with a mild to severe case of Eczema. I’m all about skin care tips, good eating, skin cream reviews, and healthy & positive living!