Bergamot lightens the shadows of the mind, bringing illumination and laughter.
Valerie Ann Worwood
Synonyms: Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia
Aroma: Sweet, fruity and refreshing
Colour: Light yellow with a hint of green
Plant: The bergamot tree grows up to 12 metres high but is kept to 4 or 5 metres for easy picking. It has deep green leaves and small white fragrant flowers. The fruit ripening from green to a lemon yellow colour is the size of a small orange and slightly spherical with a sour bitter taste.
Main Growing Areas: Italy, Ivory Coast.
Major Constituents: Limonene, linalyl acetate, linalool, bergaptene, alpha and beta pinenes
The alcohol and ester content can vary significantly due to the weather, the time of harvest and the handling of the fruit. All this will affect the aroma of the essential oil.
Interesting snippets: Used to flavour Earl Grey Tea and as a major ingredient in eau-de-cologne.
The essential oil has a long use in Italian folk medicine as a remedy for fever and worms.
Bergamot was once used to help treat malaria.
Part of Plant used /Extraction: Cold expression of the peel of the almost ripe fruit
Therapeutic actions: Skin problems including acne, cold sores, chicken pox, shingles and eczema. Also helpful for respiratory and digestive issues including flu, sore throat, laryngitis and bronchitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, indigestion and loss of appetite. Vaginal and urinary infections – use in douche or hip bath.
Emotional and Spiritual: Tension, irritability, frustration, depression, grief and sadness. Uplifting.
Robbi Zeck writes that there are blessings in discomfort if you choose to examine why your spirit is flat, sad or depressed. During these times of dark reflection bergamot will heal and cheer your soul, encouraging you to continue to explore your deeper innermost feelings.
Gabriel Mojay writes that bergamot oil encourages the release of pent-up feelings – feelings that can lead not only to depression, but also to insomnia, anxiety and sudden mood swings. It also helps us to relax and “let go”.
Aromatherapy Insight Card:
Bergamot promotes cheerfulness and soothes feelings of anger and frustration.
Feeling flat and tired? Lost your spark and enthusiasm for life? Use the essence of Bergamot to access your deeper levels and cheer your heart and soul, lift depression and help gain confidence and motivation. Release repressed emotions that are blocking your vital force and stopping you from being all that you want to be. Allow your mind to wander to a place where “cheerfulness” lives, where you can think lively thoughts and feel refreshed. Create a productive and caring environment.
Safety: Due to the furocoumarins, bergamot is photosensitive and can cause serious skin burns or a condition known as berloque dermatitis. (An irregular darkening of the skin which can last several years). Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours after applying the diluted oil to the skin. This rule doesn’t apply to soaps and shampoos or any products that are immediately washed off the skin. You can also buy Bergaptene free essential oil which has no photosensitivity issues.
Contemplations for the Soul Card:
Are you feeling flat, tired, angry, stressed or depressed?
Have you lost someone or something and closed yourself off to the love and happiness that is available to you?
Perhaps it’s time for some soul searching to see what lies behind these dark feelings you have.
One cause maybe a lack of self acceptance and self love.
It’s time to shine a light on these areas, examine and then release them.
Allow the feelings of lightness, joy, serenity, wisdom, self-acceptance and love for yourself and others to enter into your life.
Feel your creativity and inspiration begin to flow as you release the dark and allow the light to enter your soul.
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Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
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Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)