(Citurs bergamia)

Plant Family

Description and Distribution
A small evergreen tree growing to a height of around 15 feet (4.5 m).   The pear-shaped fruit ripen from green to yellow, rather like miniature oranges in appearance.   Like other citrus trees, bergamot is native to tropical Asia.
Most of the Oil is produced in southern Italy.

Nature of the Oil
A pale green liquid.   The aroma is delightfully citrus with just a hint of spice.   Its odour effect is uplifting and refreshing.   

Main Constituents
Linalyl, acetate, linalool, sequiterpenes, terpenes, furocoumarins.

Antidepressant, antiseptic(pulmonary, genitourinary), antispasmodic, antitoxic, carminative, diuretic, deodorant, febrifugal, laxative, parasiticidal, rubefacient, stimulant stomachic, tonic, vermifugal, vulnerary.

Aroma therapeutic Uses

Colds and’ flu, cystitis, fever, infectious illness, anxiety, depression, pre-menstrual syndrome.

Expressed bergamot oil is phototoxic because it contains high levels of furocoumarins.   It should never be applied to skin shortly before exposure to natural or simulated sunlight.   Aromatherapists are increasingly using the rectified version known as bergamot FCF (furocourmarin free), which is non-phototoxic.   It is also free of the other non-volatile substances, such as waxes, which can irritate sensitive skin.

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