Essential Oil of the Week: Bergamot
Bergamot is one of the most popular oils in the fragrance industry. It is derived from the fruit peel or rind of the bergamot fruit, which is actually inedible. It is in the citrus family of scents, but is a tinge more spicy and floral than the orange, lemon, or grapefruit. It is considered one of the “all-important” top notes in perfumes and colognes, and was considered a trendy personal fragrance during the Napoleonic times.
Italy and Mediterranean countries are the biggest producers of bergamot. It is thought that Columbus found the bergamot tree in the Canary Islands and brought it back to Italy. Bergamot has many household and culinary uses; for example, it is the reason for Earl Grey Tea’s distinct flavor (black tea + bergamot essential oil = Early Grey Tea)! It is also a popular air freshener and potpourri ingredient, and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to assist the flow of vital energy.
Medicinally, it has been documented to fight heartburn, upset stomachs, digestive issues, sleeplessness, and oily or troubled skin. It is also purportedly great for those suffering from depression and anxiety too, as its scent is simultaneously relaxing and uplifting.