Bergamot oil was a key remedy in Italian folk medicine and from the 16th century appeared in a number of European herbals as a febrifuge and antiseptic. It became popular as a perfume in Napoleonic times and was a key ingredient of the classical toilet water Eau-de-Cologne. It is still used in perfumery today as a harmoniser and it provides the delicate yet distinct aroma to Earl Grey tea. — Materica Aromatica
Bergamot (citrus bergamia)
Plant appearance: an evergreen tree grown that can reach 13 feet tall; it produces white flowers and a fruit that resembles a pear-shaped orange. The fruit is green and turns to yellow when ripe. (description from Plant Village)
Part used: rind
Therapeutic uses: aromatherapy, acne and other skin issues, an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, stress, lowers cholesterol
Bergamot should not be used full strength or placed directly on the skin, as it will cause irritation. Add a few drops to a carrier oil or into your recipe, as directed.
Bergamot should not be swallowed. External use only.
Bergamot may cause photosensitivity – don’t go in the sun wearing it
General precaution – don’t use essential oils if pregnant (without researching first!)
GRAS — Generally Recognized as Safe by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Moisturizing Bergamot Hand Cream
- 1 cup distilled water
- 10-15 drops bergamot essential oil
- 1 tablespoon wax pellets
- 1 tablespoon shea butter
- 3/4 cup sweet almond oil
- 1-2 vitamin E capsules, broken open and liquid added to the mix (discard the shells)
- In a large microwaveable bowl, add the wax pellets, shea butter, sweet almond oil and vitamin E oil. Microwave for about three minutes (or until the wax pellets have melted).
- In a separate bowl, combine the water and essential oil.
- Add the water mixture to the first bowl after microwaving.
- Use a stick blender to blend the ingredients until smooth (you can also do this in a regular blender). If you have any remaining water, simply drain it off.
- Place in a glass jar with an airtight lid.