Why Citrus Bergamia is One of NAP’s Most Popular Essential Oils
First, we'll save you the Google search if you're wondering how to pronounce the word – Is the “t” silent or not? We often hear it pronounced “berga-mow”, but according to several sources, the correct pronunciation is “berga-matt,” which interestingly is a nod to the city of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy where the oil was first marketed, and which comes from the Italian/Turkish origin, bergamotto, meaning the lord’s pear. ...Wait, isn’t Bergamot a citrus fruit? …Yes, but the pear reference is just to the fruit’s shape, compared to its more cylindrical siblings.
So, if we’ve only stirred up more confusion, read on or watch the video below for more answers!
BERGAMOT – ADULTERATED OR NOT?
This little green fruit, Citrus bergamia, is a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange, and is valued throughout the food, beverage and beauty industries. Bergamot essential oil is a cold pressed oil made from the rind. It’s quite a biomass-intensive oil requiring the rinds of 100+ bergamot oranges to yield just 3 ounces (85 g) of bergamot oil.
Due to the high biomass to oil ratio, bergamot essential oil is particularly subject to adulteration. To make small quantities go further, some manufacturers will "cut" the oil, substituting it with distilled essences of poor quality or low-cost oils, such as bitter orange, or with mixtures of natural or synthetic ingredients to "reconstruct" the essence from chemicals, and then re-color it with chlorophyll.
One study found that worldwide, “each year, around three thousand tonnes of declared essence of bergamot are marketed, while the genuine essence of bergamot produced annually amounts to no more than one hundred tons.” 1 Here at NAP, we are proud to carry only the purist Bergamot Essential Oil (conventional or organic) sourced from an Italian farm.
BENEFITS OF BERGAMOT
Bergamot is a unique citrus species, with a range of uses across food, beverage and beauty – most notably as the standout ingredient giving Earl Grey tea its tart twist. As an essential oil, the unique compounds captured offer many benefits, including antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-depressant, disinfectant, digestive and calmative properties. The following compounds contribute to the benefits above, with Linalyl Acetate and Limonene making up over 60% of the constituents.
LIMONENE – PRO or ANTI-SKIN?
Like with other strong antioxidants, there is a potential for oxidation and skin sensitization, especially if included at too high of concentrations. However, across food, beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical products, limonene is commonly added to formulations to improve scent and taste and to help ointments and creams penetrate the skin.2 It has shown anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action and may even calm skin. As some studies indicate, it has shown less irritancy than alternatives and may be used as a carrier for other ingredients that are unable to cross through layers of skin and the skin barrier’s natural oils.3
o Great in diffusers, baths or saunas for sedative properties to assist with sleep and rest, whilst also offering uplifting and calming sensations
o For aromatherapy or perfumery, it has a refreshing, floral and fruity scent
o May be used as an expectorant to promote easy breathing
o Refresh your space with its anti-bacterial properties and clean scent to neutralize unwanted odours
o It’s used in bug and mosquito repellents
Topical Applications for Skin + Hair:
o Great in massage oils
o As a cicatrizant, Bergamot Oil can balance skin’s oil production and reduce the appearance of unwanted marks and scars by evening out the skin tone
o It does well in natural deodorants, as it can eliminate bacteria that causes body odor
o As inflammation may be a contributor to hair loss, its anti-inflammatory content may help facilitate wound healing and reduce inflammation. This may help promote hair growth and a healthy scalp
o It has also shown positive effects on psoriasis and on hair growth4
Looking for pure Bergamot Essential Oil you can Trust?
Contact our ingredient experts to learn more!
Essentials oils can be 50-100x more concentrated than natural levels in the plant. Take caution and always mind best practices when using oils. If applying topically, they should be diluted into a carrier oil and ONLY IF they are recommended for ingestion or inhalation, be sure to follow recommended dosage.
Essential oil: Several drops rubbed into the skin. (This may be diluted at 30 ml essential oil to 500 ml of a suitable carrier such as vegetable oil.)
Ointment: Semi-solid preparation containing 5-20% essential oil (in carrier oils, creams, or lotions) for local application. (Salve)
Tincture: Aqueous-alcoholic preparation containing 5-10% essential oil for local application.
Inhalant: Add a few (2-5) drops of essential oil to hot water or to a vaporizer; deeply inhale the steam vapor.
4. Perna S, Spadaccini D, Botteri L, et al. Efficacy of bergamot: From anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative mechanisms to clinical applications as preventive agent for cardiovascular morbidity, skin diseases, and mood alterations. Food Sci Nutr. 2019;7(2):369-384. Published 2019 Jan 25. doi:10.1002/fsn3.903