Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot is a plant known in Europe that belongs to the Rutaceae family and whose scientific name is "Citrus bergamia". Bergamot looks like a tree about four meters high, with a straight and thick stem and a bark that turns to shades of gray. The flowers of this tree are characterized by an intense and pleasant aroma, the same that is used to prepare flower essences based on bergamot. They are white and have five petals. The fruits instead are round and their color varies from a bright green - when they are still unripe - to an intense yellow when they reach the right ripeness; they resemble mandarins both for their round shape and for the fact that they have a peel (the so-called Esocarp), a thin white fabric that covers it entirely and preserves the pulp that is inside, the Endocarp, which as a an orange is made up of a dozen or more segments with seeds, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. From Bergamot, an essential oil is used that is widely used in aromatherapy, the "alternative" science that uses more natural aromas to cure more or less serious diseases to be inhaled according to need.
The Bergamot in History
However, Bergamot is not a recent discovery: in fact the ancients used it exploiting its curative properties. On the name of this tree there is not a single version: there are those who believe it derives from the city of Bergamo, where bergamot oil would have been marketed for the first time, and those who claim it derives from the Turkish term “beg armudi ”, or rather of the lord. Not even its origin is clear: for some it is native to the Canaries, for others of China and for others still of the Spanish town of Berga. What is certain is that it is a citrus fruit that is probably the result of a graft which would see bitter lemons and oranges as protagonists. From a historical point of view, its use has always been linked to natural cosmetics and perfume, one of the oldest ever used in Europe: to make the first bergamot cologne was an Italian, Gian Maria farina, who in 1704 but he lived in the colony city. Since then it has spread a great deal, making another great property of bergamot, which is the ability - recognized by the ancients - to cure fever (especially that caused by malaria, whose epidemics were very frequent) and parasites that attack the intestine.
The main uses of Bergamot essential oil
The essential oil of bergamot is an excellent natural antidepressant: in aromatherapy you are in fact used to soothe sadness, melancholy and anxiety, as well as to mitigate the effects of stress on the body. Bergamot calms states of agitation, fear and anguish, restoring serenity and helping to regain peace of mind. The essential oil of bergamot is also useful for all those shy, introverted people, who have difficulty approaching others: it encourages encounters, being comfortable with others and with themselves. The bergamot is therefore effective to adequately counteract all the pathologies affecting the central nervous system: among these, not least insomnia, which today afflicts an important part of the normal population. The difficulty of falling asleep, frequent or early awakenings at dawn have serious repercussions also on the mood and emotional stability of people: for this reason a good rest is essential for health; bergamot helps to relax and thus reconciles sleep, improving its quality and prolonging its duration. Like all oils, even the essential one of bergamot can be used directly on the skin: spread on the epidermis, in fact, it has an effective antiseptic, antibacterial and disinfectant action; it is used to purify acneic skin and to soothe abscesses. Diluted, it is excellent for relaxing foot baths or to be used as vaginal lavage: in this case, in fact, it proves to be really useful in the prevention and sometimes even in the treatment of candida, cystitis and other diseases of the genital or urinary tract.
How to use Bergamot essential oil
The essential oil of bergamot comes from the peel of the fruit and is obtained by cold pressing. Its scent is unmistakable, fresh, intense and slightly fruity. It can be used to perfume environments: in this case, a drop of essential oil must be diluted in a humidifier or in an essences diffuser for every square meter of the room you want to perfume. Diluted for vaginal lavages, eight drops are used in a basin of water; the application should be repeated at least twice a day if there are ongoing infections. Finally, if gargle is desired, five drops of bergamot essential oil should be diluted in a glass filled with water. Gargling should be done at least twice a day and should be rather prolonged: their function is similar to that of the mouthwash; bergamot in fact disinfects the mouth, soothes abscesses in progress, cures and prevents halitosis.
Bergamot essential oil: When the essential oil of Bergamot should not be used
Being phototoxic, this oil should not be applied absolutely on the skin before exposure to the sun, as it can cause irritation and favor the onset of skin spots. Its use should be avoided only in these cases, since, like most natural preparations, the essential oil of bergamot is not toxic and does not irritate the skin.