Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

bergamot-logoGreener Life Diamond – Bio-Healthy Score => 3 – Possible Skin Issues:

Maximum dermal use level: 0.4% to avoid phototoxicity

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommends that Bergamot oil be limited to 0.4% (about 2.4 drops per ounce of any other carrier oils) for leave-on products like ointments, creams, and lotions used on skin exposed to sunlight. There is no restriction for body washes, shampoos, soaps, and other wash-off products because the oil does not remain on the skin. The risk of phototoxicity is reduced for Bergamot oils that are furocoumarin-free or bergaptene-free (designated FCF).

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Latin Name: citrus bergamia
Alternative Name: orange mint, orange bergamot
Forms Available: essential oil
Botanically called as Citrus bergamia, Bergamot is a member of the Citrus family Rutaceae.

The rich, herbaceous and fruity-aromatic essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the Bergamot fruit.  The thin, smooth peel yields Bergamot oil for “true” eau de Cologne and Earl Grey Tea.

The Bergamot tree can grow up to four meters high, with star-shaped flowers, and smooth leaves, bearing citrus fruit resembling a cross between an orange and a grapefruit, but in a pear shape. The fruit ripens from green to yellow. The name Bergamot is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy where the oil was first sold.

Bergamot oil has photosensitizing effects. This may cause irritation and burning of the skin when exposed to sunlight up to 72 hours after the topical application of this oil. This applies to direct skin applications like massage oils, balms, creams and lotions and not for cleansing products like shampoos and soaps.

Studies establish that the phototoxic chemical constituents in Bergamot oil are Bergaptene, Bergamotene and other furocoumarins. It is also stated that furocoumarins (Psoralens) contribute to carcinogenic, photomutagenic, phototoxic and melanogenic properties of Bergamot oil.

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These compounds absorb ultraviolet radiation (UV rays A and B), which might cause negative reaction on the skin, leading to chronic sunburn, skin irritation, hyperpigmentation, development of skin lesions, Berloque dermatitis, alterations in the cellular structure of the skin. The resulting burns (like any sunburn) increase the risk of skin cancer.

Surprisingly, Furocoumarins are also remedially used in combination with long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for the treatment of vitiligo, mycosis fungoides and psoriasis.

Visit for more information on the traditional ayurvedic and aromatherapeutic uses of Bergamot Oil. Learn about the natural chemical components that give Bergamot Oil its fragrance and therapeutic characteristics.

The traditional remedial attributes of Bergamot oil are anti-depressant, sedative, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, antibiotic, vulnerary, cicatrisant, disinfectant, deodorant, antispasmodic, vermifuge, relaxant, anti-infectious and stimulant.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Boils; Cold Sores; Insect Bites; Spots; Varicose Ulcers; Colds; Flu; Fevers; Acne, Tension, Wounds; Coughs; Stress; as an Antidepressant; as an Insect Repellent; Depression; Cystitis; Infectious Diseases; Tonsilitis: Loss of Appetite.

Other Uses: Used for money and protective rituals.  Add the distilled bouquet to your bathwater for these purposes.  Synthesized versions of the oil abound but should not be used.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Bergamot Oil:

  1. Assessment report on Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau, aetheroleum , by the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products, European Medicines Agency
  2. In vitro photostability and photosensitizing properties of bergamot oil. Effects of a cinnamate sunscreen by Morlière P, Hüppe G, Averbeck D, Young AR, Santus R, Dubertret L, published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology
  3. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  4. Bergamot oil by
  5. Perfume Phototoxicity by Francis N. Marzulli and Howard I. Majbach, presented before the New York Chapter, Clifton, N.J.

Thought for the day:

Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. -Galileo Galilei

Suggested Reading:

  1. Bergamot Oil: American Pharmaceutical Association Monograph No. 2 by Donald Davis Mossman, Marston Taylor Bogert
  2. HEALING POWERS OF BERGAMOT OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  3. Citrus bergamia: Bergamot and its Derivatives (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) From CRC Press
  4. Essential Oils For Weight Loss & Top Essential Oil Recipes: Guide to Essential Oil Recipes (Essential Oils Box Set) (Volume 2) by Lindsey P
  5. Bergamot Essential Oil (Aromatherapy Book 48) by Miriam Kinai
  6. Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

Reference Links:

  1. Bergamot Orange by Wikipedia
  2. Bergamot essential oil by Wikipedia
  3. Health Benefits of Bergamot essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Essential oils, Stroke patients and Bergamot by Robert Tisserand
  5. Prevention of Glutamate Accumulation and Upregulation of Phospho-Akt may Account for Neuroprotection Afforded by Bergamot Essential Oil against Brain Injury Induced by Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rat, by Department of Pharmacobiology and Center of Neuropharmacology of Normal and Pathological Neuronal Plasticity, UCADH, University of Calabria, Italy published in PubMed
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