This week we have another installment in the Oilixia Origins blog series, with a closer look at our Italian bergamot oil and the finest qualities of this aromatherapist’s favourite. Thanks to its sweet, fruity aroma, it is used as the top note in many perfumes. It also features an abundance of health, skincare and wellness qualities.
THE PROCESS OF EXTRACTION
The bergamot orange is specifically harvested for its essential oils, with one hundred bergamot oranges producing around 85 grams of oil. The oil is extracted by cold pressing the peel/rind of the fruit using a machine to separate the essence of the oil from the water. In the past, manual labourers used a hand-pressed, slow-folding process to manually extract the oil.
THE HISTORY OF BERGAMOT
While the bergamot orange is native to Asia, today more than 80% of the fruit is cultivated in Italy while it is also grown in France, Turkey, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina and the Côte d’Ivoire. Named for the Italian city of Bergamo, the first known record of bergamot oil as a fragrance dates back to 1714, while it was popularly used as a cologne and perfume in the Napoleonic times. It was used by the Italians in folk medicine to reduce fever and by Calabrian indigenous communities to treat malaria.
Bergamot oil features the zesty, refreshing tones of an orange fused with a floral scent similar to that of Earl Grey tea, in which bergamot oil is also used as a flavouring. Bergamot blends well with other essential oils, especially neroli, and we have combined these with patchouli and lavender in our Explorer Blend Facial Oil to give a calming, delicate scent.
Soothing and revitalising, ideal for a refreshing energy lift!
THE SKINCARE BENEFITS OF BERGAMOT
Bergamot oil contains an abundance of skin healing and balancing properties. Its powerful antiseptic properties are used to improve oily and inflamed skin, reduce the appearance of blemishes and treat conditions such as psoriasis. It is used as a restorative toner in a blend with aloe vera and chamomile tea, and to treat scarring and introduce radiance to a pallid complexion by stimulating skin cell renewal, encouraging even pigmentation and smoother skin.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BERGAMOT
Bergamot oil has long been used for its antiseptic and antiviral properties to treat wounds and cold sores, encourage the healing process and fight infection, as well as reduce irritation caused by eczema, cuts and scars, insect bites or mouth ulcers. Bergamot oil encourages healthy digestion by regulating bodily functions and metabolism, while reducing pressure on the intestines. The oil’s analgesic properties mean it can be used to soothe headaches, muscle aches and mild sprains.
Bergamot oil also works as an anti-congestive and is used in vaporisers to relive respiratory issues. And, just like the ancient Italians, we can also use bergamot oil as a febrifuge, to reduce fever and fight the infections that cause it by stimulating secretion and eliminating toxins from the body.
THE WELLBEING BENEFITS OF BERGAMOT
Bergamot oil is legendary for its healing properties and it can be inhaled or added to a warm bath to relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia. The flavonoids in the oil stimulate hormones that encourage positive feeling while the oil’s calming, protective infusions improve blood circulation to create an anti-depressant effect.
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