Bergamot Essential Oil Profile
(with therapeutic additions)
Essential Oil Profile as used by
Course – Home & Family
by Dawn Copeland and Jeanne Rose
Name of Oil
Bergamot Peel Oil
Latin Binomial/Botanical Family:
Bergamot, Citrus bergamia, Rutaceae
Countries of Origin:
Originates in Asia, grown in Italy, Reggio di Calabria, Sicily; and
General Description of Plant, Habitat & Growth:
Small tree, about 16 feet in height, branches with thorns. Flowers
are white. Fruit is not edible, about 2-4 inches in length. It is a
hybrid of the Bitter Orange and the Lemon, a product of cultivation.
Portion of Plant Used in Distillation, How Distilled, Extraction
Methods & Yield:
The peel of nearly ripe fruit is used, cold pressed. The fruit
yields about 0.5% essential oil.
Organoleptic Characteristics (description
of color, clarity, viscosity, taste & intensity of Odor)
See Basic 7,
Vocabulary of Odor© for how to use: Color: yellow to
greenish, Clarity: clear like water, Viscosity: non-viscous, Taste:
bitter and aromatic taste.
Odor Quality: predominating floral and citrus,
subsidiary notes of fruit, slight spicy back note. Wonderful
examples of this oil can be found in the Jeanne Rose
If you purchase Bergaptene-free or decolorized Bergamot oil, you
begin to lose the rich floral/fruity/citrus odor and it becomes less
‘natural smelling’ and more ‘synthetic smelling’.
- Bergamot oil is the only Citrus
oil in which limonene is not the dominant component. It is however,
rich in linaloöl and linalyl acetate up to 50%. The ester content
changes depending on climate in any year.(375
Essential Oils, p. 49) 30-60% linalyl acetate and
11-22% linaloöl. Oxygenated derivatives of the hydrocarbons of
caryophyllene, germacrene D, farnesene and Bisabolene contribute to
the typical odor of Bergamot. Bergamotene is of particular interest
as it is responsible for the phototoxic reactions of Bergamot oil on
Historical Uses - History is speculative. Possible
that the tree was brought to the Canary Islands and Christopher
Columbus who brought it to Calabria found them there.
- The fruit is bitter and inedible,
however, it is available, can be candied and eaten either in a
fruitcake or with bitter Coffee as a sweetmeat as they do in Greece.
Properties (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application):
Ingestion: Calmative, antispasmodic, carminative, and
digestive stimulant (use only organic oil); Inhalation:
Antidepressant, calmative, soporific, antispasmodic and cooling;
Application: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, calmative, and
Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP):
Ingestion: Gargle for a sore throat, abdominal distension,
indigestion, colic, and to flavor Tobacco and tea.
Application: Skin care, acne, cold sores, herpes, eczema,
psoriasis, skin infections, perfumery, and convalescence.
Emotional Uses (AP or IN):
Inhalation: Depression, stress, irritability, frustration,
anxiety, fear, hysteria, emotional crisis, insomnia, nervous eczema,
both uplifting and relaxing, anorexia, and nervous indigestion.
Key Use - The ‘Oil
- Bergaptene is phototoxic. Do not
apply pure Bergamot oil on the skin and expose to the sun.
A story about Bergamot Sensitivity.
Bergamot Sensitivity called
March 11, 2004 – Ask Jeanne Rose Question
I need your advice. I was wearing a strong blend of Bergamot,
Rosemary and Geranium on a HOT day this week. I woke up the next day
with a big brown-red splotch on my neck. I realize this may take
months and months to heal correctly (it’s the Bergamot I think that
is so sensitive to sunlight.) I am going on vacation to the beach.
Any suggestions as to what to put on my neck NOW that I have burned
it? I need something to heal it fast. At least I am an example of
what not to do. I am so embarrassed. I forgot to look at the
Studies Course Work. Thanks, Jeanne,
Answer: Dear K,
Wear a hat. Keep face and neck out of sun. It will only get worse.
Use Sea Buckthorn, Calophyllum, and Bruise Juice in this proportion
25•25•50. Do not use any citrus at all as a scent or deodorant or
body wash until it is gone. This brown mark is the reaction of the
sun and Bergaptene. Now you know from personal experience what not
to do. In the future, you can put on the citrus as scent on the
parts of the body that are covered or put on the scent and stay out
of sun for several hours. It is the combination of the application
and the immediate sun exposure that does this.
-- Jeanne Rose
Thank you for your help with my neck burn, I really appreciate your
time and caring. Some notes: I went and got some Calophyllum
inophyllum (cold pressed) and filled up the rest of the bottle
of Bruise Juice with it . About .25 oz or 20-25% total. I am
applying this in the morning and evening. I am wearing scarf to keep
out of sun. I am using titanium 25 sunscreen that is nice, thick,
and mostly organic. I notice when the sun/heat gets on the scarf
even, the burn mark will start to hurt/sting, than I will apply more
of the Sea Buckthorn/Calophyllum/Bruise
Juice treatment. (I also have applied a Calendula and
Comfrey salve when I didn’t have the other treatment handy). I have
an inclination to apply the Calophyllum by itself because it is so
soothing. It is like becoming familiar with Calendula infused oil,
it works for everything! The mark is now a brown/pink. I am writing
down in my journal and taking notes. Thanks again Jeanne, don’t know
what I would have done without you -probably cried for days about
ruining my neck.
Here is some basic
information from the web on this reaction of Bergamot with the sun.
Berloque Dermatitis is a skin condition in which patients develop a
brownish to reddish discoloration of the neck and sometimes the arms
due to applying perfume or cologne to the skin. Sometimes the skin
first turns red before changing to a brownish color. This condition
can persist for years or even be permanent.
Many perfumes and colognes contain oil of Bergamot, an extract of
the peel of a specific orange grown in the South of France and the
Calabria district of Italy. When this oil contacts the skin and the
skin is exposed to sunlight, the oil of Bergamot causes the skin to
discolor. With repeated exposures to sunlight, the discoloration
• Cosmetics can work well to cover the area so it is not as
• Patients with Berloque dermatitis should use a daily
sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to help keep
the condition from worsening. In addition, perfume should no longer
be applied to areas of the skin
that get sun exposure.
• Laser treatment may be an effective treatment in the future.
At this time, we do not have this available.
You may want to go to a laser center to seek their opinion.
• Retin-A applied to the involved areas daily will improve
• Daily application of soothing gels is a treatment for this
Profile Author Bio:
Since 1969, Jeanne Rose has authored over 20 books including the
375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols,
a complete reference book of plant extracts and hydrosols with phyto-chemical,
clinical and botanical indices. Recently, she has produced a
Aromatherapy classes on
Essential Oils and another transformative book on
Natural Perfumery. Jeanne has a unique and mindful
approach as she reaches out into the hearts of thousands of readers
Jeanne Rose News-Online email forum
and seminars. [Sign up at www.copperstills.com] In addition to
teaching through books and her three
home-study courses, Jeanne travels
throughout the United States and Canada during the Fall and Spring
of each year to teach weekend Seminars on various aspects of
aromatherapy and herbalism. See
work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a
substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified
health care professional. The author is neither a chemist nor a
medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and
some personal and practical experience.
Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies
Buksh, Genie. Bergamot. student.
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
Miller, Richard & Ann. The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop.
Acres USA. Kansas City. 1985.
Prakash, V. Leafy Spices. CRC Press. NY. 1990
Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy. Sterling. NY. 1989.
375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols.
Frog Publ. Berkeley, CA 1999.
The Aromatherapy Book, Applications &
Inhalations. San Francisco, CA 1992
All rights reserved 2004, 2008. No part of this article may
be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,