Bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia) is a fragrant citrus fruit which is the size of an orange, but which has a green color similar to that of a lime. Although its origins have been traced to Southeast Asia, today it is primarily found in the coastal areas of the Ionian Sea, southern France, and Côte d’Ivoire. Because as many as one hundred bergamot oranges will yield only 3 ounces of essential oil, it is sometimes adulterated with cheaper products. Bergamot essence is used to flavor Earl Grey tea.
The clean scent of bergamot make it a favorite in perfumes; it is estimated that one-third of all men’s and one-half of all women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil. It has been shown in scientific studies to reduce anxiety and depression, act as an anti-microbial, decrease serum cortisol levels, and lower blood pressure. Bergamot’s antibacterial and balancing properties make it excellent for use on oily skin, but it is a photosensitizer, and therefore sunscreen use is mandatory after applying products with bergamot oil. It is a beloved component of our Ayurvedic Kapha Facial Oil.