Posted on Sunday 14 December 2008

Bergamot is a refreshing oil derived from the cold expression of the Bergamot fruit. These days the oil is extensively cultivated in Calabria in Southern Italy and along the Ivory Coast .

Bergamot essential oil contains naturally occurring bergaptens or furano-coumarins, which are known to cause skin photo toxicity. This means that skin can discolour when exposed to direct sunlight, and in some cases cause burning. Extreme care should be taken when using Bergamot on the skin, and strong sunlight should be avoided after use because of increased photo toxicity.  It is for this reason that a furocoumarin-free (FCF) or non-phototoxic version of Bergamot has been created.  To create an oil that is free of bergaptens the oil is produced through washing and steam distillation.

Once the bergaptens have been removed, the oil is no longer phototoxic and can be safely used directly on the skin. This has had obvious benefits, and is considered a much safer oil when using in a professional therapeutic                  environment, preventing the possibility of customers receiving severe reactions.   Whether to buy a total (pure) oil or a rectified oil is determined by the preference of the buyer. To the Aromatherapy purist a rectified essential oil is not considered to be as therapeutic as the ‘whole’ oil.

The choice of pure Bergamot or Non-Phototoxic will also largely depend on the intended use of the product. Auroma recommend that Bergamot Non-Phototoxic is used for all aromatherapy purposes including oil burner, massage, inhalation, and direct application. The  Bergamot Calabrian Genuine would be best suited to industrial users wishing to use the oil in flavours, fragrances, toiletries and cosmetics.

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