What could be more delightful than the bright, sparkling citrus aroma of freshly distilled Bergamot?
About two years ago, Cindy and I traveled to Calabria in the south of Italy to visit an organic Bergamot essential oil distiller.
Distiller Giuseppe Cuzzupi and his sister Elena warmly welcomed us at our hotel with regional bottles of Bergamot aperitifs and Bergamot jam.
We drove along the coast and the rural countryside of the toe of Italy to Giuseppe’s Bergamot production plant. Here we learned how the rinds of the fruit are transformed through an abrasion and pressing process into the bright olive green essential oil we all know and love!
Giuseppe’s grandfather began growing a few hundred Bergamot Orange trees in 1970. His father continued the tradition, and with Giuseppe’s help the number has grown to 6000 beautiful, organically-grown Bergamot trees.
In the past, the family sold their fruit to big corporate producers of essential oils. After realizing that their hard work growing biological (organic) Bergamot fruit was lost on products with no quality control, they decided to produce their own oil.
They now operate a small, high quality plant near their grove and use only the fruit they cultivate to produce their essential oil.
Giuseppe Cuzzupi’s Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit and stored at a constant temperature without any further processing. It is 100% pure. The plant’s production capacity is 3000 kilograms of Bergamot essential oil per year, depending on weather conditions.
I asked Giuseppe to write out the steps he takes to produce Bergamot essential oil, and he was kind enough to do so.
Bergamot Essential Oil Processing
Written by Giuseppe Cuzzupi
1. Fruits are collected from late November to January.
2. The process begins few days after the fruits are collected.
3. The first step of the process is a cleaning bath for the Bergamot fruits in a large basin
4. From the basin, the fruits are sent to the peeling machine by a conveyor belt.
5. The peeling machine is a centrifuge with a coarse basket. The rotation of the basket grates and separates the Bergamot peel from the fruit.
6. Peeled fruits are then ejected by another conveyor belt and used as food for animals.
7. The peels are taken from the peeling machine with a flow of water and filtered to remove the substance of the peel from the water.
8. The filtered water is now full of essential oil. It is conveyed to a machine that we call a “separator” that retains the oil of the Bergamots while pushing the water back into the peeling machine.
9. The Bergamot peels remaining in the “separator” are collected into small cotton bags. These bags are then put into a power press. The oil extracted from the power press is much thicker than the oil extracted from the separator.
The therapeutic properties of Bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia) are a true natural gift!
Bergamot works wonders in massage oils to reduce tension and soothe painfully tight muscles. The essential oil is known as a powerful antispasmodic, and can be effective in reducing and eliminating muscle cramps, abdominal cramps and spastic coughing. Bergamot is emotionally uplifting, combats stress and depression, and is calming for the nervous system.
It is one of the most valuable oils I use support emotional health and well being. It is also the oil that gives Earl Grey Tea its enticing citrus aroma!
Try using it in a diffuser—especially for depression—as it offers a light, uplifting and lovely aroma to the room.
Recipe For Muscle Cramps
9 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
4 drops Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
2 drops Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Blend essential oils into 1 oz (28 gm) of unscented cream or jojoba oil. Massage a capful gently into the cramped muscle area.
Bergamot oranges are gems from nature, providing us with an essential oil filled with sunlight and an extraordinary aroma with the ability to calm our nerves. I give my deepest appreciation to distillers like Giuseppe Cuzzupi who dedicate their lives to producing such precious essential oils.
To contact Guiseppe to purchase Bergamot essential oil directly you can email him (in Italian of course!) firstname.lastname@example.org
*Minimum direct order is 8.5 kilograms—about 19 pounds or 300 ounces.
To purchase Guiseppe’s Bergamot oil in small sizes (1/2 oz.-16 oz.) visit www.aromaticsinternational.com.
For information on other essential oil distillers please visit the International Directory of Essential Oil Distillers.