Several of our soaps and bath bombs feature Bergamot, but is it a flower or an essential oil? What's the difference?
Bergamot essential oil is pressed from the peel of Citrus bergamia, a type of orange. Common Uses include helping Acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, depression, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis, stress. This essential oil is the one primarily used to scent natural soaps and products.
Wild Bergamot or Bee's Balm (Monarda fistulosa) is a wildflower native across the prairies and parkland. It is a beautiful flower that pollinators love (especially hummingbirds). The leaves and flower smell very similar to the essential oil, which inspired one of it's common name. It's traditional uses are as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. The Blackfeet Indians recognized this plants strong antiseptic action, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds.
Bergamot essential oil is the ingredient used to help flavor earl gray tea, while Wild Bergamot flowers and leaves also make a delicious herbal tea. The leaves and flowers are also edible, and tasty in salads.
My favourite way to use Bergamot is the fantastic scent of Bergamot essential oil, with the addition of organic lady gray tea and some wildcrafted Wild Bergamot petals. Best of both worlds!