Do you feel stressed and anxious?
Do you want to rejuvenate your skin?
Are you looking for a natural supplement that will promote your overall health?
Citrus Bergamia – or, as it’s more commonly known, bergamot – is a citrus plant commonly grown in the coastal regions of Italy, Greece, and France.
Its essential oil is harvested by cold-pressing the rind of the fruit and is widely used to harness its calming and complexion-clearing benefits.
What is Bergamot Oil?
- Scientific Name: Citrus Bergamia
- Application: Aromatic, Topical, Internal
- Plant Part: Fruit rind/peel
- Extraction Method: Cold pressed
- Aromatic Description: Citrus, spicy, floral
- Main Chemical Components: Limonene, linalyl acetate
Bergamot Essential Oil Benefits
Bergamot is widely used because of its soothing aroma: a pleasant blend of citrus and spice.
While oils such as lavender or chamomile can also be used to assist with relaxation, this oil is unique in its ability to both calm and invigorate, and as such is a perfect supplement to combat stress and anxiety (1).
This particular quality also translates well into applications in massage therapy.
It can also be used to promote a clear complexion when incorporated in skincare routines, and harnesses a number of medicinal qualities that improve the body’s digestive and cardiovascular health (2).
How to Use Bergamot Oil
The benefits of bergamot oil can be harnessed in a variety of ways. As referenced above, it can be applied aromatically, topically, or internally.
Aromatic implementation most commonly requires a diffuser; however no additional tools are required for topical or internal application.
Included are just a few ways to incorporate this versatile oil into your daily routine.
Bergamot Essential Oil Uses
- Aromatic: Diffuse in the classroom, office, or workspace to ease stress and tension. Add 3-4 drops, diluted in water, to a diffuser and activate. (Dosage may vary with equipment.)
- Internal: Add a few drops of oil to a cup of tea or glass of water (1 drop per 4 fluid ounces).
- Topical: Use in the shower after cleansing the skin to induce a state of calm and to rejuvenate the skin.
- Topical: Apply 1-2 drops topically to the bottom of each foot before bed at night. Oil can be diluted in a “carrier oil” (such as coconut or vegetable oil) to minimize the risk of skin sensitivity. Alternatively, dilute several drops of oil with a “carrier oil” to use in a calming massage.
- Topical: Add a few drops to your facial or body cleanser to create a custom cleansing wash.
Bergamot Essential Oil Health Benefits
- Invokes a calming aroma, which induces a state of relaxation and also decreases the effects of negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and restlessness. For this reason, some believe that it can be used as a natural (though not FDA-approved) antidepressant (3).
- This oil can rejuvenate and soothe the skin with its purifying and cleansing qualities. This oil has other positive effects on the skin as well (4, 5); when used topically, it can decrease the appearance of acne as well as reduce effects of scarring and skin blemishes.
- Consumption can increase the production of enzymes that aid in the digestive process, encouraging efficient nutrient processing as well as decreasing the potential for blockages and irritation. It also promotes wellness of the nervous and cardiovascular systems and provides a metabolism boost (2).
- In the event of illness, this oil can be used to soothe various symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, fever, and gas (5).
- It mixes well with many other oils, including arborvitae, frankincense, lavender, and lime, to compound the effects of corresponding advantages.
- Its scent encourages muscle relaxation, contributing to its popularity in massage therapy practices.
- The perfume and cosmetic industries both make good use of this oil because of its refreshing, spicy, citrus aroma (6).
- Though this oil is primarily used for its health and wellness benefits, its antibacterial and antiseptic properties (5, 7, 8) also translate effectively to use as an effective and fresh-smelling general-use cleanser.
Bergamot Essential Oil Research
The bergamot tree yields a fruit that is classified as a mutation of the lemon fruit and resembles a hybrid between the lemon and the orange.
While many other essential oils are extracted through the process of steam distillation, this oil is extracted by cold-pressing the fruit’s peel. It is most commonly grown in Italy, though its roots can be geographically traced all the way to Southern Asia.
The pharmaceutical industry has taken great strides to incorporate this oil into its production, largely as a result of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties (9, 10, 11).
Bergamot Essential Oil Nutrition
Bergamot oil does not have nutritional benefits in and of itself. However consumption of this essential oil can aid the body in the absorption of nutrients consumed from other sources, thereby maximizing the nutritional benefit of an existing diet and supplement regimen.
The oil accomplishes this by activating and encouraging the secretion of beneficial digestive enzymes.
Over time, these enzymes facilitate more effective digestion and reduce strain on the intestines during the digestive process. These effects then can contribute to increased ease and regularity of bowel movements, which can lead to corresponding digestive benefits (2).
Its antibiotic, antispasmodic, and antiseptic properties also increase the body’s ability to fight fevers and heal wounds quickly (5) and also reduce muscle cramps and convulsions.
Therefore, it can serve as an ideal addition to a vitamin supplement regimen to maximize the benefits sought through the use of other vitamins.
Bergamot Essential Oil Safety
As with many essential oils, topical use of bergamot oil may result in skin sensitivity and irritation. To reduce the risk of potential irritation, dilute with a carrier oil prior to application. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and other sensitive areas of the body.
In the event of contact with the eyes or irritation of the skin, immediately flush with water.
Consult a doctor or physician before use if you are pregnant or nursing, or have a pre-existing medical condition.
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and UV rays within twelve hours of topical use, and store bottle in a cool, dark location away from potential sunlight exposure.
Bergamot Essential Oil Substitute
The positive effects of bergamot essential oil are widely documented in testimonials of essential oil users. Many have experienced the oil’s benefits firsthand.
However it is not an FDA-approved medication, and as such should not be used to replace prescribed medications for digestive health, heart disease, anxiety, or symptoms of illness.
That said, anyone seeking a natural way to decrease emotional tension and stress, increase digestive health, purify their skin, alleviate symptoms such as headaches and fevers, or simply promote their overall health and awareness will find this oil to be a valuable addition to their wellness routine (5).
Bergamot Essential Oil Blends Well With
From an aromatic standpoint, bergamot oil blends exceptionally well with complimentary citrus oils. Consider mixing with orange, lime or lemon oil for a bright aroma.
The calming effects of this oil’s aroma can be intensified by combining it with other oils used to increase relaxation, such as lavender, patchouli, chamomile, rose, or Ylang-Ylang oils.
Likewise, blending with another oil into skin-care products can increase the oil’s rejuvenating effects. Lavender and Ylang-Ylang oil make great pairings in this department as well. Other oils with beneficial effects on the skin include geranium, lemongrass, and tea tree.
When applying essential oils directly to the skin, be sure to test on a small area first to ensure that the blend does not cause irritation or redness. Blending oils with a carrier oil or other skincare product can decrease and potential irritation.
Other popular oil pairings include black pepper, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, mandarin, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, and vetiver.
Bergamot oil is widely used for its many advantages. The oil’s delicious citrusy, spicy, floral aroma makes it a desirable addition to cosmetics and perfumes.
The soothing side effects induced by an aromatic application have been noted to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety (1), relieving tension and increasing the user’s sense of well-being and calm.
When introduced into a skincare routine, this oil can reduce the appearance of blemishes and purify the skin.
Finally, its medicinal qualities improve overall health and wellness by promoting the efficiency of a number of internal body systems, decreasing common symptoms of illness such as headaches and fevers, and increasing the body’s ability to heal wounds quickly (5).
Does bergamot oil cure the common cold? Can it be used as an antidepressant? Potential users should note that there are no published and scientifically backed studies that would support either claim. However avid users of essential oils have reported noticeable relief of cold-like symptoms, including headaches, fevers, bowel irritation, and cramps when using this essential oil, as well as reduction of anxiety and an overall increase in mental well-being when using aromatically, topically, or internally. Do not substitute the use any essential oil for the use of a prescribed treatment against recommendations of a medical professional.