Bergamot essential oil is the oil extracted from the rinds or thick outer skin of the citrus fruit (scientifically Citrus bergamia), which grows on the bergamot orange tree. The popular beverage Earl Grey tea, which is good for heart health, get’s its gustatory flavor from the Bergamot essential oil. The name bergamot is derived from the Italian town Bergamo, where this plant and its uses became popular. Initially, it was commonly found in the Southeast Asian region. Bergamot essential oil is known for its aroma and health benefits.
How is Bergamot essential oil used?
The essential oil of bergamot has a citrusy scent and is used in the cosmetic industry and its products cater to both genders. Some of the products that have bergamot as an ingredient are deodorants, air fresheners and toiletries. An edible variant of bergamot oil is also available, which is used in cooking and added as an additive in packaged foods and beverages. It can also be consumed after dilution. While applying the bergamot essential oil, ensure to dilute it before applying to the skin. Dilution can be made with any carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. This mix is used to soften the skin and help retain its elasticity. Essential oils are not for ingestion, they can be used in aromatherapy.
Use of bergamot essential oil aroma
Bergamot essential oil has a citrusy scent and has a soothing effect on the mind. It is one of the commonly used oils in aromatherapy. Here are ways to utilize the aroma of bergamot.
- Add a few drops of the essential oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage the whole body to soothe the nerves and muscles.
- Mix the oil to cosmetic products such as lotion, face wash and shampoo to get the benefit of bergamot.
- Add a few drops of bergamot on the hanky or collar of the shirt and inhale the scent when traveling.
- It is mainly used in aromatherapy. It is also used in incense sticks, scented candles and air fresheners. It can be added to diffusers, vaporizers and humidifiers to spread the aroma in a room.
Bergamot essential oil benefits for skin
Bergamot essential oil has several underlying compounds responsible for giving it the aroma and many health-related properties. It is these compounds that give the oil antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These medical properties are useful in the fight against inflammation of the skin and acne, especially for people who do not have sensitive skin. It can lower the pain due to cysts due to its analgesic property. Now let’s see how to use bergamot oil for skincare. Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply it directly to the acne-affected regions of the face. (It can be diluted in water or into any face cream as well.) Apply it at night and leave it overnight, and clean it with a face wash in the morning. Do not apply the mixture and go into the sunlight as it may darken the skin. Bergamot oil consists of a compound Bergapten, which is known to cause phototoxic effects i.e. it reacts to sunlight exposure. Hence, avoid topical application in the daytime.
Benefits of bergamot oil for hair
There are two main benefits of applying bergamot essential oil to hair. First, it softens the hair, and second, it can soothe scalp irritation. How to use bergamot oil for hair care? Add a few drops of bergamot oil into a carrier oil or any hair care lotion and massage it on the scalp. Again, leave it overnight, before washing it off with a shampoo. A few drops of the oil can be added to the shampoo as well. Now, bergamot is not the only essential oil that is good for hair health. Lavender, tea tree, and chamomile essential oils are all used for their medicinal properties for maintaining hair health. Bergamot can be blended with any of these oils for a more potent hair care solution.
Research on the benefits of bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil has many benefits and is used for different purposes. Some research and studies have been conducted to scientifically corroborate the benefits. More research is being conducted on essential oils to find their effectiveness in handling different ailments.
Bergamot for stress reduction
A small study group of women was made to inhale bergamot oil mixed in water. These women reported less anxiety. Their exhaustion level dropped as well. Another published article claimed that bergamot, when used in aromatherapy, could release the chemical dopamine, which is known to uplift mood. Hence, when used in aromatherapy, the oil lowers stress levels and anxiety.
It lowers cholesterol
A study of lab rats showed that the anti-inflammatory nature of the oil improved the functioning of the liver. This was due to the presence of polyphenols. Another research found that the flavonoids in the oil lowered the lipid levels in the body.
Bergamot for treating pain
Bergamot oil has analgesic properties because of the compounds carvacrol and linalool. A research study, found that applying bergamot oil in the pain-affected region alleviated the intensity of the pain. When bergamot was used as a blend, this effect was amplified.
Precautions while using bergamot essential oil
Bergamot oil has a lot of health benefits and it can be used by anyone; however, one needs to know about the correct way of using the oil to avoid any side effects. When bergamot oil is not diluted with a carrier oil it can result in rashes, redness, itchiness, burning sensation and hives. Bergapten in the oil may cause skin allergies even when bergamot oil is an ingredient in cosmetic products. In case of known allergies, choose bergamot essential oil without the compound bergapten. This compound is harmful when ingested. Furthermore, it can have adverse reactions with any medications; hence it is advisable to consult a physician before using the oil. Once the risk of side effects is taken care of, bergamot essential oil can be a useful commodity to tackle several health issues.