The bergamot tree, more commonly known as the bergamot orange (citrus bergamia) is a hybrid of sweet lemon (citrus limetta) and bitter orange (citrus aurantium). The plant is known to be fragrant, and its fruits are the source of the very fragrant Bergamot Essential Oil. The extract is commonly used in perfume and cosmetic production, but its health benefits are numerous.
Bergamot Essential Oil has a refreshing citrus scent that has a sharp and spicy tang at the same time. This is why it is often used in perfume and personal care products. The earliest recorded use of the oil is in the early 1700s, for a certain line of perfumes.
Aside from cosmetics, however, Bergamot Essential Oil is found to have several properties that make it an herbal sedative, pain reliever, and tonic. A growing number of people are also using this for aromatherapy and for mixing massage oils.
Bergamot Essential Oil Benefits
One of the most well-known benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil is its ability to soothe. Because of its uplifting scent, it also has a relaxing effect to the body. Other Bergamot Essential Oil benefits include:
- Soothes muscle pains and cramps
- Serves as a natural analgesic
- Reduces fatigue and feelings of stress
- Contains natural sedative properties
- Promotes undisturbed sleep
- Contains antioxidants
- Accelerates healing of wounds
- Clears scars left by wounds or skin rashes
- Aids in digestion
- Keeps different body systems healthy
- Cures respiratory illnesses
- Cleanses the body
- Boosts the immune system
- Has antiseptic properties
- Treats headaches
- Can fight cancer
Aside from being a sedative, the function of Bergamot Essential Oil also extends to keeping the bodily systems up and working. It is particularly good for the respiratory system because of its ability to kill infection-causing bacteria in the tract.
The oil is most especially known for its beautifying powers as well. Not only is it mixed by big companies into different skin products, it is also used as is by individuals who wish to maintain their skin color or clear scars right away. Bergamot has cicatrisant properties that can speed up the healing process of skin tissues.
Recent studies are also finding anti-cancer properties in the bergamot orange. Thus, it is possible that this is much more present in the purest form of essential oil. Regardless of this, however, it is a fact that Bergamot Essential Oil may boost the immune system of the body, decrease sensitivity to pain, and reduce stress.
Bergamot Essential Oil Uses
- Bergamot Essential Oil as Relaxant. Because it is a natural sedative, Bergamot Essential Oil is usually diffused or used in massage oils for relaxation purposes. The essential oil may be directly applied to the body when mixed with most citrus oils. It is also this chemical component that aids in improving sleep: by eliminating stressors and anxiety, the essential oil calms the nerves.
- Bergamot Essential Oil as Tonic. Bergamot Essential Oil may be consumed with other food or fluids as a tonic since it can keep the digestive, respiratory, and excretory system healthy. It can kill intestinal worms, expel gas, and its antioxidant properties also help shape and tone the muscles.
- Bergamot Essential Oil for Skin Care. When used in moderate amounts, the extract can be used regularly to naturally get rid of scars. Bergamot also has a component that enables the even production of melanin in the body, and can therefore be used for people maintaining a tanned color. For skin care, Bergamot Essential Oil is best used topically or during rinsing in the shower.
- Bergamot Essential Oil as Air Freshener. As one of the most fragrant essential oils, Bergamot Essential Oil may be used as an air freshener. Its mild and refreshing scent can be used to freshen the air, or may be used as a healthy deodorant as well.
Bergamot Essential Oil Side Effects
One of the downsides of Bergamot Essential Oil is its sensitivity to sunlight. Like most citrus oils, exposure to sunlight may start unwanted phototoxic reactions. Bergamot Essential Oil users who have applied even just a small amount on the skin should avoid going outdoors or being exposed to ultraviolet light from 12 to 72 hours.
It is also recommended to use only a moderate amount of Bergamot Essential Oil per day, as excessive dosage will result to skin allergies.
How to Use Bergamot Essential Oil
For topical use. Apply at most two drops of Bergamot Essential Oil to scars, cleaned wounds, or muscle cramps. For making massage oils, note that this goes well with clary sage, orange, and frankincense oils.
For diffusion. Diffuse 2 to 4 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil. Alternatively, place only half the amount and mix with Jasmine oil in room before sleeping or meditating.
For consumption. Mix a maximum of one drop to a cup of water or tea. Same dosage is also applicable for food.
How to Make Bergamot Essential Oil
Unlike most herbal oils that are produced via steam distillation, Bergamot Essential Oil is made from cold-pressing. The same process is used for extracting other citrus oils like orange or lemon, where the tough rind of the fruits are used.
Bergamot Essential Oil Recipe
Creating Bergamot Essential Oil at home is very feasible because it only requires minimal materials, which are: an oven tray, mortar and pestle or an expeller press, a sterilized glass jar, and cheesecloth. Ingredients are bergamot orange rind and base oil (olive or jojoba oil).
- Prepare a significant amount of bergamot rind.
- In an oven tray, line bergamot rind in a neat and single layer. Heat for 10 minutes at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).
- Pour your choice of base oil into the mortar, and toss in peelings while hot. Pound with pestle for 15 to 30 minutes. Filter out debris and pour the resulting extract in a sterilized glass jar.
- Alternatively, when a motorized or manual expeller press is available, feed the peelings while hot to the machine. The expeller press should do all the work. Afterwards, use cheesecloth as a filter and store extract in glass jar away from sunlight.
Where to Buy Bergamot Essential Oil
Although Amazon is the leading provider of essential oils, there are stand-alone shops that have good selections too. doTerra and Young Living are two trusted shops. Both stores have detailed descriptions of Bergamot Essential Oil, as well as directions for use. Between the two, the latter is more expensive. Meanwhile, Holland and Barrett sells a smaller bottle of Miaroma Bergamot Essential Oil, and is relatively cheaper than the previous two.
Very few alternative drugstores sell Bergamot Essential Oil. When you do find one in a physical store, make sure that it is packaged in a dark-colored glass bottle.
More Information on Bergamot Essential Oil
Considered as one of the most fragrant essential oils in existence, Bergamot Essential Oil is commonly used in aromatherapies. It is also known for flavoring Earl Grey tea, a kind of tea blend that is famous in England. Some brands of chocolates also use Bergamot Essential Oil to add texture and fragrance.
On the other hand, because of its citrus origins, and its photosensitive bergaptene chemical component, Bergamot Essential Oil may appear to be very harsh to some users when used topically. However, mixing it with base oils, particularly coconut oil, lessens the occurrence of skin irritation.
Bergamot Essential Oil FAQs
Can Bergamot Essential Oil be used on pregnant women?
No. Bergamot Essential Oil has natural chemical components that may be harmful to sensitive mothers. It is thus advised to avoid using or giving dosages of Bergamot Essential Oil to pregnant women.
What are the possible side-effects of Bergamot Essential Oil to patients undergoing medication?
Like all other alternative medicines, it is not advised to use Bergamot Essential Oil to patients who have subscribed to medication due to cancer, high-blood pressure, and the like. Bergamot Essential Oil may compound or counter the side-effects of the original medicines, and depend greatly per situation. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting are some common side-effects that serve as warning signs to stop usage of the oil.