Benefits Of Bergamot Oil & How To Use It Safely
Be it hair, skin, or keeping the internal system healthy and clean, the benefits of bergamot essential oil are plentiful. Before we get into its phenomenal details, here is a quick overview.
Bergamot is a fruit that belongs to the Citrus family and has a tangy flavor, pretty similar to an orange but a lot more complex and interesting. It has a floral undercurrent in the flavor and this makes the oil a lot more interesting and stimulating.
Other citrus fruits have a distinct and characteristic tangy feel, whereas Bergamot has a floral influence in the tangy flavor giving it an intriguing touch.
It has similar antibacterial and stimulating effects that are backed by evidence making this a preferred choice for multiple products.
This post will take a very close and in-depth look at Bergamot Essential Oil to showcase the most important characteristics. This is intended to help users to understand about bergamot oil and its qualities better.
So, let’s get started.
What Is Bergamot Oil?
From the family of the Citrus fruits, Bergamot fruit has a taste that is a combination of grapefruit and lemon. This distinct taste gives the essential oil of Bergamot its distinctive flavor. It is a popular flavoring agent and figures in a lot of products as an ingredient that gives the products the special floral cum tangy flavor.
The essential oil is extracted through cold press extraction method from the rind of the fruit. It takes almost a hundred average sized fruits to fetch 3 ounces of oil. The oil is part of traditional cuisine in the Mediterranean region and has been historically associated with superior quality perfumes.
Scientific Name of Bergamot Oil
Citrus Aurantium and Citrus bergamia
History of Bergamot Essential Oil
This fruit from the citrus family traces its roots to the Italian city of Bergamo, which gives the fruit its name. Predominantly, the production of the essential oil of Bergamot happens in Southern Italy.
The rind is cold pressed after removal of the pulp and the essential oil has a distinct flavor that makes it a preferred agent, in addition to being used in perfumery.
Eau de Cologne, the popular category of scents owes its popularity to Bergamot essential oil, as it was this oil that made it the choice of the elite in Europe in the 18th century which then spread globally.
Perhaps, one of the most popular names associated with this essential oil is the fact that it changes the name of a beverage with its inclusion. Black tea that receives a dash of Bergamot Essential Oil automatically becomes Earl Gray. And this beverage was popular for a very long time.
The oil is known to possess legendary mood stabilizing effects and is typically used to help children calm down from their agitated state.
Individuals who need to focus with great clarity in the workplace have been known to use this oil as it has proven properties to lift the mood of people.
It is also used as the flavor of choice for diffusers at home for the simple reason that it offers a soothing sensation that puts even the most troubled minds into a gentle slumber.
Also read: History of essential oils
Color, Consistency, and Smell of Bergamot Oil
- The color of Bergamot Essential Oil is typically anywhere between green and yellow. This has to do with the fact that it is extracted through cold compression from the rind. Therefore the color will more or less match the rind.
- The smell of Bergamot Essential Oil is typically fresh and sweet with a flavor that is deeply influenced by citrus with a floral tinge.
- The consistency of Bergamot Essential Oil is mostly thin. By virtue of being extracted from the rind of the fruit which is citrusy in nature, the EO is thin in consistency.
Properties of Bergamot Oil
Bergamot essential oil has the following therapeutic properties:
Chemical Components Of Bergamot Oil
The main chemical compounds of Bergamot Essential Oil include limonene, alpha pinene, alpha bergaptene, nerol, beta bisabolene, geraniol, alpha terpineol, linalool, polyphenolic compounds, brutieridin, and melitidin.
Benefits Of Bergamot Oil
There are studies which clearly indicate that Bergamot Essential Oil has strong therapeutic qualities. Research into the effects that have been conducted has looked into the underlying aspects that give the oil its medicinal value.
Here is a good look at three use cases of Bergamot Essential Oil in a medical context.
1. Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Excessive Cholesterol levels have become the scourge of the generation. A large percentage of the global population is grappling with diseases as a result of high cholesterol levels.
A placebo controlled test that was conducted to check the effects of Bergamot oils on cholesterol levels and lipid profile showed clearly that the oil had substantial effects on the users.
This was proven when compared with the test group who were put on a placebo. By tackling cholesterol it is possible to lead a more healthy life and this explains the popularity of oil in cuisine in the Mediterranean region.
This also helps to understand the reason why it was part of the beverages of yesteryear, offering users better health. The studies were conclusive and helped prove that even supplements derived from Bergamot were safe to use.
Essential oils are a more pure form of the extract and are fully natural, therefore making EO a better option than supplements.
2. Strong Antibiotic & Disinfectant Qualities
The popularity of oil from the 18th century and possibly the period before that can be linked to the fact that Bergamot Essential Oils has strong antibiotic and disinfectant qualities.
Research conducted in the year 2015 proved conclusively that Bergamot Essential Oil possesses strong biological qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic and antiproliferative effects that also impacted the central nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Not only did the study prove beyond doubt that the oil had the qualities of a powerful antibiotic and disinfectant, but it also was recommended for safe use to relieve anxiety and stress.
3. Effective Pain Reliever
Most of the essential oils have proven pain relief effects. EO are typically rubbed on joints and muscles that are experiencing pain and discomfort and the oils have a soothing effect offering substantial relief.
This has been an accepted practice handed down from generations and is continued till this day. To prove the underlying biological reasons behind the pain-relieving action, numerous studies have been conducted.
In 2010, one such study looked into the use of BEO as complementary medicine. The results of the study showed that there were significant results from the use of Bergamot Essential oil and the underlying reasons had a scientific basis.
This explains the popularity of Bergamot as a traditional homemade remedy. The consumption of the tea, the application of the oil and the use of BEO as a part of cuisine are all indicative of the fact that it has offered relief and results to individuals over the ages when advanced medicine was not easily accessible or available to all.
Uses Of Bergamot Oil
In addition to the above-chronicled uses, Bergamot essential oil offers multiple benefits. For instance, it is rich in flavonoids, which means that it is a powerful relaxant, helping to soothe the nerves and tackling insomnia and depression.
It is an effective sedative that can be used to rest peacefully after a tired day or if the nerves are frayed and distressed due to one of many reasons.
Bergamot Oil is absolutely safe for multiple use cases. By virtue of being a natural product that is extracted by a process of cold compression, it is an effective ingredient that finds use in many medicinal products, cooking recipes and it also happens to be an age-old ingredient in homemade personal care combinations. Some of the simple ways to create a working product include :
- For Aromatherapy – A few drops of BEO can be spread on the palms of hands or on the kerchief and this aroma will help to keep the whole day fresh and rejuvenated.
- As an Antidepressant – A couple of drops of bergamot essential oil can be rubbed gently on the feet and abdomen for a moderate calming and soothing effect. It can also be inhaled after rubbing a few drops on the hands.
- For an invigorating Massage – A relaxing massage is possible with BEO combined with other carrier oils.
- For Personal care – It is a wonderful way to transform skin to appear more smooth and supple. It has an emollient quality makes it a great homemade remedy for skincare.
- To treat Infections – It is a powerful method to fight infections. It can be rubbed on the throat and the abdomen to tackle infections.
- Aids Digestion – Individuals with digestive issues can rub a few drops of BEO on the stomach and relief will be experienced swiftly.
- As a Home freshener – It is the ideal diffuser and humidifier to keep homes smelling fresh and lively.
What Blends With Bergamot Oil?
A few of the most popular and natural blends of Bergamot Essential Oil include the following substances and EO:
- Citrus Oils
- Spice Oils
- Rose oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Frankincense oil
- Vetiver oil
- Lavender oil
- Jasmine oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Ylang-ylang oil
- Geranium oil
- Cypress oil
- Neroli oil
- Clary sage oil
- Melissa oil
- Marjoram oil
How To Use Bergamot Oil Safely?
EO of most fruits and substances are typically potent combinations. The chemical compounds present in the substances and oil give the EO its therapeutic effects. Hence, the oil needs to be diluted properly with a good quality carrier oil to prevent sensitization as a result of heavy dosage.
It is important to ensure that the carrier oil is free from any chemicals. Most of the carrier oils presently available will have chemical additives, and this will take away the effect of both the carrier oil and the EO.
It needs to be rubbed gently and never inhaled directly. It needs to be inhaled after it has been rubbed on the hands/palms.
Side Effects Of Bergamot Oil
BEO is typically non-toxic, and does not cause irritation; however bergamot essential oil is phototoxic, which means that areas that have received topical applications of BEO should not be exposed to sunlight.
This needs to be ensured for a period of half a day from the time it is applied. The oil is not recommended for consumption but needs to be inhaled after rubbing the same on the hands. Ideally, the oil should be rotated with other oils to avoid the chances of sensitization.
Some of the common side effects of Bergamot Oil include:
- Sensitized skin types may experience discoloration
- Children below five years of age are not be administered to avoid complications
- Pregnant women and lactating women are to avoid using it
- Individuals who have a history of certain conditions or who are taking certain medications may experience contraindication and this needs to be checked with specialists before use.