- Xuesheng Han, Jacob Gibson, Dennis L Eggett and Tory L Parker. (2017). Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28337799/
- Mei-Ling Chen, Yueh-Er Chen and Hui-Fang Lee. (2022).The Effect of Bergamot Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Improving Depressive Mood and Sleep Quality in Postpartum Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34690334/
- Somrudee Saiyudthong and Charles A. Marsden. (2010). Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behaviour and corticosterone level in rats. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.3325
- Phytother Res. (2017). Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918/
- Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2013). The Anxiolytic Effect of Aromatherapy on Patients Awaiting Ambulatory Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3877597/
- Mini Rev Med Chem. (2016). Rational Basis for the Use of Bergamot Essential Oil in Complementary Medicine to Treat Chronic Pain https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26996621/
- Mirielle C. Nauman and Jeremy J. Johnson. (2019).Clinical application of bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for reducing high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease markers. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6497409/
Bergamot Essential Oil: Uses for Skin,
Hair and Aromatherapy
Overview Of Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot oil has a wonderfully light and citrusy scent, reminiscent of a romantic orchard. It also does wonders to soothe sensitive skin, volumize hair and more, so it’s the perfect choice to elevate your beauty routine.
What Is Bergamot Essential Oil?
Pure concentrated oil form of bergamot has many beauty benefits. Packed with anti-inflammatory and powerful cleansing properties, it has become a prominent ingredient for skincare, and haircare. Its uplifting aroma can also evoke sweet, cheerful memories. You’ll find bergamot oil in body care and skincare products, shampoos and perfumes.
This powerful essential oil is a concentrated liquid extracted from the bergamot orange, grown in Italian orchards. Bergamot extract oil is traditionally made through cold-pressing the fruit Citrus Bergamia. This helps the oil capture the “essence” of the fruit’s scent as well as its antiseptic, skin-calming and relaxing properties for which it is prized.
The potent properties of bergamot oil have made it a versatile oil used by Italians in many beauty products and fragrances today.
|Name||Bergamot Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Citrus bergamia|
|Native to||Southern Italy|
|Properties||Antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cicatrizant, disinfectant, digestive, deodorant, febrifuge, sedative, stomachic, vermifuge|
|Main ingredients||Alpha (pinene, bergapten, and terpineol), beta bisabolene, limonene, linalool, linalyl acetate, nerol, neryl acetate, geraniol and myrcene|
|Aroma||Sweet, floral and orange-like|
|Blends well with||Black pepper, cypress, cinnamon bark, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, nutmeg, mandarin, Clary sage, rosemary and vetiver essential oils|
|Category||Herbal and Citrusy|
|Substitute||Helichrysum, vetiver or jasmine essential oil|
16 Benefits Bergamot Oil
Bergamot oil is often used in skincare and hair care. It also has a therapeutic effect on the mind, relieving you from stress and daily worries. Here’s a quick guide to the popular health benefits of bergamot essential oil and learn more about bergamot.
It Cleanses Acne-Prone Skin
Bergamot oil contains skin-soothing properties and powerful antiseptics. This makes bergamot oil a gentle yet powerful skin cleanser that treats acne-prone skin. Bergamot oil can help reduce sebum secretion. The diluted oil on the skin balances the oil content by regulating the sebaceous gland.
It Volumizes Your Hair
Boost up your hair volume with the nourishing powers and the efficacy of bergamot oil. It contains fatty acids that moisturize dry hair, leaving you with lustrous, dewy locks that capture attention.
It Uplifts Moods And Supports Sleep
This citrusy fragrance is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day. It promotes deep relaxation and peaceful moods for happier days to come. It also eases the mind, allowing you to get a good night’s rest for an energized start the next day. Essential oils and their components have the capability of lowering anxiety and depression when applied to the skin or when inhaled. Yes, both work.
A pilot study on the effectiveness of the aroma of bergamot oil on mental health proved that inhaling the aroma of the oil brought forth positive feelings. Ironically, the study was conducted in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center. (1)
A randomized control trial was done in Taiwan. This published trial was titled “The effect of bergamot essential oil aromatherapy on improving depressive mood and sleep quality in postpartum women: a randomized controlled trial”. The intent of the study was to check if aromatherapy with bergamot oil improved mood and aided in sleep during the postpartum period. The report established the effectiveness of bergamot essential oil aromatherapy. (2)
Stress Buster Plant Extract
Inhaling the aroma of bergamot oil has a positive impact on the mind. The citrusy smell uplifts confidence which is a great way to tackle anxiety and put that spring in your step. Aromatherapy with bergamot is a good way to eliminate stress from daily life. A blend of rosemary, orange and bergamot essential oils is an ideal choice for stress and anxiety aromatherapy. It is also known to promote mental alertness. So, inhaling bergamot oil as an aromatherapy treatment is good for a stable state of mind.
Research by Somrudee Saiyudthong and Charles A. Marsden, published in 2010 looked into the science behind bergamot’s effectiveness in combating anxiety when used in aromatherapy. It concluded that bergamot oil lowered the corticosterone response to anxiety, thus proving that bergamot in aromatherapy lowered stress and anxiety. (3)
Eat Good, Apply Bergamot
Bergamot oil is used for it ability of treating stomach disorders and for keeping gut functions normal. In Chinese traditional medicine, a dose of bergamot is used for treating food poisoning. The oil can be topically applied by mixing it with either jojoba oil or coconut oil. It is suggested that bergamot, when regularly used, may prevent metabolic syndrome.
Get Rid of Worms in Your Stomach
Anthelmintic or vermifuge properties of the essential oil kill intestinal worms, and the best part is that this oil can also be used on children. When bothered with frequent stomach pain, gas, loss of body weight, or stomach pain, apply the oil topically.
Get Hormones in Check
The oil of bergamot also affects the endocrine system and the hormones are mostly interrelated. For example, if the circulation of serotonin is good then estrogen levels are also high. Women who apply bergamot topically do not face major menstruation issues including pain or delayed menses.
How to Keep Arteries Healthy?
The answer is - by using bergamot. The compounds in the plant oil have been scientifically proven to reduce the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol can block the arteries; by controlling the cholesterol levels in the body the oil prevents future risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Apply It On Wounds Without Fear
However, dilute it first. The analgesic activity of bergamot oil is good for treating or mitigating the headaches, joint aches and muscles aches. It is also useful in healing open wounds, albeit minor ones. The bioactive compounds in the oil are responsible for its healing ability.
Bergamot is proven to be effective against chronic pain. Don’t believe us? You can read the report published at the University of Calabria in 2016 that conclusively proves the antinociceptive and antiallodynic effects of Bergamot oil.
Fight Against Bad Cholesterol
Research has proven the benefits of applying bergamot in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. More on the research is described in detail below. Cholesterol is one of the lipids or fats that have an important role in the body, the higher it goes the more problems it causes.
Amazing Skincare Oil
It is good for the skin as it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. The oil is applied to eliminate bacterial and fungal infections. Although the oil is generally recognized as safe, the phototoxicity of bergamot oil must be kept in mind and one must not venture into the sunlight after applying this oil. (Note- phototoxicity means that when certain chemicals are exposed to sunlight it results in adverse reactions.)
Troubled with Congested Nose?
Dilute and apply this oil to the nose, throat, and chest to remove the phlegm and clear the respiratory tract. Inhale bergamot directly from the bottle to clear phlegm. To treat extreme cases of congestion use a blend of bergamot, peppermint and eucalyptus oils and inhale the aroma through steam inhalation.
Keep Your Sugar Levels Maintained
Bergamot might be useful for diabetics as a simple massage with the oil helps lower blood sugar level up to 20%. It is also advised not to use large amounts of bergamot oil as it may decrease the sugar level significantly. Also, patients who have undergone any surgery must avoid using this oil because bergamot might lower blood sugar level. Consult a doctor while taking bergamot along with diabetes medications.
Now Get Rich Dreamy Hair
The many therapeutic properties of the oil maintain scalp health and stimulate hair growth. It also prevents scalp infection and dry brittle hair issues. Just 2 drops of bergamot are sufficient to get its benefits.
A Mouthful of Bergamot For Good Teeth
The flavonoids found in Bergamot have antibacterial properties that kill the germs in the mouth and protect it from gum infections and cavities. It also removes bad breath and is hence used in mouthwashes and chewing gums. The oil drops can be added to toothpaste, mouthwash or in water for gargling.
Are Ulcers and Sore Bothering You?
Bergamot polyphenols and flavonoids are rich in antioxidants that tackle the free radicals in the body and treat ulcers and kill the mouth sore causing bacteria and virus. The concentrated oil version of bergamot is applied to the skin after dilution to treat sores.
The Popular Earl Grey Tea and How It Came About
Bergamot oil gained popularity throughout the world due to the Earl Grey tea. So, who was Earl Grey and how did he become the eponym for tea?
Between 1830 and 1834, Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, was the Prime Minister of Great Britain. There are several stories of how Britain’s favorite hot beverage got itself mixed with citrus bergamia risso. The most common belief is that it was all an accident. The Chinese diplomats accidentally packed the oranges of bergamot and the tea adjacently while shipping it to Earl Grey. The flavor and essence of the bergamot orange got absorbed into the tea.
Another story goes like this – averse to the taste of the water at the Grey Estate, a visiting diplomat mixed bergamot’s essence to the tea. Yet another account of the origin states that the London Tea House discovered this flavor. Regardless of who or how this flavor of tea was discovered, it is a popular flavor that has been around for a long time. In fact, when British tea and beverages marketer changed the flavor of its Earl Grey tea, there was a massive online protest. A popular tea in café is the blue Earl Grey which has dried blue cornflowers.
Bergamot Essential Oil Uses
Bergamot is widely used in hair care, skincare and aromatherapy because of its versatile and time-tested potency. Depending on how and where you use it, bergamot can greatly improve your skin and hair health, as well as your overall wellness.
Bergamot Oil For Skin
1. It Combats Acne
Acne can get anyone down, but fret not for bergamot oil can actually help save your skin! Bergamot oil is packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, making it the perfect addition to skincare rituals for acne-prone skin.
It keeps breakouts from happening by keeping skin calm and cool throughout the day so you can say goodbye to those angry and inflamed red spots. Application of bergamot also has a soothing effect on the skin.
2. It Cleanses Impurities From Your Skin
It also gently cleanses the skin from oil, dirt, grime, and other impurities which can clog up pores and cause future skin issues. To experience the powers of bergamot oil, try adding about 2-3 drops into your favorite skincare products to see results.
3. It Diminishes Scar Marks
Scars can be left behind by acne, pimples and wounds. When topically applied on the scar marks, bergamot redistributes sin pigments and promotes skin cell renewal, thus evening out the skin tone and gradually diminishing the scar marks.
4. Young Looking Skin
Who doesn’t look taut skin that makes them look young? Bergamot has antioxidants that negates the effect of free radicals and protects against oxidative stress. Simply add 2–3 drops of bergamot oil to your favourite skincare products to see the results.
5. Better Skin Tone and Complexion
Bergamot oil has a wealth of nutrients in it. This along with the antibacterial and antioxidant properties cleans the skin and nourishes it. This oil is used in skincare products as it restores skin tone and complexion.
Use of Bergamot Oil For Hair Growth
1. It Nourishes Dry And Frizzy Hair
If you’re looking for luscious locks, then look no further. Rich in fatty acids, the fragrant bergamot oil nourishes dry and frizzy hair back to its original glory. Adding 2-3 drops of bergamot oil into your hair products can revive healthy hair, giving you the full-volumed locks of your dreams.
Bergamot oil also stimulates blood circulation for your scalp, which ensures your hair constantly gets extra nourishment so you can flaunt naturally longer hair.
2. It Removes Impurities From Scalps
It’s worth mentioning that bergamot oil also has additional hair care benefits! It contains antiseptic properties to purify scalps from build-up and dandruff. It also leaves behind a light, citrusy scent that invigorates the senses, perfect for morning showers and lasting freshness.
3. Reduces Scalp Inflammation
Scalp inflammation is mainly due to seborrheic dermatitis which causes redness and scaly patches on the scalp. It also results in stubborn dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties of bergamot soothe the scalp and prevent the spread of the condition.
4. Stimulates Hair Growth
How? By stimulating the blood flow in the scalp. Proper blood flow in the roots of the hair is essential for its health as this blood carries oxygen and nutrients with it. However, it is not a one-stop solution for hair loss. Good habits and proper care is also needed to protect the hair.
5. No More Damaged Hair
Damaged hair can be tangible or imperceptible, but surely propagates. The hair damage needs to be controlled, and if possible, repaired. The conditioning, nourishing and soothing properties of bergamot aids in hair repair. Its antioxidant properties also protects against oxidative stress that damages hair.
How To Use Bergamot Oil
The most popular way to experience the full benefits of bergamot essential oil is through topical application. Many people apply it on the skin or hair to enjoy its rich benefits, or add a few drops to their favourite skincare and haircare products. It can also be diffused to enjoy mental relaxation and boosted moods.
Bergamot Essential Oil In An Aroma Diffuser
Transform your room’s ambiance with the zesty aroma of bergamot essential oil. It creates an uplifting space for work, play and social gatherings. Since bergamot also restores focus through its refreshing scent, it's an ideal aroma if you’re struggling to find your focus on hectic workdays. Bergamot oil is also used to reduce anxiety due to its relaxing effects. Different formulations of bergamot are used to get the effects of bergamot essential oil on the mind.
Direction To Use:
To fill your home with its refreshing scent, simply add 5-6 drops of bergamot oil into a diffuser. You can also try creating an aromatherapy blend - bergamot, frankincense and petitgrain is a powerful mood-boosting blend while mixing bergamot essential oil with lavender and frankincense will create a soothing atmosphere for relaxing bedtimes.
Bergamot Oil For A Mood Boost
Bergamot is known for its ability to promote the release of dopamine (aka “happy hormones”), while reducing stress-inducing chemicals such as cortisol in your body. This results in a pleasant cheerful feeling after inhaling bergamot oils. Clinical trials have shown that participants are more likely to rate themselves as “calmer” or “more relaxed” after inhaling bergamot oils. Its zesty aroma also reminds you of sunny places, fruit orchards and other happy holiday memories.(4).
Based on studies, bergamot oils have been shown to have an uplifting effect on participants. In the future, it could be used by nurses to keep patients at ease when they encounter distressing situations.(5)
Bergamot Oil For Sleep And Relaxation
The activity of citrus bergamia also lowers your heart rate, bringing your body and mind into a deep state of relaxation. This makes bergamot oil ideal for sleep with its relaxing properties. Studies have also shown that bergamot oil can ease chronic aches and pains as well, making it perfect for relaxing your tired body before turning in for the night.(6)
To experience the therapeutic benefits of bergamot oils, you can diffuse them on a bedside table to create the ideal sleeping environment. You can also choose to blend 2-3 drops of bergamot essential oil into a tablespoon of massage oil for a relaxing rubdown before turning in.
Research on Bergamot Oil
The bergamot fruit from the Citrus bergamia risso plant has long been used in traditional medicines (bergamot tree can be traced back to Calabria region of Southern Italy) to improve the immune system of the body and cardiovascular health. It has been established in previous research that bergamot is rich in flavonoid and phytochemical. The phytochemicals include brutieridin and melitidin; and the flavonoids found in bergamot include naringin and neohesperidin. It also includes flavones and O- and C- gluosides. The study was conducted to see the effects of bergamot juice on low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with hypercholesterolemia.
Bergamot is a citrus fruit rich in flavonoids with positive effects on health. In fact, bergamot peel oil is said to have the most flavonoid content. The properties of bergamot include the common anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to the rare cholesterol inhibition. The anti-microbial properties of this oil have been proven in in-vitro testing.
The increase of LDL-C in the body causes dyslipidemia, which may lead to atherosclerosis (build up of fats and cholesterol in the artery walls); this gradually results in coronary artery disease. In two different animal-based studies (and a few human studies), it was found that the compound naringin significantly reduced the accumulation of cholesterol. In another study, it was found the substances neohesperidin and naringin had similar structures as statins, medicines that lower LDL in the blood.
The conclusion of five different studies was that bergamot polyphenolic fraction (bpf) can lower the LDL-C and total cholesterol levels when used over a period of 12 weeks of three months. It means that bergamot can help reduce cardiovascular diseases. (Taking bergamot supplements or applying topically, both seem effective.) A few studies also concluded that bergamot polyphenols increased HDL; however, there was no uniformity in the conclusions.(7)
Safety With Bergamot Essential Oil (Or Any Variant)
Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally these oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any adverse effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
- Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
- While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
- The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These may be made from substandard sources.
- Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
- Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
- Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
- Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
- Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
- Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers must always consult their gynecologist about using concentrated plant oils, regardless of the type of oil.
- Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
- Some essential oils may trigger unwanted effects in pets. Consult an aromatherapist to know the oils that are safe for cats, dogs and other pets.
- Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
- Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
- Always do a small patch test before topical application.
- If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
- The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
- If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
- Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
How to use bergamot oil for cyst and blackheads?
Apply bergamot diluted with any carrier oil and apply directly on the blackheads and cysts. Leave it overnight. Do this regularly to get clear skin.
How to use bergamot essential oil for cholesterol?
Bergamot oil is topically applied to the chest and right side of the ribcage.
How do I apply bergamot oil to my skin?
Dilute the oil with vegetable oil, creams, lotions, shampoos, hydrosols or water and apply on the skin.
How to use bergamot oil for hair growth?
Dilute bergamot oil with any regular hair oil and apply it on the scalp, roots and the length of the hair. It should be applied twice a week.
Is bergamot essential oil good for skin?
Yes, bergamot has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties which are beneficial for the skin.
Does bergamot oil cause dark spots?
Bergamot oil is phototoxic, which means that applying the oil and wandering into sunlight can cause dark spots.
What does bergamot oil do to the face?
Bergamot oil cleans the skin and restores the skin tone when applied on the face frequently. It prevents or treats acne outbreaks and it clears scars.
What are the benefits of bergamot oil for women?
Bergamot oil can be inhaled or applied locally to reduce discomfort, pain and cramps during menstruation.
What is linalool in bergamot oil?
Linalool is one of the ingredients in bergamot oil. It is a fragrant monoterpene alcohol. Linalool is partly responsible for the aroma of bergamot. It is also useful as an insect repellant.
Who should not take bergamot?
Bergamot may lower the blood sugar levels in the body. Diabetics must stay away from this oil. Those who are about to undergo surgery must also avoid the oil.
Can bergamot raise blood pressure?
Research has found that inhaling the aroma of bergamot lowers high blood pressure levels.
What is bergamot oil good for?
Bergamot has a soothing effect when applied on the joints inflamed due to arthritis. It is inhaled in aromatherapy to lower stress and anxiety, and induce sleep. It is also an excellent bug repellant including the troublesome mosquitoes.