Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a plant that produces citrus fruit that is defined as a hybrid between a sour orange and lemon, or a mutation of lemon. Bergamot essential oil is cold-extracted from the peel of the fruit. Many experts believe that cold extraction helps to preserve more active compounds in essential oils that would otherwise be destroyed by the high heat of steam distillation.
Bergamot provides a number of a surprising natural health benefits. It has significant stimulating, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. It is one of the main constituents for manufacturing perfumes, and is a common ingredient in earl gray tea.
8 Uses for Bergamot Essential Oil
1. Treats respiratory conditions
Bergamot essential oil has antimicrobial properties, so it can help to prevent the spread of foreign pathogens that lead to respiratory conditions. For this reason, it can be useful when battling a common cold, and works as a natural home remedy for cough. (1) Add five drops of bergamot oil to a diffuser to fight respiratory conditions. You can also try drinking Earl Grey tea, which is made with bergamot extract.
2. Inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses
Bergamot essential oil can inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Bergamot oil may play a role in the treatment of Candida infections, and studies show that one of its chemical constituents is effective against common foodborne pathogens. To inhibit the growth of pathogens, diffuse five drops of bergamot essential oil, or dilute it in a carrier oil and apply to your throat or abdomen. (2)
3. Stimulates the digestive process
Bergamot essential oil has soothing and stimulating properties that can help aid digestion. Add bergamot oil to a carrier oil, and apply to your stomach in a clockwise direction to ease digestion and regulate your appetite.
4. Reduces nerve tension and pain
Bergamot essential oil can minimize tension in the body. (3, 4) It possesses several pharmacological activities that may play a part in blocking the transmission of pain and other nerve impulses. To reduce pain, add bergamot essential oil to a carrier oil and rub on sore muscles or where you feel tension.
5. Helps to relieve depression and uplifts spirits
Bergamot is one of the five essential oils that I recommend to take you from Stress! to zen. A study conducted in 2011 showed that a mixture of lavender and bergamot essential oils helped treat depression and anxiety symptoms. (5) Results from a separate study found that exposure to bergamot oil for 15 minutes improved positive feelings. (6) To improve mood, place 1–2 drops of bergamot oil onto a tissue, and slowly inhale its scent.
6. Reduces body temperature
Bergamot essential oil can reduce body temperature by alleviating stress and stimulating hormone secretions. When stress levels are elevated, body temperature increases. Diffusing bergamot essential oil helps to reduce cortisol levels, resulting, in some cares, in reduced fever. (7)
7. Used to minimize appearance of marks on skin
Bergamot oil is often incorporated into skin care products to minimize the appearance scars and marks on the skin, tone the skin, and soothe skin irritations. To promote skin healing, add a few drops of bergamot oil to a carrier oil and rub it on the affected area.
8. Commonly used ingredient in natural colognes and perfumes
Bergamot oil is one of the main constituents for manufacturing perfumes. When added to perfumes, the oil provides a sweet freshness, and is an integral part of many fragrances. It is also a common ingredient in natural deoderants.