Bergamot essential oil has a wonderfully unique odor. That’s why it is the main ingredient in eau-de-cologne and many other perfumes.
See more about bergamot essential oil below.
Bergamot Oil Properties
Bergamot’s botanical name is Citrus bergamia.
From the name alone, you can tell bergamot is part of the citrus family. It is the hybrid of sweet lemon and sour orange trees. So naturally, you would expect bergamot to have that familiar citrusy smell and wonderful health benefits.
When looking to buy this essential oil, you may come across wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). Wild bergamot is actually a herb from the mint family and not citrus related. So be sure to double check the botanical names when buying bergamot essential oil.
Color & Smell
Bergamot essential oil has a greenish to yellow-green color. It also has a sweet citrusy, floral scent with balsamic tones.
What’s in the oil?
Over 30 compounds have been found in bergamot essential oil. The main ones are: linalyl acetate (which makes up 41% of the oil), limonene (26%), linalool (15%), and gamma-terpinene (10%).
Other notable compounds in bergamot oil are beta bisabolene, alpha-bergapten, alpha-bergamotene, terpinolene, myrcene, and geranial.
You should know alpha-bergapten (sometimes spelled bergaptene) is photo-toxic. That means it can burn your skin in the presence of light. So if you are exposed to sunlight with bergamot oil on your skin, you will see skin redness and irritation, similar to a really bad sunburn.
Don’t swear off bergamot oil though. Many essential oil brands sell bergapten-free bergamot essential oil, which isn’t phototoxic and is safe to use outdoors.
Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil
Here are a few benefits of bergamot essential oil:
- eases anxiety
- relieves pain
- kill cancer cells in vitro
- protects neurons
- neutralize free radicals
- kill bacteria and fungi
- kill and repel insects
You can get more details below.
Bergamot oil eases anxiety and depression
There are many studies that prove bergamot’s calming effects.
One 2008 article showed that terminally ill cancer patients felt less anxious and less depressed after being given a 5-minute hand massage daily for one week. The massage blend included bergamot, lavender and frankincense essential oils in sweet almond oil.
Another study asked young, healthy individuals to either listen to music or inhale bergamot essential oil for 15 minutes. The results proved that doing both together was a very effective method of relaxation.
Bergamot relieves pain
The same calming effects of bergamot essential oil also caused a reduction in pain felt by the terminally ill cancer patients, mentioned above.
So you can use bergamot oil to calm your nerves, reduce your depression and relieve pain!
Bergamot may be anticancer
Another benefit of bergamot essential oil is that it has cancer fighting properties. And there are many studies that prove this!
A 2013 study went further and noted the combined effects of the main compounds, linalyl acetate and limonene, were responsible for cancer cell deaths caused by bergamot essential oil.
It may be neuroprotective
Like if these bergamot essential oil benefits weren’t enough, the oil also protects your neurons and nervous system. It does this by reducing excitotoxic neuron damage which has been linked to strokes, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and alcoholism.
Way to go bergamot!
It is antioxidant
A 2010 study compared the antioxidant properties of 25 essentials oils and proved bergamot EO was one of the most antioxidant oils tested.
Bergamot oil is antibacterial
Bergamot, like many other essential oils, is very effective against bacteria. And the main compound linalool is responsible for its antibacterial effects.
It is antifungal
There are many studies that prove bergamot essential oil is antifungal. This 2007 one went into great detail too. It tested bergamot against 7 common types of dermatophytes (fungi) that cause athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and nail infections. The study proved bergamot oil is a potent antifungal agent.
It is also an insecticide
Another one of bergamot essential oil’s benefits is that it kills insects and larvae. And linalyl acetate and linalool are the compounds responsible for these effects.
Bergamot Essential Oil Uses
You have already read bergamot essential oil benefits and properties. Here, you will see how to use bergamot essential oil.
You can add a few drops of bergamot essential oil to your diffuser to ease your anxiety and depression. And adding grapefruit oil creates a wonderful citrusy scent. Geranium essential oil also combines well with bergamot to create a great mood booster.
It is really important to get bergaptene-free bergamot essential oil if you are planning on using this oil on your skin. Otherwise, bergamot oil is phototoxic and will cause you to get dark spots when you go outdoors.
And if it is your first time using bergamot, do a skin patch test to make sure you aren’t allergic to it. Here’s a quick guide on doing your own patch test.
Once you are not allergic, you can combine 2-3 drops of bergamot essential oil with any carrier of your choice and massage the blend on your skin. You can even follow the blend mentioned above under the first benefit of bergamot. Combine 1 drop each of bergamot, lavender and frankincense essential oils to 5 mL of sweet almond oil and give yourself a wonderful hand massage.
You can also use the bergamot-carrier oil blend to ease pains, especially menstrual cramps. Adding clary sage to this blend also helps with pain relief.
Finally, you can add 1 drop of bergamot to 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and store the blend in a dark container. You can take a few drops at a time and apply under your arms for a deodorant replacement. It makes you smell amazing, I mean, bergamot is the main ingredient in eau-de-cologne after all!
Like with all essential oils, please check with your doctor before using bergamot especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to use it on small kids.
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