What is Bergamot?

Bergamot oil is extracted from the rinds of citrus fruit (Citrus bergamia) that grow on bergamot orange trees. If you’re a fan of Earl Grey tea, you’re already enjoying the distinctive taste of bergamot, which is used to flavor it.

The earliest roots of the bergamot tree can be traced to Southeast Asia. It’s currently grown in many parts of the world, but achieved its prominence and name in the town of Bergamo in southern Italy.

It’s prized for its soothing scent, spicy taste, and wide range of uses.

How to use bergamot oil 

Bergamot’s distinctive, citrusy scent is used in both men’s and women’s personal care products. It can be found in perfumes, cologne, toiletries, and cosmetics. Edible bergamot oil is used as a food and drink flavoring. It also has medicinal value.

Bergamot essential oil should not be used full strength directly on skin. It can be mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or mineral oil, and used as a skin softener. Bergamot oil can also be mixed with water vapor and used as an aromatherapy treatment. Do not swallow essential oils.

Bergamot oil aromatherapy 

Bergamot essential oil is highly touted for its soothing use as an aromatherapy treatment. Here are a few ways you can keep its scent close:

  • Mix bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil to use as a body lotion or for massage.
  • Add two to five drops of Bergamot essential oil to products such as body wash, shampoo, and facial scrubs.
  • Use it as an ingredient in aromatherapy. For example, bergamot essential oil can be added to scent homemade candles and air fresheners. You can also dab it in vaporizers to distribute its scent in a room or add it to potpourri.
  • Dab it on a bandana or handkerchief for a soothing scent on-the-go.

Bergamot oil for acne and skin

Several compounds in bergamot oil have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This may make bergamot oil an effective spot treatment for acne in people who do not have sensitive skin. Its analgesic qualities may also make it effective against painful cysts and pimples.

To use bergamot oil as a spot treatment:

  • Apply bergamot oil mixed with a carrier oil directly to pimples, cysts, and blackheads.
  • Leave on overnight.
  • Do not use or leave this treatment on during the day or in sunlight.

You can also mix the diluted oil into water or your favorite cleanser to use as a facial rinse.

Bergamot oil for hair 

Bergamot oil enthusiasts (and people who love soft, lightly scented hair), swear by this essential oil’s ability to soften and tame curls. Anecdotal evidence indicates that bergamot oil may also be soothing to an irritated scalp.

To use, put a few drops in your usual shampoo. You can also mix one to two drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it into your scalp as an overnight treatment.

Using bergamot oil with other essential oils

Many other essential oils can provide similar benefits. Try experimenting with the ones you like, and mixing them with each other. Some to try include:

  • Lavender oil. Lavender is a classic scent for aromatherapy. It’s often used in skin, hair, and acne products and treatments.
  • Tea tree oil. Touted for its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil may fight acne and soothe skin inflammation.
  • Chamomile oil. Soothing as a tea or on the skin, chamomile may also elevate mood.

Benefits of bergamot oil 

Research on bergamot oil has uncovered multiple benefits. These include:

Stress reduction

A small 2015 studyTrusted Source done on women in Japan found that inhaled bergamot oil mixed with water vapor reduced feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

Similarly, a 2013 article published in the journal Current Drug TargetsTrusted Source reported that aromatherapy with bergamot (among other essential oils) can relieve depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders by signaling the brain to release dopamine and serotonin.

Fights food poisoning

Linalool, a compound found in bergamot, may sometimes be effective at destroying types of bacteria responsible for food-borne illnesses.

2006 studyTrusted Source examined bergamot’s effectiveness at destroying several strains of bacterium on chicken skin and cabbage leaves. The bacterium tested were:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Bacillus cereus
  • E. coli O157
  • Campylobacter jejuni

Study findings suggested that bergamot essential oil may be effective when used against these types of bacteria, but also indicated that additional studies are needed.

2016 studyTrusted Source tested the effect of different types of bergamot essential oil against strains of Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes listeriosis infection. Researchers used listeria samples from different sources including fish and poultry.

The different formulations of bergamot had weak to strong effects at stopping the growth of the different bacteria samples. Given the variability, researchers concluded that bergamot essential oil’s effectiveness against bacteria in foods should be estimated.

Source – HealthLine