Bergamot is a citrus fruit native to Italy.
Common throughout the Mediterranean, the fruit is the size of an orange, yet similar in color to a lime, or even yellowish, depending on the ripeness. Its leaves are used to flavor fruit drinks, lemonade, and other cold drinks.
Bergamot oil is extracted from the rinds. It is extracted using the cold-press method. This method ensures that the oil doesn't lose any of its unique character or aroma.
Bergamot is a top note when used for mixing with other fragrances.
Benefits of Bergamot
- Reduces pain. Pour a scant amount of a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, in your palm. Add two or three drops of Bergamot essential oil and gently rub directly on achy, sore muscles, or wherever a tension headache is felt. Keep oil away from the eyes.
- Eases stress, anxiety, depression, and improves mood. When used in a diffuser, bergamot oil has powerful mood stabilizing effects. Try diffusing a few drops of the essential oil when stress and anxiety are high.
- Anti-bacterial. Bergamot has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties similar to those found in lemon and orange.
Uses of Bergamot
Bergamot and Earl Grey Tea
The tea derives its moniker from Earl Grey, who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1830s. How this specific blend of tea became associated with him is not exactly known, but stories and legends abound.
One tale suggests that it was an accidental creation that occurred when Chinese diplomats shipped a container of tea and bergamot oranges together to England.
It is said that while in transit, the essence of the fruit was absorbed by the tea. Another account speaks of a Chinese visitor to the Grey estate who.created the tea blend to improve the unpleasant mineral taste of the water.
Still another story suggests that a Chinese official sent the tea to Charles Grey as a thank you gift for saving his son. The exact truth will always remain a mystery, but for the last two centuries this blend has been a staple among the English. However it originated, the tea is hugely popular today, and has spawned other varieties, such as Lady Grey tea, which includes lemon and Seville orange in addition to bergamot.
Bergamot essential oil is well-known for its soothing aromatherapy treatment. Here are a few ways you can use it regularly:
- Mix 10 - 30 drops of bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil to use as a body lotion or for massage.
- Add 3 - 5 drops of Bergamot essential oil to products such as body wash, shampoo, and facial scrubs.
- Add bergamot essential oil to scented 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.
Several compounds in bergamot oil have immunomodulatory, wound-healing activities, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This may make bergamot oil an effective spot treatment for acne or other small wounds on the skin if you do not have sensitive skin. Bergamot may also help improve psoriasis symptoms.
Where do you apply bergamot oil?
To use bergamot oil as a spot treatment for acne or other small skin issues:
- Apply bergamot oil diluted in carrier oil directly to pimples, cysts, small cuts, and blackheads.
- Leave on overnight.
- Mix the diluted oil into water or your favorite cleanser to use as a facial rinse.
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.
Blending 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 you can try blending with bergamot essential oil 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.
To determine the proportion of each oil in your blend, consider that bergamot has a very noticeable scent that may overpower other scents, but this scent doesn’t last long. Other oil scents may be less sharp but will stay longer. These factors can help you determine which oils you want to mix and in what quantities.
Remember that before you try any new oil, you should test out a small amount on a small patch of skin.