You may be most familiar with bergamot through the lovely taste of Earl Grey tea. Or perhaps you know of bergamot oil for its uncanny ability to enhance mood, build confidence, and relieve anxiety. Its sweet, earthy, and citrusy scent can help you keep it calm, cool, and collected—and we’re here for it.
This essential oil isn’t new to the health game, though. Traditional Chinese medicine has used bergamot to help with the flow of energy, healthy digestion, bacterial growth, and skin health for thousands of years. In this article, we’re diving into the top benefits of bergamot essential oil and sharing easy ways to add it to your health care routine.
What is Bergamot Essential Oil?
Bergamot or Citrus bergamia is a fruiting plant that is kind of a mix between a lemon and orange. The oil comes from the peel of the fruit and is steam-distilled to help pull out the potent healing compounds into a beautiful essential oil.
It is unique among citrus oils because it has the ability to both uplift and calm. Historically, bergamot was used in Italian folk medicine to help rejuvenate skin, reduce stress, relieve a sore throat, and combat parasitic diseases.
Properties of Bergamot Oil:
- Stimulating to the digestive system
Top Uses & Benefits of Bergamot Oil
Anxiety and Stress Relief
One of bergamot oil’s most popular uses is stress relief. Its delicious and calming aroma has been used for thousands of years to treat feelings of anxiety.
One study found that women who inhaled bergamot essential oil mixed with water vapor experienced reduced fatigue and anxiety.
An article published in the journal Current Drug Targets reported that bergamot essential oil aromatherapy relieved anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders by signaling the brain to release serotonin (the happy chemical) and dopamine (motivation chemical)
To use bergamot for feelings of anxiety and stress, rub 1-2 drops into your hands and inhale deeply. You can also diffuse 5 drops and inhale deeply.
May Help with Depression
Bergamot’s antidepressant and stimulating qualities can help promote cheerfulness, energy, and blood circulation (which we need for proper brain function). One study found that a blend of bergamot and lavender oils significantly decreased subjects’ pulse rate and blood pressure. Participants also rated themselves “more relaxed” and “more calm” than subjects in the control group.
Another study found that when women inhaled bergamot oil in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center, they had improved positive feelings.
To use bergamot essential oil for depression and imbalanced mood, diffuse 5 drops and inhale deeply. You can also rub 1-2 drops in your hands and deeply breath in the aroma.
Often, bergamot is used in soaps to help fight the growth of fungi and bacteria. The Frontiers in Pharmacology reported that bergamot essential oil helped inhibit the growth of Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Some studies also show that bergamot oil could be used topically to help candida infections. And that specific components of bergamot like linalool can help fight against foodborne pathogens.
To use bergamot oil to help prevent or fight topical infections, you can combine 2-3 drops of bergamot oil with coconut oil and apply it to the infected area.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Bergamot oil can stimulate hormonal secretion, bile, insulin, and digestive fire. These juices can help to break down sugar, helping to lower and balance blood pressure.
One study looked at 52 patients with hypertension and found that a combination of bergamot, lavender, and ylang ylang can help to reduce psychological stress responses, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
To help lower blood pressure and pulse rate, apply 2-3 diluted drops topically to temples and abdomen. You can also diffuse 5 drops and inhale deeply.
Boosts Skin Health and Complexion
Another incredible benefit of bergamot oil is its ability to help improve skin health. Bergamot has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties. When applied topically, bergamot can help eliminate scars and dark spots on the skin and even soothe skin irritations.
Italian folk medicine has included bergamot in homemade skin disinfectants to help with wound healing.
To help with skin health or promote healing, combine 2-3 drops of bergamot oil with a half teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the infected area.
Bergamot is a great alternative to OTC pain medications and pain killers that have some nasty side effects. Pain and tension, whether from headaches, muscle aches, or bruises, can be reduced with bergamot oil—all thanks to its potent analgesic effects.
The International Journal of Molecular Sciences published a review of studies and found that a component found in bergamot oils has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticonvulsant effects.
Researchers think this is because of linalool’s ability to block effects on pain and inhibit the transmission of pain and other nerve impulses (8).
To help reduce pain, combine 3-4 drops of bergamot oil with a teaspoon or so of carrier oil and apply to the area of pain and tension.
Supports Healthy Digestion
Traditional Chinese Medicine used bergamot fruit and peels to help stimulate the digestive fire (9).
To use bergamot essential oil for digestion, you can dilute 2 drops with a carrier oil and apply to stomach after a meal. For food poisoning and indigestion, add 1-2 drops to a veggie capsule with a food grade oil and take.
Supports Dental Health
Bergamot is one of the best essential oils for holistic dental care. It works to remove germs from your mouth when used in mouthwash and even protects your teeth from developing cavities because of its potent antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. In fact, it may even be able to reverse cavities and heal tooth decay (12).
To use bergamot essential oil for dental care, add 1-2 drops to a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish around in your mouth. You can also add a drop to your toothbrush and brush with your toothpaste.
To read more about using essential oils in holistic at-home dental care, check out our Holistic Guide to Natural Dental Care.
Recent research shows that bergamot oil may help to lower cholesterol levels naturally.
A study that involved 80 participants looked at the effects of bergamot oil on cholesterol levels. The study found that a bergamot-derived extract was able to reduce total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol (bad), and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol (good) (13).
Try diffusing 5 drops of bergamot and inhaling deeply.
Now that you know all the incredible health benefits of bergamot essential oil, which are you most excited for? To find the best essential oils company for you, download our free buying guide.