If you love Earl Grey tea, you may have wondered what the refreshing citrus scent it comes with is all about. And exactly what is bergamot essential oil?
That’s bergamot essential oil – and let’s face it, bergamot is one of the most loved essential oils out there.
That’s not only because of its amazing aroma, but because it has a lot of benefits to offer.
If you want to know what the hype around bergamot is all about, keep reading.
What is Bergamot Essential Oil?
Bergamot oil, a popular essential oil, has been around for centuries, and its popularity is still growing. Bergamot oil has risen in popularity due to its unique aromatic scent and multiple health benefits
Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the citrus fruit of the bergamot orange tree (Citrus bergamia). The fruit is similar to a lime in size and color, and it’s believed to have originated in Italy’s Calabria region.
What Does Bergamot Essential Oil Look and Smell Like?
Bergamot essential oil is steam distilled from the fruit’s rind, producing an oil that ranges in color from green to yellowish-brown. When the oil is fresh, it is a greenish color, but it gradually changes to yellow as it ages.
The aroma of this essential oil is fruity, with a sweet citrus scent and a hint of spiciness. The scent is clean and refreshing, making it a popular choice in many scented perfumes, candles, and diffusers. When diffused, its aroma can help to calm and uplift the mood of anyone who inhales it.
Where Does it Come From?
Again, bergamot essential oil was first used in Italy’s Calabria region. It has been used there for centuries and is a popular ingredient in many traditional medicine treatments in various cultures.
Today, its popularity has spread around the globe. The bergamot plant is grown in places like Italy, Turkey, southeast Asia, Morocco, the Ivory Coast, Algeria, Brazil, Argentina, Tunisia, and France.
How to Choose and Use Bergamot Essential Oil Safely
Especially since essential oils aren’t regulated by the FDA and because they’re generally used outside of modern medicine, you want to be extra careful when using any essential oil for the first time or for different uses. Our Essential Oils Guide details key safety considerations and tips for buying reputable brands.
How Are Bergamot Essential Oils Used?
One of the main touted benefits of bergamot oil is its ability to uplift the mood and reduce stress and anxiety. The scent of bergamot is incredibly soothing and has been proven to activate the brain’s pleasure centers, promoting relaxation.
You can add a few drops of bergamot oil to your diffuser or apply it topically to your wrists, temples, or the soles of your feet with a carrier oil to reduce stress and balance your mood.
Bergamot oil is packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it perfect for skin care. It helps to reduce redness and inflammation, preventing acne and other skin irritations. You can add a few drops of bergamot oil to your facial cleanser or moisturizer, or mix it with a carrier oil to make a natural body lotion.
And if you are struggling with digestive problems such as bloating, gas, or constipation, bergamot oil is used by some as a natural solution. Bergamot oil contains linalool and linalyl acetate, which are known for their digestive benefits. You can ingest food-grade bergamot oil by adding it to a cup of warm herbal tea or mixing it with honey.
What Are the Touted Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oils?
Bergamot essential oil is thought to have many medicinal properties, making it a popular choice among natural health enthusiasts.
In addition to some of the uses described above, here are some of the potential benefits of bergamot essential oil:
- Mood Enhancer: When used in aromatherapy, it can help to reduce emotional stress, lower cortisol levels, and improve overall mood.
- Immune Booster: Bergamot oil has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which help to protect the body against harmful pathogens. It can help to strengthen the immune system, fight infections, and promote overall wellness.
- Pain Relief: Bergamot oil has natural analgesic properties, which make it an effective natural remedy for pain relief. It can be used topically as a massage oil or as an aromatherapy oil to help alleviate muscle and joint pain.
What Are the Disadvantages of Bergamot Oil?
While bergamot essential oil is generally safe when used properly, it may have some potential drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages of bergamot essential oil:
- Photosensitivity: Bergamot oil is phototoxic, which means it can cause skin irritation and sensitivity when exposed to sunlight. Try to avoid direct sunlight for at least 12 hours after using bergamot oil on the skin.
- Not Safe for Pregnant Women: Bergamot essential oil is not recommended for pregnant women due to its potential hormonal effects. It may also cause skin irritation and other side effects when used during pregnancy.
- May Interact with Certain Medications: Bergamot oil may interact with certain medications, such as statins and antidepressants.
The best rule of thumb when using bergamot oil, like any other essential oil, is to check with your healthcare provider first, especially if you are taking other medications. The advice in this article isn’t medical advice, but meant simply to show you everything this cool oil has to offer.
Are There Any Substitutes for Bergamot Essential Oil?
Sadly, there will come a day when you run out of bergamot essential oil – been there! While there’s no exact 1:1 substitute for this oil, there are some that can be used in a pinch.
One is sweet orange. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent substitute for bergamot oil because it has a similar scent profile, which is citrusy and uplifting. It’s also rich in limonene, a compound that has been scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Lemon essential oil is another great substitute for bergamot oil because of its bright and fresh scent. Lemon oil is a natural disinfectant, which can help purify the air in your home and boost your immune system.
Lavender essential oil may not have the same citrusy scent as bergamot oil, but it has similar calming and relaxing properties. Lavender oil has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and even alleviate headaches.
What is the Shelf Life of Bergamot Essential Oil?
In general, bergamot oil has a shelf life of around one or two years. However, this can be extended by properly storing the oil.
How to Store Bergamot Essential Oil
To get the most out of your bergamot essential oil, it’s important to store it correctly. Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Keep it in a cool, dark place – Essential oils are sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen, so it’s important to keep them in a cool, dark place. A pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight is ideal.
- Use a dark glass bottle – Essential oils are best stored in dark glass bottles to protect them from light. Amber or cobalt blue bottles are a good option.
- Keep the lid tightly closed – Oxygen can cause essential oils to oxidize, so it’s important to keep the lid tightly closed on your bottle.
- Avoid storing in plastic – Plastics can react with essential oils and alter their chemical makeup. Therefore, it’s best to avoid storing your oil in plastic bottles or containers.
Whether you choose to use it through aromatherapy, massage, or skincare, bergamot oil is sure to become a staple in your self-care routine.
Just remember to take precautions and use it carefully the first couple of times – then you can enjoy all the amazing benefits it has to offer!Links on this page may be affiliate links, for which the site earns a small commission, but the price for you is the same