Bergamot essential oil is a cold pressed extract from the peel of a citrus species called Citrus bergamia. It was originally used in traditional Chinese medicine where it was applied to help with the flow of vital energy, also known as chi, to the digestive system so that it could eliminate digestive disorders like gas, indigestion, constipation, etc.
It is known to have a broad range of health benefits which span the whole gamut of diseases. It helps in mood enhancement, fighting depression, helps in the growth of new skin cells causing a reduction in scars and marks on the skin, works as a bactericide, insecticide, fungicide, and also as an analgesic, antipyretic, and capable of correcting hormonal imbalances.
Another aspect which greatly helps its status as a great medicine is that it is also pleasing to smell and taste, and any edible product based on bergamot essential oil is palatable and has the capacity to mask unpleasant tastes and odors of other compounds used with it.
Health Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil
1. Bergamot Essential Oil Acts As An Anti-Depressant:
Depression is a disease which is not taken very seriously by most people, but mental health is a very important aspect of the well-being and studies have demonstrated that good mental health directly correlates to better physical health due to the reduction in symptoms caused by mental diseases that have a direct bearing on various physical functions due to chemical and physiological changes within the body.
Bergamot oil has two component compounds – Alpha Pinene and Limonene. These compounds have been known to be extremely effective in fighting mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and general bad mood.
These two compounds have been discovered to help improve the circulation in the body, which is extremely beneficial to help in reducing overall stress on the body. When this happens, compounds like endorphins are released which help in recovering from a bad mood, mental stress, anxiety, etc.
In fact, some studies suggest that bergamot oil has the same effect on reducing stress levels in rats by reducing the response of the body towards stress as the drug diazepam. In fact, it is so effective that it is used regularly to combat the post-partum depression that is common in a woman after childbirth.
This is a viable alternative to highly addictive and harmful pharmaceutical drugs used to cure depression and other mental health issues since it is natural, completely safe, and free from side effects including addiction.
Bergamot can either be inhaled directly from a bottle or rubbed onto a handkerchief which can be carried around at all times. A few whiffs at strenuous times are sufficient to provide some relief from tension and mood swings. Massaging a few drops of this essential oil on the temples, neck, feet, and belly button has also been demonstrated to provide a quantum of relief.
2. Bergamot Essential Oil Promotes Dermatological Health:
Bergamot oil has several uses in keeping the skin healthy, young, and disease free. It has been used extensively to reduce marks, rashes, scars, stretch marks, and uneven distribution of melanin in the skin.
Since Bergamot essential oil is a cicatrizant, it has the property of speeding up the healing process and helps the skin recover from cuts, scrapes, exposure to environmental damage, etc. This also has the added benefit of removing the dead skin, which is one of the leading causes of discoloration and promotes the growth of new skin cells in its place, which goes a long way in reducing marks and uneven skin tone.
Bergamot oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti septic properties which help it combat most skin infections that cause rashes, swellings, outgrowths, discoloration, and general illnesses.
For this reason, it is a highly effective cure for conditions such as acne, blackheads, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, and fungal infections.
For the same reasons, it can also be used to treat conditions of the scalp such as excess oil production, excessive dryness, and dandruff.
Adding a few drops of bergamot oil to bath water, or adding a single drop to a steamer along with the water can go a long way in reducing the conditions mentioned above.
3. Bergamot Essential Oil Has Anti- Microbial Properties:
The capacity of bergamot essential oil in treating infections has been long known, but it is only with the advent of modern science that the reason behind it has been understood. Bergamot oil has shown to contain compounds which kill microbes causing various diseases and conditions and is both anti bacterial and anti fungal.
A component of bergamot oil called linalool was found to be the most effective anti bacterial compound and overall, bergamot oil was found to significantly affect E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria, Staphylococcus and Bacillus species apart from fungal species like Candida and several food borne pathogens.
4. Bergamot Essential Oil Improves Cardiac Health:
Bergamot oil contains a compound called bergamottin which was found to reduce the electrocardiographic changes which were associated with spasms of the coronary artery and cardiac arrhythmia induced by a compound called pitressin in pigs.
Bergamottin was also found to reduce the chances of occurrence of tachyarrhythmias and ventricular premature beats which often lead to death.
Apart from this, bergamot oil is also a potential vasodilator and can induce vasorelaxation in the aorta by activating K+ channels and inhibiting Ca+ levels which can help prevent heart attacks and other disorders.
5. Bergamot Essential Oil Is A Pain Reliever:
Bergamot essential oil can be used as a substitute for various pharmacological pain killers and can help in reducing pains associated with arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain, spasms, headaches, etc.
It does so by stimulating the secretion of hormones that inhibit nerve sensitivity and reduce the pain impulse transmitted to the brain to reduce the physical manifestation of this impulse.
Due to its potency, a small amount of it is sufficient to reduce soreness of muscles, minor sprains, and aches.
Due to the possibility of sensitivity to bergamot oil, a few drops usually mixed with a carrier oil like coconut and applied to the affected area to provide relief from the pain. It can also be added to bath water to reduce chronic pain associated with age in the elderly.
6. Bergamot Essential Oil Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
Bergamot oil can help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which prevents this process from occurring naturally. It also helps in vasodilation of the blood vessels which works in conjunction with the reduction of harmful cholesterol levels to enable better circulation, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the load on the heart.
This effect is best seen when bergamot oil is taken in the form of a capsule which is freely available online. A study conducted on 77 patients showed that results could be achieved in as little as a month.
Excess application of bergamot oil on the skin might result in hyperpigmentation and cause further issues. It is best to limit the use of bergamot oil topically or at the very least dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or aloe vera juice to reduce the effect.
It is best to apply minimal amount and increase the quantity gradually to find out what amounts are the best for your use.