Bergamot essential oil comes from the unripe citrus fruit of the Bergamot tree which originated in tropical Asia. It was brought to Bergamot, Italy in the 15th century (purportedly by Christopher Columbus!). It is also grown in California, Florida, and the Caribbean. Here’s a little essential oil trivia for you: the unique fragrance and flavor of Earl Grey tea is brought to you by bergamot oil and Earl Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister who popularized this flavored tea in the 1830’s. Besides smelling and tasting wonderful, bergamot oil has a positive effect on a host of physical issues. It has a “tonic” or strengthening effect on the respiratory, digestive, excretory, and nervous system, and is often used to help alleviate feelings of sadness and anxiousness.
In terms of physical support, there are components of bergamot essential oil that are great cleaning agents for your body,–they inhibit the growth of certain threats. When used in soaps or bath water, bergamot helps protect skin from infections. It also helps support functions of the colon, intestines, urinary tract, and kidneys. Not only does bergamot have these wonderful properties, it also promotes great skin health.
For head tension, sprains, and muscle aches, bergamot can be used to help with discomfort, because it stimulates secretions of certain hormones that lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain.
Bergamot also affects digestion by activating and increasing secretions of digestive acids, enzymes and bile. It quickens the digestive process and reduces strain on your intestinal tract.
A great component of bergamot is its ability to assist the body in occasional hot feeling. It does this by stimulating the metabolic system and gland secretions which provide a feeling of warmth to the body. This causes the body to sweat which reduces body temperature and cleans out glands and pores of toxins.
Bergamot is great for muscles. It relaxes nerves and helps to soothe muscles for quick relief of muscle discomfort. Bergamot is also great to diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress levels or tension is high.
Although more research needs to be done to determine exactly how aromatherapy affects the brain, some scientists believe that your sense of smell communicates with parts of your brain that store memories and emotions. Other researchers believe that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes to influence the body and brain. Two of the three hundred components of bergamot are alpha pinene and limonene which are antidepressant and stimulating in nature. Bergamot is used to relieve feelings of deep sadness, anxious feelings, and to reduce stress. It is often mentioned as helping in the process of overcoming addictive behaviors. The scent of bergamot is only second to lavender in it’s ability to relax brain waves.
Last but not least, cosmetics and skin care products frequently contain bergamot oil because it has a property that helps the appearance of scars and marks on the skin fade and disappear. It also makes the distribution of melanin in the skin more uniform. It’s interesting to note that approximately half of women’s perfumes and one third of all men’s colognes contain bergamot.
Bergamot’s multiple uses make it a valuable addition to your health and fitness tool belt!
How to use bergamot oil:
*A precaution for bergamot oil is that it needs to be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil before it’s applied to the skin as it contains bergaptene which causes photosensitivity in some people. There are essential oil companies that sell a “deterpeneized” version that causes less sensitivity. Bergamot oil should not be used on children under five years old.
– Depression or stress: use in a diffuser or rub 1 drop into palms and cup over the nose and mouth for up to 1 min several times per day. (Also apply 1 drop over the abdomen several times per day.)
– Mouth irritation: 1 drop to 1-3 tsp carrier oil, apply several times per day
– Skin health: mix several drops with one tsp of coconut oil and apply to affected area 1-2x pr day, or more as needed
– Internal cleaning: apply 1-2 drops over the abdomen several times per day
– Skin irritation: apply 1-2 drops over or around the area of concern
– Deodorant: 10 drops per ounce of witch hazel solution from the drugstore (Has a pleasant scent and kills bacteria that are responsible for odor)
– The BRAND MUST BE HIGHEST GRADE (Therapeutic) AND “GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE” BY THE FDA. CARE SHOULD BE USED WHEN TAKING BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL INTERNALLY. IT MAY BE USED AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT WITH THE ADVISE OF A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.
Life Fitness Academy is an independent consultant for essential oils and can help guide you to which essential oils might be helpful for you. Contact us if you have any questions.