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5 November 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Benefits and Uses of Bergamot Oil

Zesty bergamot can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. 

Bergamot fruit on a tree.

With the ability to soothe both emotional and physical distress, bergamot is famous for its uplifting qualities.

Named after the city of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, bergamot was once used in Italian folk medicine to treat fever, parasites, and sore throats.

These days, its uses for oral health are still exponential, combined with its remarkable effects on mood that continue to be uncovered by scientists.

What is Bergamot Essential Oil?

A hybrid between a lemon and a sour orange, the bergamot fruit itself looks like a bumpy green lemon and can be found growing on bergamot trees that were initially native to Southeast Asia.

Sometimes called by its botanical name Citrus bergamia, bergamot is now most commonly used as the primary ingredient in Earl Grey tea, and is responsible for giving the drink its distinctive flavour.

Bergamot essential oil is also widely used in flavourings and perfumes as well as some pharmaceutical products.

What are the different types of Bergamot Essential Oil?

Bergamot essential oil is extracted in two main ways, cold pressing and steam distilling.

In both methods, it is the peel that the oil is collected from rather than the flesh of the fruit, as the peel is more nutrient-dense and carries more of a scent profile.

  • Cold pressing involves the use of a spiked drum to press the oil out of the peel. The oil then drips down through small holes in the base of the drum and is collected.
  • Steam distilling involves passing steam through a closed chamber containing the peel, and letting the oil condense on top of the water.

Cold pressing is usually preferred to maintain the full benefits of the oil and keep the scent strong. However, steam-distilled or furocoumarin-free oil is better for applying to skin, as the removal of furocoumarins neutralises any phototoxic effects.

If you're looking to use bergamot in skincare, you may want to check out our furocoumarin-free bergamot oil. Shop it

What are the benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil?

This strange fruit certainly doesn’t go without its rich benefits for your wellness, so adding it to your aromatherapy collection is most certainly worth your while.

Some of the best bergamot oil benefits include:

  • Lifting mood and calming worries
  • Improving oral health
  • Soothing skin
  • Relieving pain

Bergamot fruit on a green background.
Is bergamot oil good for your mental health?

Bergamot oil has been shown to be beneficial for low mood and anxiety.

A analysed the effect of a bergamot and blend on the blood pressure, pulse rates, breathing rates, skin temperature, and various emotional responses of patients suffering from symptoms of extremely low mood.

Those who inhaled the blend rather than the placebo found that the oil had a significant positive effect on all of these markers.

Lots of studies have supported this finding, and bergamot has been shown to , (the stress hormone), and reduce fatigue.

It was even suggested in a that bergamot can stimulate the production of digestive juices, bile, and insulin - which assimilates the breakdown of sugars and lowers blood pressure - in turn lowering stress responses.

Beyond the field of mental health, researchers believe these findings could help sufferers of hypertension.

Pile of bergamot fruit with one cut in half

What are the effects of bergamot essential oil on skin and oral health?

Bergamot oil’s antibacterial qualities make it a highly effective facial cleanser, as it is able to fight bacteria in the pores of the skin as well as help to soothe irritations.

Oil-pulling with a few drops of bergamot oil and a vegetable-based carrier oil can also help to improve oral health, as it can help eliminate bad bacteria on the teeth and gums, in turn leaving breath smelling fresher.

A detailed the antibacterial activity of bergamot, and suggested that these effects may be due in part to the presence of linalool in bergamot oil, which is effective against foodborne pathogens.

Can bergamot oil help to relieve pain?

The presence of linalool in bergamot oil may also account for its reported pain-relieving properties.

A details the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-convulsant properties of the oil, all of which give it effective pain-relieving qualities.

It is also believed that linalool can block effects on pain receptors and inhibit the release of substance P - a compound involved in the transmission of pain and other nerve impulses.

How to use Bergamot Essential Oil

1. Aromatherapy

The pleasantly fresh and uplifting aromas of bergamot make it a great oil to diffuse in the summertime, however its positive effects for mental health can be felt year-round, so it’s worth diffusing on days where you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

Add a few drops to your chosen diffuser or oil burner and let the clean, lemony scent soothe you both inside and out.

2. Skincare

Bergamot oil’s antibacterial properties mean it’s a great choice for an at home facial cleanser, however it’s important to keep in mind that only our Bergamot FCF Essential Oil should be applied to skin, as regular bergamot may cause a severe phototoxic reaction in sunlight.

We also always advise diluting your bergamot oil in a carrier oil before use on the skin.

3. Soaps, candles and more

This oil is a fantastic ingredient for summer-scented projects. We recommend following a tested recipe for the best results.

What is the history of Bergamot Essential Oil?

Said to have been one of the primary ingredients in the original eau de cologne - created by the Feminis family in the sixteenth century - bergamot has been revered for its unique scent for centuries.

It was also utilised in traditional Chinese medicine as a way to stimulate and re-balance the flow of energy within the body.

It is important to remember that bergamot oil that is cold pressed or not FCF (furocoumarin-free) may not be safe to apply to the skin, and can cause an adverse reaction when coming into contact with direct sunlight.

Excessive use of bergamot oil may also pose a risk to diabetics due to its ability to lower blood sugar.

However, as long as a reasonable amount of caution and common sense is applied, bergamot is a perfectly safe home remedy for low mood, stress and pain, and can help to leave skin and teeth healthy and glowing.

Product Name

100% Pure Bergamot Essential Oil
Botanical Name Citrus Bergamia
Scent Type Citrus
Benefits & Uses Energising, Mood Boosting, Fresh
Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this bergamot essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this bergamot essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
Extraction Method Cold Pressed
Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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