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Guide To Bergamot Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

"Bergamot lightens the shadows of the mind, bringing illumination and laughter," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. Worwood goes on to say the emotional benefits of bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia) include encouraging concentration, confidence, balance, strength, joy, and harmony.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Bergamot Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a bergamot tree.

Basic Bergamot Facts

Plant family: Rutaceae

Production: Mechanically expressed from the almost-ripe fruit rind. Bergamot is a small, green, inedible citrus fruit.

Aroma: Clean, fresh, citrus.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to middle

Is bergamot safe to use during pregnancy? It's OK to diffuse this essential oil as a room freshener, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby. Probably not for other uses.

Is bergamot essential oil safe for children? Do not use with babies.

Cautions: This essential oil contains bergapten, which is photosensitizing, meaning it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. However, you can buy bergapten-free bergamot. Look for labels that say bergapten-free or FCF (furanocoumarin free).

If you use an essential oil that's not bergapten-free, be sure to avoid UV light exposure (including tanning beds) for at least 24 hours after applying the oil to your skin.

Do not confuse bergamot (Citrus bergamia) with the different essential oil bergamot mint (Mentha citrata).

Main components:

  • (+)-limonene       28.0–45.0%
  • linalyl acetate      18.0–28.0%
  • linalool                4.0–20.0%
  • bergapten            0.11–0.33%*

*The bergapten-free oil contains 0–0.0091% bergapten. See Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, for a complete list of components.

Bergamot Essential Oil Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Bergamot helps enhance immunity, heal wounds and skin growth, and prevent scarring. Aids digestion. Balances emotions. The scent can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, cycles of compulsive behavior. Bergapten-free bergamot can be used for most skin conditions. The essential oil also deodorizes.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Uses for bergamot essential oil include helping relieve fears, indigestion, wounds, acne, herpes sores, depression, stress, tension, insomnia, and emotional crisis. The oil is emotionally strengthening.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use bergapten-free bergamot for skin conditions such as acne, boils, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, insect bites, oily complexion, spots, and wounds. Other uses of this essential oil include relief from bad breath, sore throats, flatulence, loss of appetite, colds, fever, flu, anxiety, depression, and stress-related conditions. The oil has a refreshing and uplifting quality.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine bergamot disperses stagnant Qi-energy and harmonizes Liver-Qi. This essential oil encourages the release of pent-up feelings and helps in the rediscovery of spontaneity and optimism. The oil's energy is cool and dry and its main element is wood.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, bergamot promotes emotional stability and insight and mildly promotes alertness and optimism. Physically, the essential oil balances and harmonizes and is beneficial for oily, congested skin. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of bergamot is to regulate the Qi and harmonize the Shen. Recommended blends:

  • Bergamot + mandarin for stress-related conditions, especially insomnia and anxiety.
  • Bergamot + lavender for hyperactive, stress-related conditions.
  • Bergamot + rosemary or peppermint for indigestion, bloating, flatulence.

Subtle Aromatherapy: The green color of bergamot suggests an affinity for the heart chakra, especially to help relieve grief.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, use bergamot during meditation with the intention to align your awareness with angels, spirit guides, and spiritual master teachers. Mentally, this essential oil clears a foggy mind and helps with focus and clarity. Emotionally, the oil can raise your levels of joy.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Bergamot clears and cleanses, brings in positive & optimistic energy, uplifts and calms at the same time, and eases wounds of the heart. Especially useful for the fourth/heart chakra.

The book suggests the following positive mind blend. Use it either in a diffuser or to make a room spray by adding the essential oils to four ounces (1/2 cup) distilled or purified water in a spray mister bottle.

  • 4 drops bergamot
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Bergamot Essential Oil Uses and Blends

To relieve digestive discomfort, add two or three drops of bergamot essential oil to about one teaspoon of carrier oil. Gently rub the blend onto your abdomen.

Sleep Blend

Use the following blend to make a room/linen spray, a massage oil, or a body lotion for use before going to bed.

  • 6 drops bergamot
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop frankincense essential oil
  • 1 drop rose essential oil

Source: Aromatherapy for Dummies

Nighttime Cold Relief

Add the following oils in one-ounce glass or PET plastic bottle:

  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 5 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops Roman chamomile essential oil

Shake gently to mix. Shake gently before each use. Apply to the back of your neck, chest, and feet as needed in evenings and at bedtime.

Source: Essential Living

Body Care

Homemade Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 25 drops bergamot

In a bowl, mix coconut oil and baking soda. Stir in essential oil. Store deodorant in a deodorant container or glass jar. Use as needed.

Adapted from Dr. Axe Essential Oil DIY Recipes

Soothing Bath

Mix 3 drops each of bergamot, marjoram, and lavender essential oils in a dispersant such as a tablespoon of cream or honey. Add the blend to your bathwater and swish.

Alternatively, add the essential oils to a half cup each of Epsom salt and baking soda to a make a relaxing, skin softening bath salts.

Source: KG Stiles' Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Library


Bathtub or Sink Scrub

Mix 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 5 drops bergamot essential oil. Use as needed.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Use this mixture for cleaning lightly dirty floors:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 drops bergamot
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil

Source: An Aromatic Life

More aromatherapy cleaning blends.

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Photo Credit: By K reger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons