Bergamot essential oil is unique among citrus oils in aromatherapy due to its ability to be both uplifting and calming. It is ideal to help with both anxious and sad feelings. Other citrus essential oils are mostly uplifting. Bergamot is the most delicate of the citrus plants, requiring particular climate and soil to thrive. Although a native of tropical Asia, bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is now extensively cultivated in the Southern part of Italy, particularly in the Calabria region, and southern France.
Bergamot essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. It takes about one hundred bergamot oranges to yield three ounces (85 grams) of bergamot essential oil. The bergamot orange plant is unrelated to the herbs known as bergamot, or wild bergamot. The herbs are in the mint family.
The scent of bergamot essential oil is similar to a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note. As a result, bergamot is a common component in perfume. The first record of it as a fragrance ingredient is 1714. The essential oil is a flavoring in Earl Grey tea. In fact, you can turn regular tea into Earl Grey by adding a drop of bergamot.
Bergamot Essential Oil History
There is a little disagreement on the origins of the name bergamot. The Greeks claim it is from a Turkish word meaning “the lord’s pear.” The Italians claim the name comes from the town of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy where the bergamot fruit was first sold.
It has been used since the sixteenth century as a remedy for fever and as an antiseptic. The ancient Italians used bergamot to cool and relieve fevers and to protect against malaria. Italians have also used bergamot to reduce feelings of stress and to soothe and rejuvenate skin. In Greece, the unripe fruits are used as sweetmeats, eaten by the spoonful as a dessert or with coffee.
Though the ripened fruit pulp is not generally eaten, the juice and peel are used for flavorings. Bergamot adds flavor to Turkish delight, baked goods, marmalade, and snus (a type of smokeless tobacco popular in Norway and Sweden).
Bergamot Essential Oil Uses
Recent Italian research finds bergamot essential oil has a variety of uses in aromatherapy application. It is also purifying and cleansing for the skin while having a calming effect. Bergamot is popular in massage therapy for its calming benefits.
- When stress levels or tension is high, diffusing bergamot can help aid relaxation.
- Apply topically to the skin while showering for its purifying skin benefits.
- Inhaling bergamot has a calming and soothing aroma.
- Apply to the feet before bedtime for a sense of calm and harmony.
- Add one to two drops to your next DIY skin care cleanser.
- Diffuse for a sense of self-confidence.
- Add one to two drops to your DIY skin care cleanser.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse bergamot essential oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
As with all essential oils, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep bergamot essential oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using bergamot oil. As with other citrus essential oils, avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying bergamot essential oil topically.