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Bergamot essential oil benefits

Essential oil

 

Bergamot essential oil is extracted by cold pressing the peel of the bergamot. This citrus fruit from the Calabria region of Italy is not edible. You can find it in “eau de Cologne” and in Earl Grey tea. Bergamot EO acts like a ray of sunshine to dispel gloom. In addition, it acts as a catalyst in blends with other oils.

 

You will essentially need it for:

  • Well-being (depression, stress)
  • Difficult digestion

Botanical

The bergamot tree, originally from Italy, is a tree that can grow up to 4m with smooth, oval green leaves and white, fragrant flowers. It is obtained by grafting a lemon tree and a wild orange tree. Its fruit, the bergamot, is a small citrus fruit that resembles a lemon, with a thick, yellow-green skin. When ripe, it weighs between 80 and 200 g maximum. Its use as an EO is common: this is the main reason for its cultivation.

 

chemistry illustrationComposition of Bergamot (zest) EO

  • Terpenic Esters: linalyle acetate(20-40%)– same as lavender ?
  • Monoterpenes: limonene (30-45%) and some alpha-pinenes
  • Monoterpenols (10-25%): linalol, nerol, geraniol, alpha-terpineol
  • Monoterpenic aldehydes (5%) : citrals
  • Coumarines and furocoumarines (5%) – photo-sensitive

 

Dangers and counter-indications of Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot is photosensitising (“sun reactive”) and is not recommended for use on the skin due to the risk of photosensitisation. However, it can be useful for the skin, in which case you should really remember not to expose yourself to the sun. If you do, it is preferably in the evening (use at 0.4% max.)

  • It is a potentially irritating EO (limonene, citral). Always perform an allergy test (limonene is classified as a potential allergen).
  • Children can use bergamot EO from 6 years of age onwards, and with caution by pregnant women over 5 months.
  • Contraindicated for people taking anticoagulant medication.
  • It has contraindicated for people who have to undergo surgery, as bergamot essence is a blood thinner.

Use sparingly on the skin.

Properties of Bergamot Essential Oil

health illustrationFor your health

Antispasmodic

The linalool contained in bergamot EO is involved in the contraction of smooth and striated muscles and calms spasms. The presence of linalyl acetate is also antispasmodic and sedative for the nervous system (like Chamomile and Fine Lavender)

Antibacterial, antiseptic

Linalool has bactericidal, antifungal and parasitical action. It is complemented by limonene, which also has bactericidal and antifungal properties, particularly when used as a vapour.

Carminative, digestive and laxative

Limonene promotes digestion in several ways:

  • It facilitates the absorption of nutrients
  • Stimulates the production of bile by the liver and its release into the intestine, thus improving the digestion of fats.
  • It accelerates all the muscular contractions that facilitate the movement of the contents of the digestive tract.

Finally, it has a carminative action, i.e. it favours the expulsion of intestinal gases, while reducing their production.

Bergamot is also known for its strong vermifuge property. This makes it a natural remedy against intestinal worms that can cause anaemia, especially in children.

position well beingFor your wellbeing

Soothing and sedative

Linalool and monoterpene esters have spasmolytic and anxiolytic properties. Linalool competes with certain neurotransmitters in the hippocampus, which help to regulate mood, lower blood pressure, limit the time it takes to fall asleep and ease tension. Chemically, bergamot has a lot in common with fine lavender.

Against depression:

Bergamot EO is rich in flavonoids which stimulate the secretion of serotonin and dopamine. Its content of Limonene and Pinene and thanks to their stimulating effect, can/

  • help improve blood circulation,
  • accelerate metabolism,
  • regulate hormonal secretions,
  • and thus relieve physical and mental fatigue and other symptoms of depression.

Against insomnia, stress and anxiety:

Given its sedative property, bergamot EO is highly recommended in aromatherapy against insomnia, stress and anxiety. It is also recommended to stimulate concentration and mental performance.

Other properties:

  • Nervous system regulator (ortho and parasympathetic)
  • Stimulating

energy illustrationFor your emotional well-being (energetic aromatherapy)

It is an EO that is associated with the solar chakra. In olfaction-therapy, it:

  • helps transform remorse into experience,
  • promotes acceptance and soothes resentment.
  • can help us to awaken our childlike soul when heaviness sets in.
  • increases the ability to concentrate and promotes self-confidence.
  • helps to alleviate fears, let go and recharge by slowing down the pace when we can no longer let go naturally.

 

Indications for Bergamot Essential Oil

dermal ALLOWEDDermal route

The skin

Bergamot EO is used in many creams and natural treatments for oily skin because it is useful:

  • to eliminate skin hyper-pigmentation and dark spots.
  • for acne.
  • for skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema (in these two cases, fine lavender seems more suitable), cellulite, and stretch marks (firming).
  • and seems to be effective against vitiligo (skin spots).

If you do so, dilute to 0.4% maximum, which is the limit from the IFRA recommendations.

You, too, can easily use it to create your own natural homemade deodorant that will give you a delightful scent and eliminate the bacteria that cause body odour.

Hair

The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of bergamot EO give it great power against a large number of problems that affect the scalp and lead to irritation, itching and dandruff (1 drop in your daily dose of shampoo… in the evening). For an additional anti-hair loss action: you can combine it with rosemary verbenone, ylang-ylang, sweet orange, or Atlas cedar.

 

internalOral route

  • Digestion (colitis, gas, bloating, difficult or slow digestion, colic, colitis, loss of appetite, digestive spasms, intestinal infections, lack of appetite, constipation – be careful, it is laxative),
  • infections (especially cystitis),
  • relaxation (relaxation, sleep),
  • and even cooking!

You can also use it for sore throats (one drop in a spoonful of honey, yum). Its antispasmodic action is useful against menstrual disorders.

In the case of digestive disorders:

1 drop 3 times a day in a teaspoon of olive oil or almond puree. Use it for a maximum of 7 days.

To flavour a dessert: add 1 to 2 drops in your preparation (custard, cheesecake, flan, waffles, pancakes…)

Remember that even when taken orally, an essential oil can be photo-sensitising, but to a lesser extent than when applied to the skin.

diffusionAtmospheric route

Useful for:

Nervous disorders: agitation, anxiety, anguish, depression, nervous fatigue, anger, lack of concentration, lassitude, hypersensitivity, resistance to letting go, insomnia of a nervous origin, difficulty falling asleep in children, nightmares, nervous fragility, lack of self-confidence, fears, stage fright.

It is really a useful EO for nervous system disorders: it brings hope and helps to be positive. And then, its smell is really delicious, both fresh and relaxing. It is happiness in a bottle! It plays an anxiolytic and calming role, so thanks to its soothing properties on the nervous system, you can use it to

  • dispel depression and anxiety,
  • boost morale and
  • revitalise.

 

For coping with depression, you have several options:

  • Put a few drops on your wrist and smell it from time to time.
  • Purify the air in your home (synergy preparation: 30 drops bergamot EO + 20 drops grapefruit or lemon EO).

 

Dry inhalation: to relax quickly, inhale bergamot EO from the bottle.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night: 2 to 3 drops on a handkerchief next to your pillow. This will help you fall asleep.

 

To make a relaxing synergy, you can also combine bergamot EO with true lavender, mandarin, sweet orange, exotic verbena.

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