Bergamot is one of my favorite essential oils. If you’re not on the bergamot train yet, my goal is that you will be after reading this post!
You’re going to learn:
- What bergamot actually is, where it comes from, and some interesting facts about its historical use
- The super-common product that uses bergamot that you probably already have
- The many benefits of this citrus-scented essential oil
- How you can use it for your DIY essential oil projects
- Safety precautions for bergamot essential oil
- And more!
Bergamot is just so useful. If it’s not a regular member of your storage box yet, it should be. Here’s why:
What is Bergamot Essential Oil?
Bergamot is a citrus fruit common in Europe and tropical areas. Commercially, it’s primarily grown in the Calabria region of Italy. It’s sometimes called a bergamot orange even though it has more of a lemon-y taste, except sweeter.
You’ve probably already had a bergamot product before without even knowing it: the difference between standard black tea and Earl Gray is the addition of bergamot! Black tea becomes what we call “Earl Gray” tea once bergamot has been added. Aside from tea, people make all kinds of interesting things using bergamot, including jams, marmalades, vinaigrettes, and more.
Of course, our favorite variety of bergamot is its essential oil form! Like most citrus essential oils, bergamot essential oil is cold pressed. Sometimes called cold expression, this method differs from steam distillation in that a powerful machine is used to crush the rinds of the fruit. Oils rise to the surface of the liquid produced by doing so, and that’s skimmed off to produce the oil.
Bergamot has many more benefits than you might think!
Let’s explore a few now.
The Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil
In my opinion, bergamot oil should be right up there with lavender, peppermint, rosemary, or any of the other “must haves.” If you’ve found that other citrus essential oils were too powerful or bitter for your preferences (such as lemon or grapefruit), bergamot is a somewhat more demure alternative.
Besides, it’s darn useful. Here’s just a few things it can do for you…
Relieve Head & Neck Tension
There are plenty of benefits to discuss, but I’ll start with one of my favorite uses for bergamot essential oil: it’s a powerful tool to reduce head and neck tension.
If you’re worried about taking too much aspirin, bergamot essential oil is a wonderful way to relieve your tension. The easiest and most relaxing way to calm your nerves is to run it through your diffuser while resting with your eyes closed—about ten minutes of this and you should start feeling better. If you can’t use a diffuser because you’re at work or school, try using a portable diffuser or simply put a few drops into a clean hand towel.
All right, this sounds a little gross, but the components of bergamot essential oil can stimulate your body to increase hormonal secretions. In other words components like limonene and alpha-pinene make it easier for your stomach to produce “digestive juices.” In addition to these hormonal effects, bergamot essential oil also helps to maintain an already healthy blood pressure.
So what does that mean for you? These combined attributes can really knock out the occasional tummy ache!
It’s not just because of its great citrusy-fresh smell of bergamot that it’s an exceedingly common ingredient in lotions, creams, and soaps—it’s also quite good for your skin. Another active component of bergamot called cicatrizant can help make the pigmentation of your skin become more even, thus “blending” away marks. It can even help reduce the visibility of scars and other hard-to-remove blemishes.
Note: be sure to read the “safety precautions” section of this post—bergamot and other citrus essential oils can cause photosensitivity when applied topically (i.e., you can sunburn a lot easier). Use with caution!
Bergamot doesn’t just smell fresh, it also has disinfectant properties that make it an excellent odor remover. It’s a quick solution when you have an unwanted pet stain or simply just to keep your closet smelling fresh and free of odor.
For smelly stains, I prefer to use it in a 4oz spray bottle. Add 1 ounce of witch hazel or vodka, 3 ounces of distilled water, and 10 drops of bergamot essential oil.
Bergamot Diffuser Recipes for Calm, Mental Focus, and Seasonal Discomfort
Bergamot essential oil is a fantastic addition to your homemade diffuser blends. It pairs extremely well with most oils in the minty or menthol categories like peppermint or eucalyptus. It can also add an uplifting note to popular and beneficial oils like lavender or frankincense.
(Speaking of lavender essential oil, you should definitely check this out!)
Here’s one of my favorite diffuser blends with bergamot to promote feelings of calm after a long day:
- 3 drops bergamot
- 2 drops frankincense
- 2 drops lavender
Citrus, when paired with peppermint or other “fresh” essential oils, can help you get your mental edge back when you’re working or studying. I love to run this little blend through the diffuser on my desk in my office:
- 2 drops bergamot
- 3 drops peppermint
- 2 drops rosemary
Seasonal discomforts that to crop up during the spring months when birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the pollen levels are through the roof. This powerful little blend clears me right up:
Breathe-Easy Bergamot Blend:
- 3 drops bergamot
- 3 drops peppermint
- 3 drops eucalyptus
- 1 drop lavender
That’s just a small sampling of all the different ways bergamot can be used in your DIY diffuser blends. If you’re looking to experiment, remember that bergamot pairs well with other citrus essential oils (like wild orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit) as well as any essential oil with a denser aroma that you want to uplift, like frankincense or lavender.
Also, I can’t help but mention that I love pairing bergamot essential oil with many of the “woodsy” oils, like cypress, white fir, or sandalwood.
Bergamot Essential Oil Safety Precautions
Bergamot essential oil is, like most essential oils, generally quite safe when used responsibly.
The biggest thing you need to be aware of is that like most citrus oils, bergamot essential oil can cause photosensitivity. This means that if you’ve used this oil topically (e.g., in a lotion), it can cause you to sunburn more easily than you would otherwise. Avoid getting too much sun when using bergamot essential oil, especially immediately after application and/or if you’re in a hot climate.
For most, the oil is a non-irritant, though as with any essential oil you’re applying topically use a small amount first, usually on the back of the hand, to ensure your skin doesn’t have a negative reaction.
Are You Ready for Bergamot?
I think bergamot is a fine addition to anyone’s essential oil collection, especially if you’re looking to branch out into “less common” citrus essential oils. Bergamot has a fresh, sweet, one-of-a-kind aroma and I can’t recommend it enough.
How have you used bergamot in your DIY projects? Do you enjoy it in your diffuser? Let us know in the comments below!