6 Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil, Plus Its Uses

Using bergamot essential oil aromatherapy or topically can help improve your mood, hair health, and skin.

Ready to add some bergamot essential oil to add to your wardrobe? (We promise we’re not trying to recruit you into another pyramid scheme.)

Bergamot oil is extracted from the fruit peel of bergamot orange trees (aka Citrus bergamia). If you like to sip Earl Gray tea, you’ve already enjoyed bergamot oil in a similar form.

But it’s also a sweet and pungent favorite in the essential oil world with many health benefits thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and pain-relieving properties.

Before you turn on your diffuser, let’s break down the benefits of using bergamot essential oil.

Although research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It is important to speak with your health care provider before you start using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

1. May Improve Mental Health

Inhale the bergamot, exhale the blues? Perhaps.

In a small 2017 study, participants who inhaled bergamot essential oil in a mental health center waiting room reported an increase in positive feelings. That said, the researchers pointed out that the small sample size and study limitations do not prove these findings.

In another small 2015 study involving 41 women in Japan, researchers found that inhaling bergamot reduced feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

A 2013 review echoed this finding, with scientists concluding that bergamot and other essential oils may be able to relieve depression, anxiety and mood disorders by signaling the brain to release hormones to well-being, serotonin and dopamine.

A 2019 review also concluded that inhaling bergamot can reduce stress compared to rest alone – but do not compared to placebo aromatherapy.

So we need more research to find out if bergamot can banish your bad mood for sure.

2. Could Fight Food Poisoning

Want to vomit after this takeaway? You may want to inhale bergamot.

Linalool is a compound found in bergamot that can help destroy certain types of bacteria that cause foodborne illness. (Fun fact: It is also used to add a floral scent to many of your favorite beauty and skincare products.)

In a 2016 study, researchers found that bergamot had “weak to strong effects” in stopping the growth of samples of diff bacteria that cause a common type of food poisoning.

A 2006 study, meanwhile, found that bergamot may be most effective at destroying specific strains of bacteria, including Staph, Listeria, and E. coli.

We might need more research before we can start sniffing bergamot to stop your sushi stomach, but it might be worth a try.

3. Lowers Cholesterol

Bergamot could also be a blessing for your heart health.

A 2016 review of several studies found that the flavonoids in bergamot may help lower lipid levels in the body, although researchers aren’t sure exactly why.

A 2018 animal study echoed this finding. Researchers found that bergamot may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the liver (but that was only for rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). We need more studies of people to be sure.

4. Reduces pain and inflammation

Linalool and carvacrol — compounds found in bergamot oil — appear to help decrease pain and inflammation. In a review of several studies in 2017, researchers found that both compounds had anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and analgesic effects when inhaled and applied directly to the skin.

Similarly, a 2019 review confirmed that bergamot appears to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and help wound healing.

The researchers pointed out that there could be potentially toxic effects of essential oils that we don’t yet know about, so stay tuned before you start inhaling them around the clock.

5. Hair health

Maybe they were born with – maybe it’s bergamot.

According to a 2019 review, bergamot essential oil promoted hair growth in animal studies. Although your hair is definitely different from a rat’s, it might be worth a try.

The anti-inflammatory and healing properties of the oil can also help soothe an itchy or irritated scalp. (Don’t apply it without a carrier oil – more on that later.)

Those who use it regularly in their hair care routine swear it softens hair and tames frizz and curls. Plus, your hair will smell like you rolled through a field of citrus wildflowers. 🌼

6. Skin health

According to a 2019 review, bergamot essential oil increases collagen content in the skin and decreases psoriasis plaques in animals. Just note that we don’t have enough human research to know for sure what the problem is.

Still, it might be worth adding a little bergamot to your skincare routine. Since many of the compounds in bergamot oil also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it could work as a spot treatment for acne or cysts, especially since it’s thought to help as well. to wound healing.

If you have psoriasis, sensitive skin, or another skin condition, check with your dermis first.


Ready to breathe bergamot? Try using it for aromatherapy in the following ways:

  • Broadcast. Fill your essential oil diffuser with purified water and add a few drops of bergamot essential oil. Always use a diffuser in a well-ventilated area away from pets.
  • Massage oil. Mix about 15-20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (like avocado, almond, or jojoba). Use as a soothing and fragrant body oil, perfect for massages.
  • Skin care. Add 2-5 drops of essential oil to your shower gel, shampoo or facial scrub for a refreshing pick-me-up.
  • DIY candles or air fresheners. Don’t have an essential oil diffuser? You can also add it to add a sweet floral aroma to homemade candles or air fresheners.
  • Clothes. Dab some on a bandana, scarf, or eye pillow (not the side that rests on your eyes) for a little relaxation while you’re on the go or at rest.

Pro tip: If you want to mix up a nice combo, bergamot goes particularly well with lavender, tea tree oil or chamomile.

For the skin

New zit, who say? Whether you have a new blemish or just want to keep your skin smooth and toned, bergamot can help. Here’s what to do:

  • Carrier oil blend. Mix bergamot with a carrier oil (like almond, jojoba, or grapeseed) and apply directly to acne, cysts, or blackheads. Leave it on overnight and cross your fingers – it just might work.
  • water or skin care mixed. Mix a few drops with water or your favorite cleanser to help relieve any redness or inflammation.

Since bergamot can increase skin sensitivity, you’ll want to avoid using the oil on your skin during the day. Like other citrus oils, it can make skin super sensitive to the sun.

For hair

Bergamot just might give hair commercial-grade softness. Here’s how to try it:

  • Shampoo. Add a few drops to your usual shampoo or conditioner. (Or both!)
  • Hair oil. Lots of people swear by hair oil, so why not try it with potentially hair growth-boosting bergamot? Mix 1-2 drops with a tablespoon of healthy hair carrier oil like coconut, argan, or avocado oil and use as an overnight treatment.
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