Today’s featured essential oil is an exquisite citrus that has a front-row seat
in my oil cabinet for it’s
uplifting and antidepressant properties.
And quite frankly, who couldn’t use a little of that?
Essential Oil of Bergamot
Citrus bergamiaBergamot fruit harvested and ready for the production of essential oil.
This blog post was updated for accuracy and relevance on October 21, 2022.
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My Personal Connection to Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is one of my favorite essential oils. It not only smells divine but lifts a heavy heart and brings in positive energy. I love to diffuse Bergamot during the dark grey winter days here in Pennsylvania. Its bright refreshing aroma really lifts the spirits! Citrus oils tend to be very affordable, but this one is a little costlier – and worth every penny!
Note: Don’t confuse this oil with the herb Bergamot, aka Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) (that is why we study plant nomenclature).
Geographical Source: Bergamot is grown almost exclusively in the southern tip of Italy. (Another reason I adore it).
Plant Part: The essential oil is expressed from the rind of the nearly ripe fruit. The fruit is pretty much inedible and grown specifically for the essential oil that is formed in the zest.
Bergamot Essential Oil Characteristics: This essential oil has an exquisite fresh fruity aroma with floral undertones. The color of the oil is usually a light greenish-yellow color which tends to fade with age, especially when exposed to light. Don’t buy bergamot that is brownish. It is old and probably highly oxidized, making it unsafe for topical use.
Chemical Families: Monoterpenes, Monoterpenols, Esters
Therapeutic Properties of Bergamot Essential Oil
• Strong antiseptic and antispasmodic qualities.
• Very helpful in skin care for acne, oily skin, and boils.
• Sedative for anxiety.
• Support for digestive problems. Has an antispasmodic action on the colon.
Suggested Applications for Bergamot Essential Oil
If you’ve got stress and depression, get a bottle of Bergamot right away! It is wonderful at giving an emotional lift and is calming for the CNS (central nervous system). It is the essential oil I always recommend for anxiety.
• Bath: 3-5 drops, mixed with 1 oz carrier oil (excellent with Lavender).
• Massage Oil: great on the abdomen for muscle spasms.
• Add to any blend for an uplifting, antidepressant effect.
Bergamot Blends Well With these Essential Oils
The aroma of Bergamot is lovely and complex and can easily stand on its own. Nevertheless, it’s also nice mixed with other essential oils like Geranium, Clary Sage, Frankincense or Ylang Ylang.
Bergamot Essential Oil Recipe
Bergamot is high in components from the Ester Chemical Family making it a great selection for cramps and spams. I created this blend for menstrual cramps. It is both anti-spasmodic and relaxing, just what is needed at this delicate time of the month.
Relax the Menstrual Cramps Blend
- 8 drops Bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia)
- 4 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil (Chamaemelum nobile)
- 4 drops Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 2 drops Cypress essential oil (Cupressus sempervirens)
- 1 fl oz/30 mL Jojoba carrier oil (wax)
- 1 fl oz/30 mL flip-top bottle
Directions: Fill the bottle 3/4 way with the Jojoba then add the essential oils. Top off with more carrier. Massage this soothing blend into the lower abdomen and lower back as often as needed to settle the cramping.
Subtle Properties of Bergamot (vibrational and energetic):
Bergamot resonates with the fourth chakra, opening the heart and allowing love to radiate. This is the essential oil I grab when wanting to help someone ease the pain of grief (as well as Rose which also resonates with the heart). Bergamot not only brings in happy, positive energy, but it also supports the release of repressed emotion.
Bergamot Essential Oil in Perfumery and Tea
Bergamot is used extensively by perfumers and is one of the ingredients in the original and famous eau de Cologne. It is also used in the production of Earl Grey tea. The word “bergamot” can be pronounced with a hard “t” or silent “t”. I prefer the latter since that was how I learned to pronounce it when I lived in Italy (bear-guh-moh).
Important Safety Information about Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is a highly phototoxic essential oil which means it can react with sunlight causing burning, discoloration, and skin damage. This is due to the fuorocomponent called “bergaptene”. You can find Bergamot essential oil without the bergaptene under the label “FCF Bergamot.” If you’re not using FCF Bergamot, please avoid direct sunlight or tanning beds for 12-24 hours after applying Bergamot to the skin.
A few years ago when I was introducing this essential oil to a class, a student suddenly exclaimed, “Well that explains a lot!” She proceeded to pull up the long sleeves of her shirt to show the class the long black streaks on the inside of her arms. Two years earlier while on a cruise, she rubbed Bergamot essential oil on her arms without diluting it in a carrier first, then went outside in the sun. She was left with permanent dark skin discolorations!
My Aromatic Wisdom SoulCollage Card for Bergamot
I dance the light fandango and trip the light fantastic!
I fill the scary dark places with light.
I open your Heart Chakra, allowing joy to radiate.
I soothe your wounded heart and ease your grief.
I transport you to Italy and fill you with the energy of your beloved Eternal City.
Where to Buy Essential Oils and Carriers
Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – with GC/MS reports
Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – without GC/MS reports
- Tisserand and Young, Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014)
- Lawless, Julia The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (London: Harper Thorsons, 2013)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Grey_tea (accessed 10/21/22)
Hiya! I’m here via UBC, and LOVE bergamot! I had no idea it uplifted the ol’ spirit, so I am happy to learn this information 🙂 Thank you so much!
I know! Isn’t it great that something that smells to lovely is also anti-depressant! Thanks for stopping by Eyenie!
Thanks for this summary, Liz! I’m off to put some Bergamot in my diffuser right now, and sharing your post in my Essential Oils group!
I love essential oils! I love the way you layed out this information:-) I’ll be back. xoxo
Wow Liz, you covered this great oil from every angle! I love all the channels you engage in your profiles and your Soul Collage Cards. I wish I lived closer so I could take that class! Soooo creative:)
Thanks Terry! I wish we lived closer too! Thanks so much stopping by!
Thanks for the lovely write up Liz. I’m hoping that you would be willing to share what the pros and cons are of using unaltered bergamot EO, versus FCF or steam distilled bergamot? Really, I’m wanting to learn about these distinctions with regards to all phototoxic citrus oils. Thank you very sincerely! Angie