Bergamot essential oil is one commonly used in aromatherapy. Extracted from the peel of the bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia), bergamot oil has a light citrus scent with floral notes that are said to have healing properties.
Commonly used in aromatherapy to elevate mood and alleviate stress, bergamot oil is said to have properties similar to grapefruit essential oil in that it is antiseptic, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving). Some practitioners will add bergamot oil to water for use as a health tonic.
Bergamot oil is also used as a food flavouring agent and provides Earl Grey tea its distinctive citrus notes.
Practitioners of aromatherapy believe that inhaling essential oils or absorbing the through the skin transmits signals to the limbic system, the region of the brain that regulates emotions and memories, Doing so can induce physiological effects, including a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration and an increase in the "feel-good" hormone serotonin and dopamine.
Bergamot oil can also as a nasal decongestant when inhaled and an antibacterial agent when applied to the skin.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Food poisoning
- High cholesterol
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Non-arthritic joint pain
Bergamot oil has long been touted for its antibacterial and antifungal effects, with some proponents suggesting that not only treats skin infections but those affecting the mouth and digestive tract.
With that being said, a 2019 study in the Open Food Source Journal reported that bergamot oil is able to neutralize Staphylococcus aureus (a common bacteria associated with everything from pimples to life-threatening sepsis) at concentrations of 27 micrograms per millilitres (µg/mL). At this concentration, bergamot oil is likely safe and possibly effective in preventing minor skin infections.
Essential oils should be stored in a cool, dry room away from direct sunlight, ideally in their original light-resistant bottles. They also keep well in the refrigerator.
If an essential oil accidentally freezes, let it come gradually to room temperature. Do not try to heat it. Essential oils are flammable and have different flashes points by which they can ignite.
Even though essential oils have a long shelf life, you should discard any that have become cloudy, smell funny, or have thickened in consistency. Always keep the cap screwed on tightly to prevent oxidation or evaporation.
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