Bergamot Healing Properties
Of all the essential oils I’ve looked, at since beginning my science of aromatherapy journey, Bergamot essential oil seems to be the one with the most research to support Bergamot as a Healing Essential Oil. Here are some of the claims we found at aRicherMe that are supported by rigorous scientific studies about the health benefits of Bergamot.
- Lowers cholesterol (click to see one study)
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Promotes Hair Growth (see my article on the topic)
- Skin health – increases skin collagen content and decreases psoriasis (according to animal studies)
- May improve mental health
- May fight off food poisoning
Now let’s go through each one of these one at a time.
Bergamot Lowers Cholesterol, really?
Bergamot health benefits include lowering Cholesterol seems to one of the wildest claims to make of any essential oil. But, if you make a little trip over to WebMD, you’ll find a long list of studies on the health benefits of bergamot essential oil, starting with how it helps lower cholesterol.
In an article by Simone Perna, and Daniele Spadaccini, Leonardo Botteri and et al, published by the National Institutes of Health they studies the benefits of bergamot and made these observations.
- Bergamot-derived extract, juice, essential oil, and polyphenolic fraction can help people with cardiovascular diseases, bone diseases, inflammatory diseases, skin diseases, mood alteration, anxiety, pain, and stress.
- Bergamot essential oil can be taken orally by humans to help control cholesterol levels.
- Scientists did tests on rats using bergamot essential oil. The results showed that this oil might help control blood sugar levels in people.
- Bergamot essential oil (BEO) makes bones stronger and decreases psoriatic plaques which help hair grow on animals.
- Bergamot juice has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in humans. These would impact Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases
Lipid Lowering Qualities of Bergamot
When we talk about Lipid lowering qualities we know that Statins are the most common lipid-lowering drugs, but they may cause adverse effects and residual cardiovascular risk remains despite their well-established therapeutic benefits. The use of other lipid-lowering drugs and nutraceuticals alone or as add-on lipid-modifying therapy can be an option in such cases. However, several studies have reported health-related properties of Citrus fruits, among which bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) differs from others by a particularly high content of certain compounds. This natural supplement may lead to effective lipid-lowering treatment. Its lipid-lowering activity is attributed to different flavonoids; however, the mechanisms involved remain unclear. More research is definitely needed to see how Bergamot can be used to help lower Cholesterol and why.
Christina Blanchard-Horan, PhD
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Endocrine System and Bergamot
Studying the use of Bergamot Essential Oil to understand the impact on endocrine, physiological and psychological effects of Bergamot Essential Oil Vapor use.
The endocrine aka Hormone system
The endocrine system is most commonly known for its function of releasing hormones into the human body. The endocrine system is made up of various hormones that regulate how you grow and develop from birth to adulthood as well as into old age. Some examples include estrogens, which cause female sexual development, including puberty and menopause;
Androids/Testosterone -a hormone produced by the testicles responsible for male characteristics like sex drive or emotionality. The thyroid gland also secretes two main types: thyroxine (used primarily during early childhood)and triiodothyronine(felt most prominent in your 20’s). These chemicals stimulate all cells within our bodies while controlling biological processes.
Stress and Bergamot
Bergamot essential oil (BEO) is commonly used against psychological stress and anxiety in aromatherapy. The primary aim of the study was to obtain the first clinical evidence for these psychological and physiological effects. They also wanted to gain some fundamental understanding of the relevant pharmacological processes.
To determine the effects of bergamot essential oil on health, the researchers had 41 healthy women into groups, one with water vapor and rest, and another with water vapor, rest, and bergamot essential oil for 15 minutes. They were tested using a randomized crossover study design.
Immediately after each setup, saliva samples were collected and the volunteers rested for 10 min. Subsequently, they completed questionnaires, the Profile of Mood States, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Fatigue Self-Check List. ,
Sleeping Better with Bergamot
On study (cited below), showed that Bergamot can also be used to improve sleep quality. The study focused on pregnant women with sleep disorders. Results showed that aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium essential oil significantly enhances sleep quality in pregnant women with sleep disorders.
Freshteh, Moradi, and Azin Niazi et al did a study on “The Impact of Aromatherapy with Citrus Aurantium Essential Oil on Sleep Quality in Pregnant Women with Sleep Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial”
Bergamot and Mental Health Improvement
One study published by the NIH examined people waiting in a mental health treatment center. These scientists did a pilot study (that’s like a test study) to see if there was a reason to explore their theory further. The theory is that using bergamot aromatherapy would have an impact on their experience. If they learn there was an effect, then a bigger study would tell if their results are the same every time the experiment is done – replicable results. Then we can assume it is true that there is an impact. Okay, I digress.
Bergamot and Hair Growth
There was not a lot of solid science produced on this topic. But, one study shaved mice and applied a mixture of bergamot and got a significate difference when compared to a control group.
They reported, “Compared with control group, the extract from bergamot and boxthorn increases the activity of superoxide dismutase (p < 0.05), the content of collagen (p < 0.001) of skin and the growth of hair (p < 0.001).”
How Can Chemicals Affect the Endocrine System?
Given we know that essential oils have an impact on some endocrine systems. One might also assume that not only chemicals but also essential oils applied to the body or inhaled would potentially impact the Endocrine system, to encourage or disrupt the flow of estrogen, progestin or testosterone. I propose that we should be conducting research to understand how organic essential oils might provide natural support for endocrine health, especially as pertains to diabetics and women in menopause.
In summary, Bergamot is an important tool for maintaining health. It has been used for a number of purposes from anxiety to hair loss. Taking a more careful look in the future, we will investigate this and other essential oils in this blog, along with posts on yoga meditation and aromatherapy practice.