Science Reports: Bergamot Essential Oil Appears Good for Just About Everything that Ails You…

Just published this month in “Frontiers in Pharmacology” is an in-depth look at research supporting Bergamot essential oil’s variety of potential health benefits: Anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuropsychological & neuroprotective, analgesic, and cardiovascular system supporting properties in laboratory research.*

The paper, entitled Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application notes in the abstract: “The aim of this review was to collect recent data from the literature on C. bergamia essential oil and, through a critical analysis, focus on safety and the beneficial effects on human health.” (1) *

By the way, want to encourage everyone to give Bergamot a try, so we’re offering a free 12ml bottle of our organic Italian Bergamot with every nebulizing diffuser purchased though the month of April! Easily qualify for free shipping too. See the details of this special here!

The botany of Bergamot: The tree produces Neroli from the flowers, Petitgrain from the leaves and Bergamot from the peels of the fruit.

Yes, Bergamot is one of our very favorite, most used essential oils in our entire collection. It’s great in a diffuser all by itself, particularly when it’s a truly outstanding oil with distinct, beautiful ‘sweet’ & ‘tart’ notes. We find, as the literature supports, it feels to have an uplifting and calming action.

For those whom may not know, the term ‘Bergamot’ is apparently derived from ‘Berga’, a Spanish city from where this bitter-orange fruit may have originated. The vast majority of Bergamot is now grown in coastal regions of Italy (where our Bergamot is sourced)…Like many of the citrus oils, Bergamot benefits from the soil and climate of the region, and your nose can certainly tell when the oil is of really high quality.

  • Bergamot’s Traditional Use and Its Anti-Microbial Activity

One crazy looking fruit, isn't it?

The authors go on to describe the essential oil’s historic applications: “In Italian folk medicine, it has been used primarily for fever and parasitic diseases, in addition to mouth, skin, respiratory and urinary tract infections, gonococcal infections, leucorrhoea, vaginal pruritus, tonsillitis, and sore throats (Pendino, 1998). For its antiseptic and antibacterial proprieties, BEO has been used as an antimicrobial agent to facilitate wound healing and has been included in preparations used to treat upper respiratory-tract disorders and hyperhidrosis.”

The researchers note several bacterial and fungal strains which the oil has been effective against, and has been successfully used both liquid and ‘vapor’ phases – the vapor phase being our nebulizing diffusers produce…a mist of just the pure essential oil, without water or heat to do so.

  • Bergamot’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The only study within this ‘meta’ research regarding Bergamot’s anti-inflammatory action was done on artificially-induced tissue swelling. Yes, Bergamot was shown effective, though we decided to dig a little deeper and found this research performed in 2011: “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines”(2). While the experiments were done “in the petri dish”. this is really cool stuff…why?

Because further experimentation could be done, with…yes, you guessed it, a nebulizing diffuser! Patients with this deadly illness may one day be inhaling Bergamot vapor in the comfort of their own homes, and feeling better. Also, it’s interesting to see how Bergamot reduced the inflammatory response…it actually changed the way a gene was expressed such that inflammatory molecules were not produced (though they were in the controls). That says a lot about how plants and animals interact…which we’ll leave to a whole other post!

  • Bergamot’s Anti-Cancer Activity In The Laboratory

Three studies were cited in the review, all indicated Bergamot can lead to cancer cell death via multiple pathways, with one describing that it was a combination of constituents, not one extracted alone from the oil, which had this effect. Just a couple of points here: 1- it seems there are a very wide variety of essential oils with anti-cancer activity, and more research needs to be done in this area…it appears that some oils are better against some cancer cell lines, and different oils better against others. We look forward to this growing area of study. 2 – In every study we’ve read where a single constituent of an essential oil has been tested for anything, it’s been a combination of natural constituents, or the whole oil itself which has produced the more significant effect. Bottom line: Mother nature knows best.

  • Neuropsychopharmacological and Neuroprotective Activities (think “Stress Relief”!)

We’ve actually reviewed some of this before – Bergamot, after Lavender, has the most data supporting its anti-anxiety properties. Study after study has shown that animals and humans have lowered stress response after exposure to Bergamot, frequently compared to Diazapam (Valium) it it’s reduction of “stress measurements” (corticosterone levels, for example), though it is not an oil that puts one to sleep – and gratefully, no addiction potential.

What’s NEW is the reporting of neuroprotective properties. Over-excitation (think “too much stress”) can be physically damaging to the nervous system. PRE-treatment with Bergamot prevented such damage from occurring. Two studies mentioned within the meta-data review have uncovered different bio-molecular pathways which this may occur.

Further, published in Phytoterapia, authors of “Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot”(3) begin their abstract with this statement, which we think says a lot: “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia, Risso) is a fruit most knowledgeable for its essential oil (BEO) used in aromatherapy to minimize symptoms of stress-induced anxiety and mild mood disorders and cancer pain though the rational basis for such applications awaits to be discovered.” They go on to state that exposure to Bergamot essential oil make affect the plasticity of the brain…making it more “flexible” in a way that patient may perceive as relief from the conditions under which the oil was utilized. We’ve interpreted it this way: Bergamot may help one manage stress like “water off a duck’s back”.

  • Bergamot’s Analgesic Effects

Three studies were noted which Bergamot produced ‘pain relieving’ effects. We looked at one of these studies more closely….in 2011, Japanese researchers found that Bergamot’s pain reduction potential (the pain was temporarily induced by capsaicin, the “hot” in “hot sauce”) was significantly reduced by the application of Bergamot.(4) Interestingly, the same pharmaceutical which stops opioids from working prevented Bergamot from producing its “antinociceptive” action (the reduced sensitivity to pain).

  • Bergamot and the Cardiovascular System

And on to the last of the promises that Bergamot may hold (for now)! Four papers were discussed regarding Bergamot’s effects on the cardiovascular system. There were two primary points: 1 – Bergamot affects physiological processes which could otherwise lead to angina or heart attack. and 2 – Pre-treatment with Bergamot limited inflammation, scar tissue production and oxidative radical formation in experimental models of angioplasty (coronary artery surgery).

Whew! Thank you for reading! We encourage you to do further research on how you can incorporate Bergamot essential oil into your daily aromatherapy routines. Its such a lovely oil – one where, when samples arrive from a new-season’s press of the oil, we anxiously get into the bottles to smell what the Earth and its plants have given us this time around!

* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References: 1) Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 36.Published online 2015 Mar 2. doi:  10.3389/fphar.2015.00036PMCID: PMC4345801 “Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application”. Authors: Michele Navarra, Carmen Mannucci, Marisa Delbò, and Gioacchino Calapai.

2) BMC Biochem. 2011; 12: 15.Published online 2011 Apr 15. doi:  10.1186/1471-2091-12-15PMCID: PMC3095539 “Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines”. Authors: Monica Borgatti, Irene Mancini, Nicoletta Bianchi, Alessandra Guerrini, Ilaria Lampronti, Damiano Rossi, Gianni Sacchetti, and Roberto Gambari.

3) Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Jan 20. “Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot”. Authors: Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombolà L, Amantea D, Russo R, Berliocchi L, Sakurada S, Sakurada T, Rotiroti D, Corasaniti MT.

4) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Jan;97(3):436-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.09.020. Epub 2010 Oct 13. “Intraplantar injection of bergamot essential oil induces peripheral antinociception mediated by opioid mechanism.” Sakurada T1, Mizoguchi H, Kuwahata H, Katsuyama S, Komatsu T, Morrone LA, Corasaniti MT, Bagetta G, Sakurada S.

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Science Finds Real Anxiety-Relief with Essential Oils: Relax with our Free De-Stress Kit, or Make Your Own Exquisite Perfume with our Rose, Sandalwood & Jasmine kit…

Five great 'everyday' essential oils in our Stress Relief Kit

Receive a free ‘Stress-Relief’ kit with all orders over $79…Our ‘Stress Relief Kit’, including some of the oils in the research review, or our ‘Attar’ Rose/Jasmine and Sandalwood ‘Extras’ natural perfume blend kit. Free shipping is available to all first time customers, and with every order over $99 (see our Specials page for details).

The Science of Aromatherapy: Research Says Essential Oils Lower Stress

Here’s a review of the data that essential oils can lower cortisol levels and other signs of stress. We’re not surprised, of course, but it sort of makes us want to try all the ‘relaxing’ oils, and see what we like best.

Try Our Free Stress-Relief Kit and See What You Think!

This kit includes therapeutic grade essential oils of Clary SageSweet OrangeBergamotLavender and Geranium…some of our all-time favorite oils for reducing stress.

In a previous post, we’d presented the scientific research on several of these oils, showing that by simply inhaling their aromas, anxiety levels were significantly reduced. These are great oils for a diffuser, the bath, or just inhaling from the bottle…any way you want to use them!

Your kit of 5mls of each of these oils will be included with any order over $79 simply by requesting “Stress Relief Kit” in the comments box. We’ll add them to you order, free, “officially” here at the store when we process your order.

Or you can pick…

The Rose/Jasmine/Sandalwood ‘Extra’ Attar Blend Kit

These fine natural perfumery ingredients can be free with your next order!

You’ll receive 5ml’s each of our incredible Rose, Sandalwood and Jasmine ‘Extras’ (at 10% in mct coconut the BEST carrier oil for natural perfumes!), along with a 5ml UV-Proof Miron Glass mixing bottle and dropper for creating your very own incredible blends, with ANY order overy $79. Basing the floral aroma of your choice in Sandalwood is called an ‘Attar’, a classic blending of phenomenal personal perfumes!!!

What’s an ‘Extra’? This denotes a blend of rose (or sandalwood, or jasmine) in one bottle…which is found to bring out ALL the brilliant notes within that family of oils. Have you tried it? Mix one or more Rose oils oils together, and you’ll get something more amazing than either of the two oils alone.

The Rose Absolute ‘Extra’ contains Rose absolute oil from both Bulgaria and Morocco. The Sandalwood ‘Extra’ contains ‘Royal Hawaiian’ Sandalwood, and both Indian and New Caledonian Sandalwoods. And our Jasmine Absolute ‘Extra’ blends both Jasmine grandiflorum (day blooming) and Jasmine sambac (night blooming) oils. Yummy!

PLUS, we’ve included a 5ml mixing bottle from Miron Glass of Switzerland. It is completely UV-light proof, and is though to even enhance the energy of natural health products within it.

So, How Do You Blend Your Own Perfume???

Really, it’s a matter of taste. MANY users will love just the Roses or the Jasmines by themselves. Others will enjoy a blend of either or both of the floral absolutes with the Sandalwood, which is the classic ‘Attar’.

For example, to make an ‘Attar’, one could use about 1/4th or 1/5th Rose or Jasmine, with 3/4ths or 4/5ths Sandalwood. In this way, both the floral scent that you choose, as well as the Sandalwood, slowly release their incredible scents over time.

Try just a few drops of each at first to really see what you like, and experiment from there!

Thank you for reading, and enjoy!


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Free with Your Next Order: Our Awesome ‘Stress-Relief’ Kit!

This kit includes therapeutic grade essential oils of Clary Sage, Sweet Orange, Bergamot, Lavender and Geranium…some of our all-time favorite oils for reducing stress.

Get these five stress-relieving essential oils free with your next order!

In our previous post, we’d presented the scientific research on several of these oils, showing that by simply inhaling their aromas, anxiety levels were significantly reduced.

Your kit of 5mls of each of these oils will be included with any order over $79 simply by requesting “Stress Relief Kit” in the comments box. We’ll add them to you order, free, “officially” here at the store when we process your order. There’s free shipping for all first time customers, and for all orders over $99, too! See our Specials and free shipping page for all the details.

The kit includes the following essential oils:

Clarify your mind with Clary Sage.

Clary Sage

1. Clary Sage is warming, sedative, an excellent nerve tonic, and can induce feelings of mild euphoria in some individuals. It is thought enhance one’s ability to dream. Clary Sage oil is a tonic for one’s overall well-being, and is ideal for use on a regular basis in baths or as a perfume. As Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt notes in Advanced Aromatherapy, “Clary Sage impresses with its aroma. When applied to the wrists or temples, it is relaxing in a gentle, effective manner.”

 

In a previous post reviewing the research of anti-anxiety essential oils, we’d noted this study, titled: “Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-htp) and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil.” A group of twenty-two 50+ year old women in menopause were tested for their levels of depression. They were then seperated into two groups. For both groups: “After inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased while 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP) concentration was significantly increased.” And self-depression scores dropped dramatically. Good stuff!

Orange Essential Oil

Sweet Oranges

2. Sweet Orange is citrusy and brightly fragrant, lending itself to uplifting the emotions and the mind. Rather than stimulating, the overall effect is calming, and can act as an antidepressant. It is considered warming, cheering, soothing, and may bring balance to the nervous system and emotions.

 

Sweet Orange is wonderful with kids, as they enjoy the aroma, perhaps more than they would that of Lavender. In published research, children who inhaled Sweet Orange before visiting the dentist had significantly lower levels of cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) as well as pulse rate, with the authors concluding: “It seems that the use of aromatherapy with natural essential oil of orange could reduce salivary cortisol and pulse rate due to child anxiety state.”

Bergamot Fruit

Bergamot

3. Bergamot is foremost considered a miraculous neuro-tonic, and a powerful helper against depression caused by fatigue, or unreleased tensions and frustrations. As noted by Gabriel Mojay in ‘Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit‘, “Bergamot oil’s psychological action depends on its ability to disperse stagnant Chi. This condition can manifest as tension, irritability, and frustration, and if never released or processed, can eventually lead to depression…Bergamot helps us to relax and let go.”

 

“Bergamot essential oil…is used widely in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety despite limited scientific evidence. A previous study showed that BEO significantly increased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in rat hippocampus, suggesting potential anxiolytic properties.” That alone gets you thinking you might need some!

The study goes on to note that Bergamot oil significantly reduced actions which indicate stress, and was compared to diazapam in its activity. Diazepam is a well-know anxiolytic drug. The authors have written in conclusion:”both BEO and diazepam exhibited anxiolytic-like behaviours and attenuated HPA axis activity by reducing the corticosterone response to stress.”

lavender essential oil

Lavender in bloom

4. Lavender essential oil is regarded as both calming and regenerating. It’s a profound effect, as our bodies need to be relieved of stress in order to heal, and lead healthy lives in general. The sweet smell alone bestows calm on folks of all ages; from the little ones all wound up when it’s time for bed, to the wizened generation whom may be recovering from illness or loss. It has done the same for many creatures in university laboratory studies.

 

And this effect may be the most simple to produce, too. For personal use, you only need to inhale deeply from a bottle, or dab a couple drops on your wrists to get a little whiff of the scent now and then. There are several styles of essential oil diffusers available which release aroma into the air. Almost every one will work for stress reduction; it just takes a hint of Lavender in the air to have its effect – the scent needn’t be so strong that those not expecting become distracted by the aroma.

See our recent post reviewing four studies on the anti-anxiety and sleep-supportive effects of Lavender here.

Geranium

5. Geranium essential oil is harmonic and balancing, and is suggested for relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and that feeling of “being stuck”. Geranium can help you feel refreshed, relaxed, and able to face matters with more optimism. Geranium essential oil has the quality of equalizing hormonal and emotional extremes. Known familiarly as the ‘flower of constancy’, Geranium helps to lift the spirits and helps to bring joy and happiness to one’s daily activity.

 

With you kit, you will receive a 5ml bottle of each of these wonderful essential oils with your order of $79 or more! Just enter ‘Anti-Anxiety’ kit in the comments box of the checkout page.

 


 

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