Q: Hey Joelle! Welcome back from your holiday! As most of us get back into the busy pre-Christmas season, chances are stress is running high! So we wanted to check in with you about Bergamot, and how it can help programme the neurotransmitters in our skin to achieve great benefits for the mind. Shall we start?
A: Hey! It's great to be back! Yea! How can I help?
Q: Could you give us a bit of background about Bergamot?
Bergamot Essential Oil is adored by many for its floral tones and fresh aroma; and is derived from the Citrus bergamia fruit.
Q: Cool! So, aside from a range of skincare benefits, the essential oil is known to help facilitate sleep, reduce pain and also aid in reducing stress and anxiety, but how exactly does it do that?
A: Here are 3 scientific studies on how bergamot oil can aid in relaxation:
1. Bergamot reduces anxiety
A study by Ni et al (2013) that investigated the ability of aromatherapy to decrease preoperative anxiety in patients awaiting to undergo ambulatory surgery, found that patients who were exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy showed a significant reduction in preoperative anxiety in comparison to the control group. The authors suggest bergamot oil may exert anxiolytic effects by reducing corticosterone levels.
2. Bergamot reduces cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate
Several studies by Chang and Shen (2011); Liu et al (2013), Seo (2009) and Peng et al (2009) measured stress response, heart rate and blood pressure from a range of trial subjects before and after administration of bergamot oil, and found these parameters to be significantly lower after administration. Another study by Watanebe et al (2015) sought to investigate the clinical evidence of physiological effects of the essential oil. By measuring salivary cortisol in 41 women, the researchers found that inhalation of bergamot essential oil with water vapor significantly reduced salivary cortisol levels, in a relatively short time.
3. Bergamot reduces pain and some symptoms of depression
A study by Chang et al (2008) investigated the effect of essential oils on pain, depression and anxiety in 58 hospice patients with terminal cancer, found that aromatherapy hand massage using bergamot essential oil significantly decreased pain and depression levels on the patients.
Q: Awesome! So what is the one thing we should takeway?
A: The one thing you should remember is that bergamot oil can aid in the reduction of anxiety, stress and pain, which all contribute to an overall relaxed state and improved mood. Try to use it in your routine, and monitor your mood!
Any questions, feel free to drop us a line!
Chang, S., 2008. Effects of Aroma Hand Massage on Pain, State Anxiety and Depression in Hospice Patients with Terminal Cancer. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 38(4), p.493.
Liu, S., Lin, T. and Chang, K., 2013. The Physical Effects of Aromatherapy in Alleviating Work-Related Stress on Elementary School Teachers in Taiwan. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, pp.1-7.
Lizarraga‐Valderrama, L., 2020. Effects of essential oils on central nervous system: Focus on mental health. Phytotherapy Research, 35(2), pp.657-679.
Ni, C., Hou, W., Kao, C., Chang, M., Yu, L., Wu, C. and Chen, C., 2013. The Anxiolytic Effect of Aromatherapy on Patients Awaiting Ambulatory Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, pp.1-5.
Peng, S., Koo, M. and Yu, Z., 2009. Effects of Music and Essential Oil Inhalation on Cardiac Autonomic Balance in Healthy Individuals. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(1), pp.53-57.
Sakurada, T., Mizoguchi, H., Kuwahata, H., Katsuyama, S., Komatsu, T., Morrone, L., Corasaniti, M., Bagetta, G. and Sakurada, S., 2011. Intraplantar injection of bergamot essential oil induces peripheral antinociception mediated by opioid mechanism. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 97(3), pp.436-443.
ScienceDaily. 2021. 'Anxiety cells' identified in the brain's hippocampus: Neuroscientists have found, in mice, that certain cells fire when the animal is anxious, triggering anxiety-related behaviors. [online] Available at: <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180131133345.htm> [Accessed 20 May 2021].
Seo, J., 2009. The Effects of Aromatherapy on Stress and Stress Responses in Adolescents. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 39(3), p.357.
Watanabe, E., Kuchta, K., Kimura, M., Rauwald, H., Kamei, T. and Imanishi, J., 2015. Effects of Bergamot (<b><i>Citrus bergamia</i></b> (Risso) Wright & Arn.) Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Mood States, Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity, and Salivary Cortisol Levels in 41 Healthy Females. Complementary Medicine Research, 22(1), pp.43-49.