Bergamot appears good for just about everything that ails you + Share and get some for free :)

Share The Ananda Apothecary, Get Italian Bergamot Free w/Your Next Order! Read on for instructions, and the Science of Bergamot EO…

Everyone in the essential oil world knows the best Bergamot is from Italy, where the soil is rich and the coastal climate mild.

Receive 10ml of our fine Italian Bergamot with your next order by 'sharing' Ananda on Facebook, Google +1 or other social network.

We’ve used Bergamot from many countries around the world, and even many sources in Italy, and the one’s we’ve brought in are downright fantastic.

Want to try some? Simply share The Ananda Apothecary with your friends, and we’ll include 10ml’s of Italian Bergamot with your next order. See this “Bergamot Share” post, or our Sales and Specials page for the details.

The Science of Bergamot Essential Oil

Recently published 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) *

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

Bergamot is grown for its essential oil only ~ the fruit itself is too bitter for any other use!

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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5 studies concluding ingesting Lavender capsules safe & effective (and they’re easily made at home!)

A series of five studies has positively evaluated the safety and efficacy of 80mg (about 3 drops) of Lavender essential oil ingested in a capsule per day.

Researchers conclude Lavender essential oil resulted in significantly better sleep, relief from anxiety ~ and one study in this series notes Lavender use “pronounced antidepressant effect and improved general mental health and health-related quality of life”.

The formulation studied is simply 3 drops of pure lavender in a gel capsule, which is easily made at home. Buy yourself empty gelatin or cellulose capsules, and use a small dropper (removing any orifice reducer from your bottle first) and add 3 drops in a capsule.

All of our Lavenders are from Lavendula angustifolia, the species highest in Linalool and Linalyl Acetate, considered in this research the most 'active ingredients'.

We have found better results when taking this on an empty stomach, and only a little bit of burping-up lavender when taken with food.

These studies appear validate the anti-anxiety and sleep supportive nature of Lavender essential oil in general, as other studies have noted when the oil was inhaled or applied via massage. Lavender oil both diffused and topically applied are actually absorbed in the bloodstream. We think it is very interesting you don’t have to smell it to work. (Scroll down to see the studies and the researcher’s conclusions for each).

Briefly…here’s an awesome way to try our best lavender:

Wild Lavender is in our exquisite Sampler Set, available free with your next order.

Little did we know that science would confirm: smelling the flowers reduces your stress! A great reason to get this ultimate floral sampler set is free with any order over $99 now through November 7th.

This week we’re offering our exquisite floral essential oil and absolute sampler set free with all orders over $99. Simply note ‘sampler set’ in the comments box at checkout (and get free shipping too with coupon code ‘free-ship’) and we’ll include these with your order:

This awesome sampler set includes 2ml each of Neroli, Rose and Jasmine at a potent 10% concentration in MCT coconut ~ the BEST carrier oil for natural perfumes, and wild French Lavender and organic Roman Chamomile at 100% strength. This makes them all ready to inhale/wear/enjoy direct from the bottle. (Note that our Neroli, Rose and Jasmine available for purchase are 100% pure…the 10% dilution makes offer possible, and there’s no joy in the aromas!)

See the details on our Sales and Specials page here. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming :) …

…And, back to ingesting Lavender and the data…

According to Robert Tisserand in “Essential Oil Safety”, oral ingestion of an essential oil increases absorption by about 10 times compared to topical application. And lavender is noted in as to be non-toxic and non-sensitizing in this and other literature.

In summary, the “take home messages” are that:

  • Lavender essential oil is safe for ingestion in the amounts tested (up to 160mg/day ~ about 4 drops).
  • Lavender essential oil taken once daily in a capsule significantly improved sleep quality.
  • Lavender was found as effective as prescription sedatives (benzodiazapines, such as Valium) for anxiety relief and sleep, without side effects or the potential for addition.
  • Lavender was found as effective as prescription anti-depressants (compared to Paroxetine, ie. Paxil) at relief of GAD – ‘generalized anxiety disorder’ – with markedly lower adverse affects (“AE” in the research).

Lavender essential oil is distilled from lavender flowers ~ the best is considered from France, as is our High Elevation and Wild varieties.

These human studies have been randomized and placebo-controlled, ensuring the validity of the results. This means participants were randomly selected to either receive lavender, placebo, or comparable pharmaceutical preparation. In some cases the control was anti-depressant, and others a benzodiazapine – the anxiety-relief ‘gold standard’ in Western medicine.


Finally here’s the titles and conclusions of the 5 studies, in chronological order:

  1. Title: A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam (Valium) for generalized anxiety disorder. Published in Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb;17(2):94-9.

    The authors concluded: “In conclusion, our results demonstrate that silexan is as effective as lorazepam in adults with GAD. The safety of silexan was also demonstrated. Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects in our study and has no potential for drug abuse, silexan appears to be an effective and well tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines for amelioration of generalized anxiety.”

  2. Title: Efficacy and safety of silexan, a new, orally administered lavender oil preparation, in subthreshold anxiety disorder – evidence from clinical trials. Published in Wien Med Wochenschr. 2010 Dec;160(21-22):547-56.

    The authors concluded: “Across all trials 280 patients were exposed to silexan 80 mg/day, 37 were treated with lorazepam 0.5 mg/day and 192 received placebo. Average within group HAMA total scores at baseline ranged between 24.7 and 27.1 points. Patients treated with silexan showed average HAMA total score decreases by between 10.4 ± 7.1 and 12.0 ± 7.2 points at week 6 and by between 11.8 ± 7.7 and 16.0 ± 8.3 points at week 10. In GAD silexan and lorazepam showed comparable HAMA total score reductions”

  3. Title: An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Published in Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2013 Nov;17 Suppl 1:15-22.

    The authors concluded: In patients with subsyndromal anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) an anxiolytic effect of Silexan was evident after 2 weeks. Patients treated with Silexan showed Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score decreases between 10.4 ± 7.1 and 12.0 ± 7.2 points at Week 6 and between 11.8 ± 7.7 and 16.0 ± 8.3 points at Week 10.

  4. Title: Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder–a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine. Published in International Journal Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Jun;17(6):859-69.

    The authors concluded: Silexan showed a pronounced antidepressant effect and improved general mental health and health-related quality of life. In GAD Silexan is more efficacious than placebo. AE rates for Silexan were comparable to placebo and lower than for the active control paroxetine.

  5. Title: Efficacy of orally administered Silexan in patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep – A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Published in European Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Aug 7. pii: S0924-977X(15)00242-4.

    The authors concluded: In all outcome measures the treatment effect of Silexan was more pronounced than with placebo. The study confirms the calming and anxiolytic efficacy of Silexan.


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Research Says Smelling the Flowers Can Reduce Markers of Stress, like Cortisol Levels and More…

Science is validating that ‘aroma’ therapy can significantly reduce stress. Stress is thought to be the basis of much of what ails us, and can be measured not only by self-reported standard questionnaires, but by blood pressure, cortisol levels and other markers – producing ‘hard’ data on this important topic.

In many studies, the simple inhalation of a variety of essential oils have been shown to reduce the markers of stress.* Utilizing essential oils and absolutes for this benefit is as easy as opening the bottle and breathing them in, or wearing a little as a natural perfume.

Here, we’ll look at the stress-relieving research of the oils of Rose, Jasmine, Neroli, Lavender and Roman Chamomile.

But just for a moment…

Isn’t this a great reason to stop & smell the flowers!?!

Little did we know that science would confirm: smelling the flowers reduces your stress! A great reason to get this ultimate floral sampler set is free with any order over $99 now through November 7th.

This week we’re offering our exquisite floral essential oil and absolute sampler set free with all orders over $99, :

This awesome sampler set includes 2ml each of Neroli, Rose and Jasmine at a potent 10% concentration in MCT coconut ~ the BEST carrier oil for natural perfumes, and wild French Lavender and organic Roman Chamomile at 100% strength. This makes them all ready to inhale/wear/enjoy direct from the bottle. Note that our Neroli, Rose and Jasmines available for purchase are 100% pure…the dilution makes this a special we can offer everyone, and 10% in MCT oil is a common strength for such valuable oils ~ the aromas are, as our customers whom have receive this have said ~ amazing!

We’ve spent years “hand picking” these exceptional oils from distillers around the world, and we think you’ll notice their uniquely-brilliant scents. To receive these with your next order, enter ‘Sampler Set’ in the comments box at checkout, and we’ll add them to your order here. Don’t forget that with all orders over $99 to use the coupon code ‘free-ship’ too!


The Damask Rose, the source of the amazing Rose essential oils and absoutes.

On to the Research on these five amazing oils and lowering stress…

The simple inhalation of many essential oils has been shown in peer-reviewed, published research to positively affect biological markers of stress such as cortisol levels & blood pressure.

1. Inhaling Rose Reduces Cortisol1

Cortisol is a hormone produced by our adrenal glands when we’re under stress. It gets us ready for a “fight or flight” response, which we don’t really need these days, and isn’t really all that healthy.

Cortisol is easily measured through analysis of a saliva sample, as was done in this research, before and after inhalation of Rose oil.

As noted in the study’s conclusion: “Inhalation of rose essential oil significantly inhibited…the increase in the salivary concentration of cortisol in humans.” A second marker of stress was also reduced by the inhalation of the oil.

Lavender Flowers, Source of Aromatherapy's Primary Stress Reliever: Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender In-Bloom: Source of Lavender essential il - Aromatherapy's most well-known stress reliever.

2. Inhaling or Ingesting Lavender Lessens Anxiety, Blood Pressure 2,3,4

Well, we kinda knew that, didn’t we!?! But yes, research has consistently confirmed that Lavender essential oil reduces self-reported anxiety.

Research combining the oils of Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Neroli also reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in coronary ICU patients.4 These oils were blended in a 6:2:.05 ratio (use 6 parts – or drops – Lavender, 2 Chamomile and 5 of the Neroli in the sampler set to replicate this yourself).

It’s also very interesting to note that ingestion of small amounts of the pure essential oil also lowers anxiety in placebo-controlled research. A series of studies performed in Germany demonstrated that a capsule containing 2 drops (60mg) of Lavender essential oil ingested daily had as significant an impact in reducing stress as benzodiazapine drugs.2

3. Inhaling Neroli Reduces Stress and Lowers Blood Pressure5


Neroli is distilled from the blossoms of the same tree which produces the well-known Bergamot fruit.

Neroli significantly reduced scores of stress and lowered blood pressure (as well as increased sexual desire and balanced hormone levels in post-menopausal women) in a randomized, controlled study.5

Further, researchers found that Neroli binds to sites within the GABA system (that part of our nervous system which calms us down). While this study focused on Neroli’s anti-convulsant effects, this GABA-binding action may account for the oil’s potential to lower markers of stress.

4. Jasmine Acts on the GABA System6


Jasmine sambac flowers, source of the sweeet Jasmine sambac absolute.

“The sweet smell of Jasmine is as good as Valium, with none of the side effects” reported the Daily Telegraph, on research performed by Professor Hanns Hatt at the Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany.

The professor and his team tested hundreds of fragrances to determine their effect on GABA receptors in humans and mice, and found jasmine increased the GABA effect by more than five times and acted as strongly as sedatives, sleeping pills and relaxants which can cause depression, dizziness, hypotension, muscle weakness and impaired coordination.

We just love the aroma of the sweet and floral sambac species of Jasmine, an oil that’s been traditionally recommended for lessening stress for women.

Roman Chamomile flowers make a calming tea and soothing essential oil.

5. Roman Chamomile7,8 Soothes the Bellyaches of Stress

Perhaps one of the most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy, Roman Chamomile is rich in esters, a class of chemical compound known for its muscle-relaxant actions.

We find Roman Chamomile, when a few drops are rubbed into the abdomen, can dramatically and quickly alleviate that “ball of stress” feeling in your belly. It works wonders for children, too!

Roman Chamomile, if you remember, was part of the blend which lowered stress and blood pressure in ICU patients, along with Lavender & Neroli.

While it has yet to be revealed by scientific inquiry whether this is directly related to the anti-spasmodic properties of the oil. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website: “It also helps relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines”, and it’s smooth muscle cells that make up the lining of our arterial walls.

Does anyone need more reasons to stop and smell the flowers?

See our Sales and Specials page for details on this, and all our current specials. Thank you!


1. Chem Senses. 2011 Dec 13. Effect of Rose Essential Oil Inhalation on Stress-Induced Skin-Barrier Disruption in Rats and Humans. Fukada M, Kano E, Miyoshi M, Komaki R, Watanabe T. Division of Integrative Physiology, Department of Functional, Morphological and Regulatory Science, Tottori University Faculty of MedicineTottori 683-8503, Japan.

2. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Sep;25(5):277-87. Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, Volz HP, Möller HJ, Dienel A, Schläfke S.

3. Nurs Crit Care. 2015 Jul 27. Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients. Karadag, Samancioglu, Ozden, Bakir.

4. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013. Epub 2013 Feb 17. Effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, vital signs, and sleep quality of percutaneous coronary intervention patients in intensive care units .Cho MY1, Min ES, Hur MH, Lee MS.

5. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014. Epub 2014 Jun 12. Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (ed. note: Neroli) on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Choi SY, Kang P, Lee HS, Seol GH.




*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Calming oils


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