Today's Spotlight's: Background, "Benefits" & Uses for Bergamot, Peppermint & Rosemary Essential Oils
Peppermint, bergamot, and rosemary essential oils can be used in a numerous amount of applications which may improve and aid in your health and overall well-being. There is an assortment of great essential oils to choose from, of course. However, throughout this post, we'll talk specifically about the uses and benefits of these three specific essential oils.
Each of these natural oils has its own special properties/compounds and benefits, with some similarities and differences. We will introduce you to these essential oils and give you information you need to enjoy them properly!
What Are the Uses of These Essential Oils?
Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, whether that be with the use of diffusers, like the ultrasonic diffuser, within carrier oils for massages, lotions, soaps, shampoo's or even body butters. In some cases, these essential oils can also be blended with other essential oils to give a more diverse aroma's.
In this part of the post, we'll get
into the specific uses of each essential oil, and some benefits.
Let's explore some of the specific uses of each one of these three oils.
Uses of Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil comes from a citrus tree called the bergamot orange tree (Citrus bergamia). This orange peel based essential oil has a powerful, yet beautiful aroma with hints of orange, citrus, and other floral notes, and has been popular for many years.
The oils of the peel are extracted via steam distillation, CO2 extraction, cold pressing. It has roots that date back to Southeast Asia, but can be produced in other areas of the globe as well.
It can also be found all over the world and is applied to both male and female personal care products, making it very versatile. It has it's uses in perfumery due to this versatility of aromatics. This oil blends nicely with many other essential oils and fragrances.
Bergamot is even put in candles, and helps to create a therapeutic scent, which is perfect for aromatherapy applications.
Many of it's uses include helping to improve or enhance mood, to help induce relaxation, pain relief, and in ancient Chinese medicine it's been used to provide digestive support.
Main Chemicals Compounds within Bergamot
Limonene, Linalyl Acetate, Linalool, Pinene, Bergapten, Terpineol, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, ß-Bisbolene, Geraniol, Geraniol Acetate, and Myrcene
Like several other essential oils, bergamot oil has potential antiseptic, analgesic and antibacterial properties, and may also help with certain skin infections, due to these potential properties.
One such research study looked at different bergamot essential oils (BEO's) on 7 different strains of Listeria monocytogenes (an anaerobic bacterium). Five of the Bergamot oils showed weak-strong activity against pathogenic strains.
Another study suggested that Bergamot peel is a "potential source of natural antimicrobial active against Gram-negative bacteria."
In addition to this, Bergamot may help with skin-related issues. Bergamot, in a diluted form, may help reduce the appearance of acne and inflammation due to some of it's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds within.
Bergamot essential oils may also have a role in complementary medicine when treating chronic pain. Research in 2016 indicated that the oil from Bergamot is "endowed with antinociceptive and antiallodynic effects".
Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety
There have multiple studies when it comes to essential oil vapors and aroma's stimulating parts of the brain to help control emotions.
Bergamot essential oil in one such study published in 2015, concluded that bergamot oils inhaled with water vapor has physiological effects. Specifically more short term effects, but positive effects nonetheless. Most notably, negative emotions and fatigue of participants were improved.
Another published article in 2013, spoke about specific essential oils ability to communicate to the olfactory system. This can stimulate serotonin and dopamine release, and thereby effect mood. Bergamot was one of the said oils, along with lemon and lavender.
Uses of Peppermint Essential Oil
A member of the mint family, peppermint is an herb, crossed between Spearmint and Water Mint, and has been used for many years to treat different ailments. Research continues to further investigate many personal and broad claims of this oil and it's healing properties.
Peppermint essential oil is a popular and powerful natural remedy. Along with spearmint essential oil, this essential oil has a minty aroma that is both sharp and refreshing at the same time. It, along with other essential oils discussed, is also used to potentially treat a number of other symptoms and ailments.
Peppermint, depending on suppliers is one of the strongest scents in the essential oil family, a little truly does go a long way!
Whether it is used in a skin application dilution with carrier oils, or inhaled via diffusers and other types of mists, peppermint is thought to stimulate the limbic system. This is a part of the brain that controls emotions.
Main Components of Peppermint Oil
The main components of peppermint essential oil are Menthol & Menthone, just to name a few.
Digestive Support/Anti-Inflammatory Properites
issues like IBS, according to one such systematic review and meta analysis, concluded that "peppermint oil is a safe effective short term treatment for IBS." Some patients even showed improvement in abdominal pain. The
anti-inflammatory properties of this oil may help to smooth out your digestive tract
and get rid of painful gas.
Another meta analysis looking at 12 different studies and IBS, which strengthened this claim, and concluded that "enteric coated peppermint oil is an effective therapy of abdominal pain and adults with IBS."
There is conflicting research about whether it can help with bouts of nausea. One such study examined postoperative patients and whether inhaled peppermint oil helped with nausea, these patients rated there nausea lower on a scale, then that of a placebo group.
However, another study of postoperative patients and nausea found inconclusive or little to no effect between the peppermint oil and placebo. This leaves us to believe more research is definitely needed for this correlation.
Peppermint may also help with certain symptoms of pain. A study conducted in 2007 of patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain, found patients who underwent 20-minutes of acupressure along with aromatherapy vs. patients receiving just acupressure treatments had a reduction of 30% in reported pain.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health discusses peppermint oil and peppermint leaves further. They state that both the leaves and oils have been used for health purposes. Records from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt mention that it was used for digestive disorders. They state that today, it is promoted for things like the common cold, sinus infections, and headaches and promoted for topical use for muscle aches, joint pain and itching.
They however do also go on to discuss the small amount of research on some of these various health issues or conditions and the use of peppermint oil for treatments.
Due to the smooth muscle relaxing properties of peppermint oil (PO), according to one study, concluded that PO appeared to help symptomatic relief in some patients with chest pain and dysphagia. In this particular study PO was given via dissolvable tablet form.
Peppermint oil has been widely used in cosmetics. A study in 2015, showed effectiveness of peppermint oil on chronic pruritus. This is said to be not only easy to use and effective, but also a safe alternative to other interventions.
Another study in 2012 looked at peppermint oil for the skin, this study was emphasized to pregnant women and itchy skin, noting that it is indeed a noticeable effective treatment for the severity of itchy skin.
It's important to always check with your PCP prior to using these oils standalone for any ailment, and research potential side effects from there use, specially in pregnant women and small children.
Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil
The final essential oil we'll talk
about is rosemary essential oil. A very well known oil which is often times blended with other essential oils to give notes of its woody aroma. This oil is a part of the evergreen family and
is often-times used as a seasoning in food.
In essential oil form, though, rosemary is used for several medicinal purposes.
One study looked at rosemary and lavender essential oil and cognitive functioning. It concluded that rosemary aroma in particular led to improvements in long-term memory compared with controls in the same experiment.
When diffused and inhaled, this essential oil may have the potential to help with concentration.
This same study also stated that inhaled rosemary may possess the potential to impact cognitive performance in a positive manner by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a chemical important for thinking and memory.
Other medical uses may include pain relief and increased blood circulation. As one such study looking at rosemary and interactions with other analgesics drugs, supported the management of pain and therapeutic potential of this essential oil in combination with pain relieving medication.
The results of inhaling rosemary oil in one study also indicated "positive stimulatory effects, showing evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses and mood states, can all be modified with inhaling this oil."
An animal study was performed using rosemary essential oil (REO) on mice paw edema. The conclusion of the study revealed that with REO administration, it significantly reduced the edema within 1-4 hours after injection.
There is also some indication rosemary essential oils with aromatherapy massages may help with arthritic inflammatory symptoms when messaged on with a carrier oil.
Other studies on rosemary essential oil has tied it to hair growth and scalp health. One of these said studies concluded that rosemary oil is a promising crude for hair growth, as it may prevent a certain byproduct of testosterone from attacking hair follicles.
Another study on rosemary looked at it's effect on hair growth when compared to minoxidil (Rogaine). These men were observed at specific time frames within the study. At the designated interval, there was no difference in the thickness of hair with the minoxidil group then the groups using rosemary. There was also reports of less scalp itching in the rosemary group, as opposed to the group on Rogaine.
Side Effects of Essential Oils
It's important to always consult with a medical professional or holistic expert when using aromatherapy for therapeutic benefits. When using any essential oil we discuss here at RN to Zen we never suggest ingestion of any oil, but only external use. Please always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil when placing directly onto the skin. It is advised to always use a small amount on a small area of skin to make sure no negative reactions occurs. If a negative reaction does occur, discontinue use immediately, and consult a medical professional. Make sure to do your research on essential oils and their uses, how to dilute before using them on skin.
Don't use essential oils when pregnant unless consulting with a medical professional.
Keep essential oils away from children.
These three oils may be just what you need, if nothing else, to put you in a more positive and upbeat mood. We hope you learned something new about each one of these oils. Please share your experiences and applications with any of the oils above in our comments section.