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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bergamot and The Holiday Blues

Caution: Consult a medical professional if you have major depression, a potentially dangerous condition that requires correct diagnosis and treatment. Home remedies should only be used with medical approval. Also, check with your medical professional for prescription drug contraindications, and double check with your pharmacist to be extra sure.

From now until the new year I'm going to write about depression, focusing on a remedy per day. Today's post is about using Bergamot for depression. And by depression, I do not mean major depression. I mean something more like the holiday blues.

Bergamot is an essential oil for external use. It may help lift your spirits with its pleasant citrusy-fruity smell. In The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy author Valerie Ann Worwood presents a bergamot-lavender-geranium formula for depression and guilt, with 10, 5, and 15 drops, respectively. This formula can be added to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for use in massage, or it could be added to a diffuser--use proportions, not number of drops for this--or you could make your own room spray, diluting at the rate of 4 drops per cup of warm water. (Use caution when spraying near pets or sensitive furnishings and materials!)

Personally, I have an electrical plug-in diffuser by Aura Cacia with a pad onto which essential oils can be dropped. It does quite nicely for a couple of days, on just a drop or two of bergamot oil. I use Aura Cacia brand bergamot oil, too. There are less expensive essential oils, but generally I find Aura Cacia's smell better. Some inexpensive brands I have used were a little off-smelling. A local health food store may supply samplers of essential oils so you can smell a particular one, and perhaps compare brands.

In addition to its use as a mood-lifter, Ms. Worwood includes bergamot in her party formula for its purported antibacteria properties. If I can set the party mood and keep my guests healthier, I'm all for it!

Please note that while bergamot is a citrus fruit, and the flesh is consumed, its aromatic fragance extract comes from the peel, is highly concentrated, and can irritate the skin. The label on Aura Cacia's bergamot oil says it is not for internal use.

For further reading on the lovely bergamot, see the links below.

Recommended Reading:

Bergamot orange - Wiki

How to Use Bergamot in Aromatherapy - eHow's helpful tips

Bergamot Essential Oil - bergamot profile at AromaWeb

Aura Cacia Bergamot Essential Oil and Diffusers at

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