Essential oil of the month - Bergamot Mint
Bergamot Mint (Mentha citrata) is also known as Lemon Mint, Citrus Mint, Eau de Cologne Mint and Wild Water Mint. This perennial herb is a natural hybrid of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata), growing up to 45cm high, with green serrated leaves and lilac flowers that appear from mid to late summer. It is considered one of the most fragrant mints, with its strong, lemon-like scent being the original source of Eau de Cologne fragrance.
Traditional uses of the Bergamot Mint herbThe fresh or dried leaves of Bergamot Mint have traditionally been used in teas to soothe the nerves and ease fevers, headaches and digestive problems including stomach pains and nausea. Crushed leaves were also rubbed on the forehead to ease mild headaches. Other traditional uses were as a strewing herb to deter rats and mice and rubbing crushed leaves on the body as an insect repellent. Today, Bergamot Mint is often grown in windowsill pots to help deter flies.
Bergamot Mint essential oilBergamot Mint essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tips of the aromatic herb. It has a lovely fresh citrus aroma, similar to Bergamot, but with subtle minty undertones. Medicinally the oil is more similar to Lavender than mint, possessing far less menthol (only 1-2%) than any of the other mints, and only small traces of cineole. It combines beautifully with Lavender essential oil and can even be used as a substitute for Lavender in your aromatherapy blends! It’s also a great alternative to Peppermint or Spearmint oil if you’re looking for a softer, sweeter, less penetrating mint aroma.
Bergamot Mint oil has a very calming effect on the nervous system. It is also useful for respiratory support, aiding digestion and soothing muscular pains.
Calming the mind and lifting the spiritsBergamot Mint is excellent for emotional wellbeing. While it calms feelings of stress, anxiety, fear or panic, it also works to lift the emotions, helping you to feel happier, more energised and inspired. It is a great choice when you need a calming oil that isn’t sedative.
Blend suggestion: For emotional support when times are tough, take a relaxing aromatherapy bath with a blend of Bergamot Mint, Rose and Geranium. Mix 2 drops of each essential oil in 15ml of Bath Oil (or a cup of full fat milk) and swirl into your bath water. Close windows and doors, then lie back and relax, taking deep, calming breaths.
Blend suggestion: To keep yourself calm, but uplifted, diffuse 3 drops Bergamot Mint essential oil, 3 drops Mandarin and 3 drops Petitgrain.
Soothing an upset tummyLike the other mints, Bergamot Mint oil is great for the digestive system and for easing nausea. It can help to soothe a range of tummy troubles from eating something that doesn’t agree with you, through to IBS, other stress-related issues or travel sickness.
Cleansing the air and clearing the airwaysBergamot Mint helps to fight infection and calm inflammation, making it ideal for use in the winter cold and flu season. Try diffusing the oil to cleanse the air, clear congestion, and stop those sniffs and sneezes.
Blend suggestion: For respiratory support, try inhaling Bergamot Mint. Take a bowl of steaming hot water, and add 3 drops of Bergamot Mint oil, 2 drops Eucalyptus and 2 drops Benzoin. Close your eyes, pop a towel over your head and lean over the bowl to inhale the steamy aroma, breathing deeply for 5-10 minutes at a time.
Blend suggestion: If you find yourself getting bunged up at night-time pop 2 drops each of Bergamot Mint, Thyme and Lavender on a cotton pad and place this inside your pillow case. This should help ease congestion so you can sleep.
Relaxing and soothing sore musclesBergamot Mint’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are ideal for easing sore muscles, spasms and cramp.
Blend suggestion: Try this muscle rub to soothe sore muscles and stimulate the circulation. Mix 15ml of Grapeseed Oil with 4 drops of Bergamot Mint and 1 drop each of Peppermint and Rosemary. Apply the massage oil to the affected area in an upwards direction toward the heart.
Bergamot Mint combines well with: Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, other citrus oils and herbs such as Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Safety: Avoid during pregnancy and spot test first on sensitive skin.
If you'd like any further help or advice on using this oil, or any of our other aromatherapy oils, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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