Bergamot oil is a food and beverage additive which is extracted from a fruit. Due to its pleasant smell, it is also used in soaps, creams, and perfumes. It promotes a sweet citrus flavor to everything it is added to. There have been studies which show the effectiveness of bergamot oil in treating anxiety, depression, plaque psoriasis, vitiligo, and protecting the body against lice and other parasites. Though effectively used in aromatherapy due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it has certain side effects due to the presence of the compound “bergapten.” Mentioned below are some of the side effects.
There have been studies which show the effectiveness of bergamot oil in treating anxiety, depression, plaque psoriasis, vitiligo, and protecting the body against lice and other parasites. Though effectively used in aromatherapy due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it has certain side effects due to the presence of the compound “bergapten.” Mentioned below are some of them.
Side Effects Of Bergamot Oil
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The presence of the compound bergamottin absorbs the ultra-violet rays for up to 72 hours after applying it on the skin. This can make your skin hypersensitive to sunlight, causing photosensitivity. The results range from sunburn to cell mutation to skin cancer. There are “bergapten-free” skin-care products available (made from bergamot oil) which could be used alternatively.
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2. Low Blood Sugar Levels
Bergamot, in some cases, could deplete the blood sugar levels in the body. This could impact the people with diabetes since the sudden lowering of sugar levels could cause further complications. It is, therefore, necessary to keep a close eye on your sugar levels after consuming the products containing bergamot oil as an additive.
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3. Skin Irritation
Any essential oil has to be sufficiently diluted in a carrier oil for it to be effective and nonintrusive. Bergamot oil is no different. Not diluting it enough before using could cause skin irritation in some people. The side effects may appear as redness, blisters, rashes, scabs, and skin lightening. Though effective in treating psoriasis and vitiligo, there have been inconsistent results proving this, according to studies.
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4. Possible Drug Interactions
Using bergamot oil on the skin while being prescribed of certain drugs could lead to photosensitivity. Some of the drugs include Tetracycline, Norfloxacin, Ofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, and Trioxsalen. It is best to consult with your doctor before self-medicating yourself with bergamot oil, if you are prescribed any drugs.
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5. Surgery Complications
Blood pressure and blood-sugar levels are the two vital components to be kept within limits during a surgery. Due to the blood-sugar-lowering capacity of bergamot oil, it is recommended that you stop the intake or topical application of this oil 2 weeks prior to surgery. Keeping your surgeon informed about the intake of this additive is necessary.
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6. Potassium Depletion
The presence of bergapten in bergamot oil could lead to the reduction of potassium levels in the body. The normal blood potassium level is 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A very low potassium level (less than 2.5 mmol/L) requires immediate medical attention since it can be life-threatening. The deficiency symptoms may begin with muscle twitching and muscle cramps.
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7. Unsafe For Children
Excessive intake of bergamot additive is extremely unsafe for children. This could lead to severe convulsions and death. It is also proven unsafe for consumption in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The permissible dosage of bergamot oil is still under research. This is because, the interaction of these compounds depends on various other factors like the patient’s health, age, and pre-existing conditions if any. It is important to understand that not every naturally available product is necessarily safe and dosage of these could impact the overall health of the patient. Taking an advice from your doctor, in any case, is recommended.