Essential Science: A Scientists Mission To Bring Essential Oils Research To The Masses

A Scientists Mission To Bring Essential Oils Research To The Masses

by Nicole Stevens,

(article from doTERRA Living Magazine, Spring 2012)

My research with essential oils began completely by accident. I had just started a Master’s Degree program at Brigham Young University, and my original thesis plan was a study of medicinal plants of Oman. The project was even going to include travel to the Middle East to collect specimens and talk to shamans. I began learning Arabic, got a passport, packed my bags and waited excitedly. The trip was scheduled for Sept. 14, 2001. But then, on that fateful September 11, the whole world changed.

So did my thesis project. My program advisor told me about something that had been waiting on the back burner for some time – a study of the natural plant extracts called essential oils that were suspected to have activity against cancer cells in vitro. I jumped at the idea. My dream has always been to delve into cancer research.

What a joy it was to discover that essential oils not only had remarkable anti-cancer activities, but they made the whole lab smell delightful!

After completing my Master’s thesis in which I screened seventy essential oils and several oil blends against five different cancer cell lines, I yearned to continue studying these amazing compounds. As a researcher at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, I looked at whether essential oils might fulfill another role in the fight against cancer, paired with a strong dose of light energy. At the University of Utah, I found that doTERRA’s essential oils showed impressive antimicrobial potency as well,even when extremely diluted.

If my experience has shown me one thing, its that scientists have barely uncovered the top of the iceberg when it comes to essential oils. Their potential for promoting health, fighting disease, and enhancing life is incredible. The challenge is, how do we spread the word? How do be bring true science to the masses?

I think “SCIENCE” (that nebulous, sexy, fear-inducing, eye-glazing notion) is rather like dietary fiber. Everyone knows we need it, and they like the idea of it, but its just so darn indigestible! Anyone can find an article on PubMed, but you would probably need a dictionary and a degree in molecular biology just to slog your way through it.

There is a disconnect between the exciting scientific research currently happening and how accessible it is for regular people who would love to understand and apply it. That’s where doTERRA’s Scientific Advisory Board comes in.

When Dr. David Hill approached me several years ago with the idea of a Scientific Advisory Board, I was stunned. There would be experts in the field of medicine, science and analysis, colleagues who could coordinate their own research and being to distill down the mountain of other research results available; perhaps digest some of the scientific jargon into everyday language and brainstorm about all the projects we’d like to do. Yes please, sign me up!

I’m very pleased to be a member of doTERRA’s current Scientific Advisory Board. Although our group is new and still discovering its potential, I believe it is truly revolutionary. We want to apply science to a field of study that, for too long, had been considered ‘homeopatic mumbo jumbo”. Many modern Americans prefer their FDA-approved synthetic drugs without even realizing there may be natural alternatives with scientifically proven benefits.

Perhaps we area at the brink of a mighty wave of change, a fusion of our ‘enlightened’ Western medicine with centuries-old traditional medicine. More people are experiencing for themselves how essential oils work. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board hope to add even more relevance by dabbling in the why.

I plan to continue my own research with essential oils, which includes a project that explores how essential oils affect enzymatic activity. There are several references in current scientific literature about the ability of certain essential oils to increase beneficial enzymatic activity, and I hope to obtain results on how doTERRA’s oils compare.

Scientists, petri dishes, and test tubes all over the world are providing thrilling evidence to support what essential oils users have known for years – that these complex, beautiful plant products really work. And hopefully, with greater scientific understanding comes a greater acceptance of essential oils as legitimate, highly useful players in medical practice.


Nicole Stevens is a member of doTERRA’s Scientific Advisory Board. She has a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University and has spent much of her career working to develop the credibility and scientific understanding behind essential oils. Nicole has worked with the UNLV Cancer Research Center to study a procedure that uses targeted photosensitizing chemicals and specific wavelengths of light to destroy cancer calls, and she has also worked with the University of Utah to further study the efficacy of essential oils in eliminating microbial pathogens.


Bergamot Essential Oil

DoTerra Bergamot Essential Oil

A highly favored oil for its lovely fragrance, Bergamot is unique among citrus oils for its calming properties. dōTERRA®, in keeping with the CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® standard, cold-presses the oil from the rind of the bergamot fruit. For aromatic, topical, or internal use.


  • Topically – Can be applied neat to the skin. Can be applied to forehead, reflex points or directly onto the area of concern.
  • Aromatically – Can also be diffused.
  • Internally – Can be added to food or water to be taken internally. Bergamot has been classified as GRAS by the FDA for human consumption.

The health benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like deodorant, vulnerary, vermifuge, anti biotic, anti septic, anti spasmodic, sedative, analgesic, anti depressant, disinfectant, febrifuge, cicatrisant, digestive etc.

Bergamot is a citrus fruit whose rind is used for extracting the Bergamot Oil. The scientific name of Bergamot is Citrus Aurantium var. or Citrus Bergamia. It is a tropical plant but thrives well in Europe too.

This oil has been used in the Middle East for hundreds of years to help oily complexions and troubled skin.  It may also be used to soothe insect bites.  It is also what gives Earl Grey Tea its distinctive flavor.

Bergamot Oil has a very sweet smell and a number of medicinal and industrial uses due to its properties listed below

  • Anti depressant & Stimulant: The components of Bergamot Oil, like Alpha Pinene and Limonene, are anti depressant and stimulant in nature. They give a feeling of freshness, joy and energy in cases of sadness and depression by improving circulation. They also stimulate hormone secretion and thus help maintaining proper rates of metabolism. This stimulating effect increases secretion of digestive juices, bile and insulin, thereby aiding digestion, proper absorption of nutrients, assimilation and decomposition of sugar and the resultant lowering of blood sugar level.
  • Relaxant & Sedative: The Flavonoids present in Bergamot oil are very good relaxants too. They soothe nerves and reduce nervous tension, anxiety, stress etc. and hence help cure ailments associated with stress such as sleeplessness, high blood pressure etc.
  • Anti Biotic & Disinfectant: Certain components of the essential oil of Bergamot are anti biotic and disinfectant in nature. They inhibit growth of germs, virus and fungi. They also effectively prohibit infections, such as those of skin. If regularly used with bathing water or in soaps (this is already used extensively in skin-care soaps), the skin and hair remains protected from infections and become shiny. It also cures infections of colon, intestines, urinary tract and kidney
  • Anti Septic & Vulnerary: The same disinfectant and anti biotic properties of Bergamot Oil make it a good anti septic and vulnerary agent. It not only helps fast healing up of wounds, cracks on skin and heels, ulcers, eczema, itches etc. but also protects wounds from being septic and developing tetanus.
  • Febrifuge: Febrifuge is a substance or an agent that reduces fever and lowers body temperature. Bergamot is a good febrifuge due to many reasons. First, being an anti biotic, it fights infections from virus, bacteria and protozoa which cause fever, such as influenza (virus), malaria (protozoa) and typhoid (typhus bacteria), and thus helps curing fever. Second, it stimulates the metabolic system and secretions, thereby giving a feeling of warmth and resulting in more secretion (perspiration or sweat) from the Eccrine glands (sweat glands) and sebaceous (sebum) glands, thus reducing body temperature.
  • Analgesic: It reduces the feeling of pain in the body. Actually it stimulates secretion of certain hormones which lessen sensitivity of nerves to pain. Thus it is very helpful in case of headache, sprains etc. all those symptoms which require heavy dosage of analgesic pills.
  • Digestive: As discussed above, it activates and increases secretions of the digestive acids, enzymes and bile and facilitates digestion. It also synchronizes or regulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and this way too, help in digestion.
  • Cicatrisant: This property of Bergamot oil is the reason behind its extensive use in cosmetics, skin-care products such as beauty soaps, creams, lotions etc. Cicatrisant is a property or an agent which helps the scar and other marks on the skin to disappear. It also makes the distribution of pigments and melanin even and uniform, resulting in the fading away of marks.
  • Deodorant: No doubt, this property of bergamot oil is going to attract the teenagers who are after every new deodorant in the market and desperately want something really refreshing and natural. This is an excellent deodorant. Its own refreshing aroma (fragrance) and disinfectant properties (which inhibit growth of germs causing body-odor) make it a really effective and attractive package as a deodorant.
  • Anti Spasmodic: It relaxes nerves and muscles and thus gives quick relief in cramps, convulsions, painful muscle contractions etc.
  • Vermifuge: It kills worms. Thus it is going to be a very fragrant choice for children who have worms. It can also be applied on the affected tooth or used as a mouthwash to kill oral germs and protect teeth from cavities.

Other Benefits:

It is also Tonic, that is, it tones up respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, nervous system as well as skin and muscles. It is also anti congestive and is used in vaporizers to relieve congestion and respiratory problems, particularly during cough and cold.

Few Words of Caution:

Bergamot Oil must be protected from sunlight. Bergaptene, one of its components, becomes poisonous if exposed to sunlight. That is why it should be stored in dark bottles in dark places. Even exposure to sunlight should be avoided after it is applied or rubbed on skin (for 72 hours)


I LOVE this EO. I use it primarily for CP soaping, but it is an excellent scent for aromatherapy, massage, homemade cleaners, & creams. Everyone always wants to know what smell that is they can’t put their finger on. I always think of trees, oranges, and spices when I smell it. If you have never tried it, get some now!

-Jenny Jones


I use this oil (topically) primarily for its antispasmodic qualities. Combined with lavender, it does a wonderful job of helping me relax and let go at the end of the day.

-Ashley Phipps

Bergamot is one of my favorites for use in Aromatherapy. The sweet scent is not overpowering, yet it works wonders.

-Jennifer Mackenzie



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 752 other followers