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Bergamot Oil Health Benefits, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2020

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Bergamot oil has several properties that make it a highly beneficial essential oil. It has analgesic, diuretic, antidepressant, tonic, deodorant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties.

These properties of bergamot oil work together to improve the health of pretty much the entire body, including the digestive tract, the excretory system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, and the nervous system. It has been used to treat physical as well as psychological ailments effectively.

Bergamot Oil

The bergamot oil is derived from the rind of the bergamot orange fruit. It is a cold pressed essential oil. The rind of the bergamot orange does not produce too much oil content, therefore about one hundred of these fruits are required to extract about 85 grams (or three ounces) of bergamot oil.

Although bergamot is a tropical fruit, it is found in abundance in Europe as well. As a result, one of its earliest uses was that in a Eau De Cologne perfume.The other popular use of this bergamot oil is to add it to regular black tea, which is then named the Earl Grey. The Earl Grey is righteously famous for its light fragrance and floral notes.

Nutritional Value of Bergamot Oil

The bergamot oil is a clear liquid with a greenish, or sometimes greenish-yellow tinge. 95% of the oil is made up of a volatile fraction, while only the remaining 5% consists of a nonvolatile fraction. It is an extremely complex chemical mixture which contains a number of organic substances, most of which fall under the volatile fraction.

Nevertheless, bergamot oil includes important nutrients such as limonene, nerol, alpha pinene, neryl acetate, alpha bergapten, beta bisabolene, alpha-terpineol, linalool, geraniol, linalyl acetate, geraniol acetate, and myrcene.

Health Benefits of Bergamot Oil

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Bergamot Oil

Use bergamot essential oil for depression

Bergamot oil, which is rich in compounds like limonene and alpha pinene and have antidepressant and stimulating properties, can be used to treat depression.

These compounds present in bergamot oil increase the circulation of blood in the body, and in turn stimulate energy and feelings of freshness and joy. Many a times, depression is the result of hormonal imbalance in the body.

Bergamot oil successfully stimulates the secretion of hormones and restores the appropriate balance. Its powerful impact on hormones is one of the reasons it is so commonly used in treating neurological and psychological conditions.

Bergamot Oil Improves Digestion

Bergamot oil is known for stimulating the secretion of enzymes, bile, and digestive acids, such as bile and insulin, which in turn improves the efficiency of the digestive process. It facilitates the assimilation and breakdown of sugar in a way that lowers blood sugar.

Bergamot oil optimizes the peristaltic movement of the gastrointestinal tract by synchronizing and regulating it. In this way, it is able to quicken the digestive process and also reduce the stress on the intestinal tract. As a result, it can combat common digestive issues such as constipation.

As it can cure infections in the colon and intestines, bergamot oil further reduce the risk of developing complications and conditions such as colorectal cancer.

Bergamot Oil Enhances Metabolism

Hormonal secretions also enable the body to maintain a healthy metabolic rate. As we know, bergamot oil is a great stimulant in this respect. Healthy metabolism ensures that nutrients are absorbed in the blood stream optimally. In addition, it also gives the body more energy.

Bergamot Oil Prevents Infections

Certain components in the bergamot oil have antibiotic properties. They inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They are especially effective in preventing infections of the skin.

Bergamot oil already used extensively in specialized skin care soaps. However, it can also be externally added to bath water or to shampoo to protect the skin and scalp from contracting infections.

Bergamot Oil For Pain Treatment

It is a common misconception that bergamot oil reduces the amount of pain by targeting the symptoms. The actual effect of this oil is that it reduces the sensitivity of the nerves to the pain. Therefore, it is extremely effective in treating pain-related conditions.

Everything, from a minor headache to muscle aches and sprains can be treated using bergamot oil. Most people resort to consuming analgesic pills. However, the body can develop a tolerance to these pills and can also affect the liver and kidney, and can cause insomnia and a thinning of the blood. The safer way to treat pain-related ailments is to use bergamot oil.

Relaxes the Body

The flavonoid content of bergamot oil is great for soothing the nerves. Medically speaking, it alleviates signs of tension, stress, and anxiety from the body. Additionally, flavonoids can stimulate the release of hormones such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

These two hormones present in bergamot oil are directly related to relaxation and sedation. These properties make bergamot oil a great way of treating conditions such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and anxiety.

Bergamot essential oil for dry & sensitive skin

Bergamot oil is used commonly in skin care products like creams, lotions, and soaps. This is because of its cicatrisant content which helps marks and scars lighten.

Marks and scars can occur due to a number of skin conditions, such as acne, or even other ailments like chicken pox easily treated with bergamot essential oil. Additionally, it also distributes melanin uniformly in the skin, resulting in an even skin tone.

Bergamot Oil Enhances Overall Health

Bergamot oil acts as a rejuvenating tonic for the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. Its anti-congestive properties enable it to be used in vaporizers.

Bergamot oil acts as an expectorant which loosens congealed mucus and phlegm in the respiratory system and dispels them through coughing and sneezing.

Additionally, ongoing studies also show that bergamot oil maybe able to prevent the formation of gall stones. It can also protect the body against bronchitis, diphtheria, and colic halitosis.

Bergamot Oil Reduces Fever

The term used for substances that lower body temperature is febrifuge, and bergamot oil is a great febrifuge for several reasons. First and foremost, it is an antibiotic and therefore it fights bacterial, protozoan, and viral infections, whose symptoms include fever.

Such ailments include malaria, typhoid, and influenza. Secondly, it facilitates better metabolism and stimulates gland secretions. This creates internal body heat which manifests as perspiration from the eccrine and sebaceous glands. Sweating is a sign that the fever is going down.

Perspiration is also a natural way of ridding the body of toxins. Bergamot oil out the pores of the skin, thus keeping it healthy.

Bergamot Oil Kills Worms

Worms can be contracted in a number of ways and in a number of areas. For instance, germs in the oral cavity can be killed by using bergamot oil as a component in a mouthwash.

Germs in the intestinal cavity, which can cause malnourishment and other deficiencies such as anemia, can also be killed by consuming bergamot oil. As bergamot oil is fragrant, it is easier for children to consume or use it.

Bergamot Oil Relives Muscle Spasms

The relaxant properties of bergamot oil are extremely effective in relieving muscle contractions, spasms, convulsions, and cramps. This is important in many different ways.

Muscle spasms can be a symptom in chronic conditions such as chronic cough or asthma, and it can also be a symptom of a regular occurrence such as the menstrual cycle. Women on their menses can apply bergamot oil to the affected area to give them relief.

Healing Properties of Bergamot Oil

Along with being a disinfectant and antibiotic, bergamot oil is also an antiseptic. It protects open wounds from becoming septic and developing tetanus.

Additionally, bergamot oil also helps speed up the process of skin cell regeneration so that wounds, ulcers, eczema, and broken skin and heels can heal faster. Further, it inhibits the development of new infections in areas that were previously affected.

Uses of Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is commonly used in aromatherapy, as it has a high content of alcohol and chemical esters. Burning the bergamot oil releases molecules that when ingested can also impart their medicinal benefits. However, they can be applied to the skin as well as consumed orally in minute quantities.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Bergamot Oil

Some studies have shown that the application of bergamot oil directly to the skin may have phototoxic effects. Test subjects showed increasing redness in the affected area when exposed to ultraviolet light. This could be due to the presence of components like citropten, geranial, neral, bergapten, and bergamottin.

Many other citrus fruits also share the same side effects due to the presence of these compounds. Experts recommend not exposing the skin to sunlight when bergamot is applied directly onto the skin, at least until the oil is absorbed completely.

Further, exposure of the bergamot oil bottle to sunlight can result in the bergaptene content becoming poisonous. Therefore, this oil should also be stored in a dark bottle, in a cool, dark place.

In addition, bergapten is a potassium channel blocker. One study showed that a subject that consumed four liters of Earl Grey tea every day suffered from muscle cramps, fasciculations, and parethesias.

Cultivation of Bergamot Oil

Originally, the bergamot plant was native to tropical Asia. Now however, it is cultivated primarily in Italy. Bergamot essential oil became the major component in Farina’s Eau De Cologne at the start of the 18th century. Its first record as a fragrant ingredient in perfumes was found in the Farina Archive at Cologne, in 1714.


  • Forlot P, Pevet P. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau) essential oil: biological properties, cosmetic and medical use. A review. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2012 Apr 1;24(2):195-201. [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombolà L, Amantea D, Russo R, Berliocchi L, Sakurada S, Sakurada T, Rotiroti D, Corasaniti MT. Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot. Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep 1;81(6):453-61. [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:
  • Rombolà L, Tridico L, Scuteri D, Sakurada T, Sakurada S, Mizoguchi H, Avato P, Corasaniti M, Bagetta G, Morrone L. Bergamot essential oil attenuates anxiety-like behaviour in rats. Molecules. 2017 Apr;22(4):614. [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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