Top 6 Benefits of Bergamot

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

An interesting type of citrus plant, bergamot isn’t well known in many parts of the world, but recent research shows that it can treat a wide variety of health conditions.

What is Bergamot?

Bergamot, scientifically known as Citrus bergamia, is primarily grown in Italy. The tree produces the small, green bergamot orange, which resembles a lime and is thought to be a hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. The taste is very sour and notably lemon-like.

The fruit is edible and is often used to make marmalades. However, the traditional use of the fruit actually centers around its peel. Bergamot oil, produced from the skin of the fruit, is used in everything from digestive liquors to the perfume industry. It is used to flavor Earl Grey tea which is one of the most popular types of tea. Only recently has the fruit and juice of bergamot oranges started to be evaluated by the medical industry, but the early results are quite promising!

Sliced and whole bergamots on a wooden counter

Bergamot Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Benefits of bergamot fruit include improving skin health, lowering stress levels, increasing mental focus, and preventing cancer among others.

Skin Care

Bergamot helps to treat various skin disorders, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and acne.

Reduces Stress

The essential oil derived from the peel is commonly used to reduce stress in cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy and to increase mental alertness. [1] [2]

Acts as an Insecticide

The oil has insecticide properties and is a popular treatment to protect against lice and parasites. [3]

Anticancer Potential

In a recent 2018 research, bergamot is found to have the ability to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. [4]

One study has shown potential anticancer properties of bergamot when it comes to bone cancer. Although researchers are trying to go in-depth to find out the feasibility of this. [5]

A research paper published in the Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry journal shows that bergamot juice extracts help to induce apoptosis in colon cancer cell lines. [6]

Reduces Cholesterol

Use of bergamot in concentrated amounts helps reduce cholesterol levels. This is due to the presence of chemicals melitidin and brutieridin that are only found in the unique citrus juice of this plant.

Acts as a Digestif

This powerful natural medicine is notably effective in reducing bloating and is used to make an after-dinner digestif liquor for sipping. Earl Grey is a tea traditionally flavored with this fruit, which is also popular in the treatment of digestive issues.

Side Effects

Bergamot is not approved for women during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as it may endanger the development of the child. Other side effects include the following:

  • This fruit, as well as its leaves and juices, are phototoxic, meaning that they can make your skin especially sensitive to the sun. [7]
  • In some instances, children who consumed large doses of bergamot experienced fatal convulsions.
  • It can interact with many medications and can lower blood sugar levels, making it unsuitable for diabetics who are under treatment

Note: Women should stop taking bergamot at least two weeks before surgery. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.2 out of 5.0 based on 6 user(s).