10 Best Benefits of Bergamot Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

Bergamot essential oil is a very healthy and beneficial oil. It is widely used as a deodorant, vulnerary, vermifuge, antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and sedative. It also acts as an analgesic, disinfectant, febrifuge, cicatrizant, and a digestive substance.

About Bergamot Orange

Bergamot is a tropical citrus fruit, which comes in the size of an orange and the color of a lime or a lemon. The scientific name of bergamot is Citrus aurantium var. or Citrus bergamia. It is a tropical plant but thrives in Europe as well.

What is Bergamot Oil?

Bergamot oil is extracted from the rind of the bergamot fruit. The powerful sweet aroma of bergamot oil makes it a popular component in perfumes, and it is often used as the “top note”. It is derived from cold compression, as opposed to the steam distillation through which many other essential oils are derived. [1]

One of the most common applications that you may not be aware of is its use in black tea preparation. The inclusion of bergamot essential oil in regular black tea is given a different name – Earl Gray!

The chemical composition of this oil includes alpha-pinene, alpha bergapten, alpha-terpineol, limonene, linalool, linalyl acetate, nerol, neryl acetate, beta bisabolene, geraniol, geraniol acetate, and myrcene.

Health Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot oil has a number of uses due to its medicinal properties. Let’s explore its health benefits below. [2]

Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Bergamot essential oil also helps stimulate hormonal secretions, thereby helping to maintain proper metabolic rates. This stimulating effect also increases the secretion of digestive juices, bile, and insulin. This aids in digestion, proper absorption of nutrients, assimilation, and decomposition of sugar and the resultant lowering of blood sugar. [3]

Prevents Infections

Research led by the Department of Drug Sciences and Products for Health, University of Messina, Italy, suggests that certain bergamot oil is antibiotic and disinfectant in nature. [4]

According to research done in 2007, bergamot essential oil has the ability to inhibit the growth of germs, viruses, and fungi. It can also effectively prohibit infections, including those of the skin. If regularly used with bathing water or in soaps, the skin and hair remain protected from infections and become shiny. It also cures infections in the colon, intestines, urinary tract, and kidneys. [5]

Reduces Pain

Research conducted at the University of Calabria concluded that bergamot essential oil helps reduce the feeling of pain in the body. It stimulates the secretion of certain hormones which lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain. Therefore, it is very helpful in case of headaches, sprains, muscle aches or any other symptoms/ailments which require a heavy dosage of analgesic pills. This means that you can avoid the dangerous side effects of many over-the-counter pain medicines, which often have adverse side effects and can damage your liver and kidneys, as well as cause blood thinning and insomnia. [6]

2 small bottles of bergamot essential oil with bergamot fruits on a table mat

Bergamot essential oil Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Relaxant & Sedative

The flavonoids present in bergamot oil are very good relaxants as well. They soothe the nerves and reduce nervous tension, anxiety, and stress, all of which can help treat ailments associated with stress such as high blood pressure, and insomnia. They can also stimulate the activity of certain hormones in the body like dopamine and serotonin, which induce feelings of relaxation and sedation. [7]

Aids in Digestion

Bergamot essential oil activates and increases secretions of the digestive acids, enzymes, and bile, thus facilitating digestion. It also synchronizes and regulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and in this way, it quickens the digestive process and reduces strain to the intestinal tract. In this way, this essential oil can reduce constipation, make bowel movements regular, and prevent gastrointestinal complications. [8]

Moreover, as mentioned in a research published in the School of Health, The University of Northampton, UK, bergamot essential oil helps in keep the gut healthy and lower the risk of food poisoning. [9]

Skin Care

Studies suggest that bergamot essential oil also aids in keeping the skin youthful. This property of bergamot oil is the reason behind its extensive use in cosmetics such as beauty soaps, creams, and lotions. The cicatrizant in bergamot helps heal scars and other marks on the skin. It also makes the distribution of pigments and melanin uniform, resulting in the fading away of marks and an even, attractive skin tone. This essential oil is commonly used to eliminate the unsightly effects of acne, which can leave noticeable scars on the affected areas for many years. [10]

Induces Freshness

Bergamot oil is popular among the younger generation who is always trying new deodorants, searching for something refreshing and natural. This essential oil is an excellent deodorant. The refreshing aroma and disinfectant properties of bergamot oil inhibit the growth of germs causing body-odor. This makes it an effective and attractive delivery system as a deodorant. Citrus smells are very powerful and can overcome or eliminate many other odors, which is why this oil is also used in room fresheners and sprays. [11]

Relieves Spasms

It relaxes nerves and muscles, thereby giving quick relief from cramps, convulsions, and painful muscle contractions. This can also be important for people with chronic coughing, respiratory conditions or asthma, which is similar to a spasmodic reaction. [12]

Speeds-up Healing

The same disinfectant and antibiotic properties of bergamot oil make it a good antiseptic agent too. It not only promotes fast healing of wounds, cracks in the skin and heels, ulcers, eczema, and itching but also protects wounds from becoming septic. It also treats and heals the effects of other infections and inhibits the formation of new ones. [13] [14]

Other Benefits

Bergamot essential oil is a tonic, which means that it tones up the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, and 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 coughs and colds. It works as an expectorant to loosen up phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and helps the body to eliminate it through natural avenues like sneezing and coughing, thereby eliminating some of the germs and toxins that caused the condition in the first place. [15]

Although research has been limited on some of these issues, the respiratory and digestive effects of bergamot essential oil may even be more extensive than originally thought. Ongoing studies show that the application of this essential oil may be able to eliminate the formation of gallstones and protect against colic, halitosis, bronchitis, and diphtheria.

How to use Bergamot Oil?

Bergamot oil blends with clary sage, frankincense, mandarin, jasmine, black pepper, cypress, geranium, nutmeg, sandalwood, orange, rosemary, vetiver, and ylang-ylang oils.

  • You can use bergamot essential oil topically on the skin while showering (with a carrier oil), as the scent is magnified. It can also help soothe inflammation and promote healthy skin.
  • Some people choose to use bergamot oil as an air freshener or in a diffuser to fill the room with a pleasant odor.
  • Add a drop or two of this oil to your tea for making Earl Grey.
  • Mix it with a carrier oil and apply it to your stomach to promote healthy digestion.
  • Some people also mix a few drops of this oil in their skincare and shower products.

Word of Caution: Bergamot oil must be protected from sunlight, because bergapten, one of its components becomes poisonous if exposed to sunlight. That is why the oil should always be stored in dark bottles in dark places. Exposure to sunlight should even be avoided after it is applied to the skin, at least until it gets absorbed into your skin.


What does Bergamot smell like?

Bergamot has a very interesting scent, which is citrus in its base notes. There is also a strange spiciness to it, which has made it quite popular for perfume producers. It has been found to blend very well with a number of other perfume base notes, so you will often see it mixed with sandalwood, jasmine, and rosemary. The fruit and the oil both have very strong scents and are highly recognizable.

What is Bergamot Good for?

Bergamot is particularly good for relieving stress and anxiety, both due to its aroma and the qualities that the oil has. It can be used in massages and rubbed into the temples to relieve headaches; some people choose to put a few drops in their tea to enjoy the relaxing effects. Bergamot oil is also good for bringing an uplifting aura to the air, which is why it is so popular in diffusers.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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