Health Benefits of Bergamot
Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors
Reviewed by Mahammad Juber, MD on November 29, 2022
If you've ever had Earl Grey tea, then you’ve tasted the flavor of bergamot. It comes from the Citrus bergamia plant, a fruit tree believed to be native to the Mediterranean region.
A blend of the sour orange and lemon (or citron) plant, bergamot produces a fruit that looks like a round lemon. Although generally too sour to eat on its own, it's been part of the Mediterranean diet since the early 18th century.
People use extracts from bergamot's sour juice and oil from its peel for a variety of things including:
Scents for personal care products
Bergamot has health benefits include:
Several studies have shown that bergamot may help to reduce overall Cholesterol
and 'bad' LDL Cholesterol
. It may also help to increase 'good' HDL Cholesterol
and has the potential to be an effective supplement to Cholesterol
Studies have shown that an Aroma
therapy blend that includes bergamot may help with Depression
symptoms in older adults, people with terminal Cancer
, and women who are at high risk of postpartum Depression
There hasn't been enough research yet to confirm the results, and there's no conclusive evidence that it can help with Depression
in other populations. However, there have been some promising early studies with animals.
Easing Joint Pain
Scientists have found that bergamot might protect the joints in people taking Aroma
tase inhibitors as part of Cancer
treatment. More research is needed.
One study shows that taking bergamot supplements may help people with schizophrenia think more clearly. People in the study had better results on several cognitive tests after taking bergamot. Further research is needed.
Health Risks of Bergamot
Mild side effects. Some people experience side effects like Dizziness
, Muscle Cramps
, and Heart
burn when they take bergamot with food.
issues. Bergamot may cause your Blood Sugar
to drop. If you have Diabetes
, your Blood Sugar
might reach unsafe levels. It's important to monitor those levels if you choose to use bergamot supplements.
Even if you don't have Diabetes
, bergamot could make it harder for doctors to control your Blood Sugar
during surgery. Experts recommend that you stop using bergamot supplements two weeks before you have surgery.
Childhood seizures. Children have experienced more serious side effects from taking bergamot, including seizures and death. Serious side effects are more likely when children consume a lot of bergamot oil.
Sun sensitivity. Bergamot oil may be less safe as a Skin
treatment since it can make your Skin
to sunlight. It may also be unsafe as a Skin
treatment for people who are Pregnant
Be sure to dilute bergamot oil before applying to your Skin
. Be particularly cautious about using it if you take a medication that can make you more Sensitive
to the sun, such as amitriptyline, ciprofloxacin, or tetracycline.
How to Use Bergamot
Inhale as Aroma
therapy. Because many people use bergamot as an Aroma
therapy ingredient, it's relatively easy to find bergamot oil wherever you shop for essential oils. You can add a few drops of bergamot oil to:
An essential oil Diffuser
filled with water.
A water-based solution in a spray bottle.
A bowl of steaming water.