Bergamot essential oil belongs to the Rutaceae or citrus family. The plant’s origin is in Italy and the Ivory cost. Traditionally, it is believed that Christopher Columbus brought bergamot oil to Northern Italy from the Canary Islands. It has served as a mainstay for traditional Italian medicine and has also been used for hundreds of years in the Middle East for skin conditions related to an oily complexion. It was also used in the first genuine eau de cologne. Today, many will recognize its flavor in Earl Grey Tea.

There are a variety of constituents in Bergamot essential oil, giving it a wide range of properties. The main constituents include limonene, linalyl acetate, linalool, gamma-terpene and beta-pinene. All of these constituents are monoterpenes, which in general have immune modulating effects. Linalyl acetate, an ester, has balancing properties. Linalol, a triterpene alcohol, has toning and stimulating properties. Gamma-Terpene has been found to be an antioxidant and beta-pinene has been shown to inhibit fungal growth.  Bergamot also contains flavonoids in the peel, which are shown to be prevent microbial growth.

Bergamot has been shown to enhance the levels of amino acid neruotransitters in the rat brain. This may be why its fragrance has been said to relieve anxiety and uplift the mood. In fact, Jean Valnet, MD, recommends Bergamot essential oil for mood support and its ability support appetite. Bergamot can also be used for fungal infections, infections, indigestion, parasites, rheumatism and stress.

Essential Oils Desk Reference 4th ed. ESP
Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide. Young, Gary
The following articles from
Monoterpenes as regulators of malignant Cell proliferation: PMID 8886132
Limonene-induced regression of mammary carcinomas: PMID 1617679
Induction of Mitochondrial-Depedent Apoptosis by an Essential Oil from Tanacetum gracile: PMID 18401843
Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids extracted from bergamot peel, a byproduct of the EO industry: PMID 18045389
Characterization of gamma-terpinene synthase from Citrus unshiu: PMID 1563017
Effects of beta-pinene on yeast membrane functions: PMCID: PMC215026
The essential oil of bergamot enhances the levels of amino acid neurotransmitters in the hippocampus of rat: implication of monoterpene hydrocarbons. : PMID 17196823
Digestion and microbial suppression: PMID: 17105553, PMID 17021882


Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic, Grade A essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been AFNOR and ISO standardized. There is no quality control in the United States and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.