A citrus fruit native to Italy, Citrus bergamia, or Bergamot, is about the size of an orange. It grows primarily in Calabria, in southern Italy, and both the fruit skin and the juice have been commonly used in folk medicine preparations. Bergamot comes with a long history of use in traditional medicine in Italy for common health conditions including sore throats, fevers, and flu, as well as for its antibiotic properties for infections.   

Bergamot is yellow-green in color, and pleasantly fragrant. The bergamot tree blooms in the colder months of winter. 

The oil of Bergamot is soothing and relaxing. You will see Bergamot in lotions, cosmetics, perfumes, and other personal care items. It can be added to lotions, shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatments, or it can be purchased already formulated into these topical treatments. Because it tends to be a stronger oil, when used topically Bergamot can make the skin sensitive to the sun, so when using Bergamot essential oil always mix with a carrier oil of your choice, and do a test area to check for skin sensitivities. 

Bergamot is also used as a flavoring in both foods and beverages. It has a sharp, spicy taste. Fun fact: Earl grey tea is made from black tea leaves and dried Bergamot extract, and the bergamot is what gives the tea its interesting scent and flavor.

Like most citrus fruits, bergamot is rich in flavonoids. These flavonoids commonly promote healthy immune responses, antioxidant benefits, and healthy inflammatory support. Studies suggest bergamot can be part of a promising cholesterol-reduction protocol. “The results of five different clinical trials using bergamot in various forms suggest the polyphenol fraction can lower LDL-C and total cholesterol,” researchers report in Clinical application of bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for reducing high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease markers. “Several studies suggested that bergamot polyphenols can reduce triglycerides and increase HDL-C, however, the results were not consistent across all studies. One possible explanation for this variability (i.e. TG and HDL-C) is that bergamot preparation, extraction, and standardization varied in several studies. Consistently in all of the clinical trials bergamot appeared to be well tolerated with studies ranging from 30 days to 6 months" (1).

Bergamot is available in supplement form, as an essential oil, as a juice, or an extract, and of course as a tea. Because it is potent, and we all react differently to many available herbs, those who tend to be sensitive to other herbs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, should consult a medical practitioner. 


  1. Clinical application of bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for reducing high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease markers. National Library of medicine-Pub-Med Central.  Published online 2019 Feb 28