Bergamot essential oil, extracted from the peel of the bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia), has a light citrus scent with floral notes that are said to have healing properties. Commonly used in aromatherapy to elevate mood and alleviate stress, bergamot oil is also said to have characteristics similar to grapefruit essential oil in that it is antiseptic, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving), possibly offering some benefit for health issues like skin infections. It may also have some utility for high cholesterol.
Bergamot oil is also used as a food flavoring agent and is what provides Earl Grey tea its distinctive citrus notes.
Bergamot oil can also be used as a nasal decongestant when inhaled and an antibacterial agent when applied to the skin.
In alternative medicine, bergamot oil is believed to treat or prevent a range of unrelated health conditions, including:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Food poisoning
- High cholesterol
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Non-arthritic joint pain