Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Vitamins & minerals health centre

Bergamot oil

Bergamot is a plant that produces a type of citrus fruit. Oil taken from the peel of the fruit is used in traditional medicines, cosmetics and aromatherapy products.

Bergamot oil also gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive perfumed aroma and flavour and is used to flavour other food products. Bergamot oil is also used in perfumes, creams, lotions and soaps.

In parts of Europe, bergamot oil has been used as a traditional antiseptic and wound treatment.

Bergamot oil is sometimes inhaled during aromatherapy to relieve symptoms of mild stress, including during cancer treatment. The European Medicines Agency looked at these uses but didn’t find sufficient evidence to substantiate them.

Aromatherapy is complementary therapy, not intended to replace medical care. The regulator, the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), says aromatherapy may be helpful for those wanting to reduce everyday stress, relax and sleep better. It is carried out by trained aromatherapists in a variety of places, including hospitals and hospices.

Bergamot oil has several active chemicals. These chemicals can make the skin sensitive to sunlight.

Bergamot oil contains the substance 5-methoxypsoralen, also called 5-MOP, which was once used in sun tanning products.

Some people treat the skin condition psoriasis by applying bergamot oil directly to the skin and then shining long-wave ultraviolet (UV) light on the affected area. Some research suggests this method, called UVB + bergamot oil (UVBB), significantly reduces the UVB doses and the duration of treatment for psoriasis patients.

Bergamot oil safety

Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight, called photosensitising drugs, can interact with bergamot oil. Check with your GP or pharmacist of you have concerns.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 07, 2016

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
boost your metabolism
Foods to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
sick child
Dos and don'ts for childhood eczema
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know