Effects of systemic administration of the essential oil of bergamot (BEO) on gross behaviour and EEG power spectra recorded from the rat hippocampus and cerebral cortex

Funct Neurol. Apr-Jun 2009;24(2):107-12.


Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau) is a citrus fruit growing almost exclusively in the South of Italy. Its essential oil is obtained by cold pressing of the epicarp and, partly, of the mesocarp of the fresh fruit. Although this phytocomplex has been used for centuries, reputedly effectively, as a traditional medicine, there is very little verified scientific evidence to support this use. This paper reports original data on the systemic effects of the essential oil of bergamot (BEO) on gross behaviour and EEG activity recorded from the hippocampus and cerebral cortex of the rat. The Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) was used to analyse and quantify the energy in single frequency bands of the EEG spectrum. The results obtained indicate that systemic administration of increasing volumes of BEO produces dose-dependent increases in locomotor and exploratory activity that correlate with a predominant increase in the energy in the faster frequency bands of the EEG spectrum. These data contribute to our understanding of the neurobiological profile of BEO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electroencephalography
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacokinetics
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Plant Oils
  • bergamot oil