Clinical Pharmacology of Citrus bergamia: A Systematic Review

Phytother Res. 2017 Jan;31(1):27-39. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5734. Epub 2016 Oct 17.


Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau ("Bergamot") originated from the Mediterranean ecoregion (southern Italy, Calabria). Bergamot essential oil (BEO) is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and for stress reduction. Juice from C. bergamia has been used for hyperlipidemia. We evaluated literature published on C. bergamia clinical applications. Clinical trials on C. bergamia not combined with other substances, published in English, were searched. We selected ten articles, six describing BEO effects on stress, three reporting effects of polyphenolic fraction of C. bergamia juice in hyperlipidemia and the last describing BEO effects in chronic psoriasis. Clinical studies were analyzed following Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials for herbal therapy. Studies were conducted on small sample sizes and not have high quality level. Analysis indicates that BEO aromatherapy could be safe and useful to reduce stress symptoms. One study suggests its potential supportive role in ultraviolet B therapy against psoriasis. Supplementation with polyphenols from bergamot juice reduces plasma lipids and improves lipoprotein profile in moderate hyperlipidemia. Effectiveness and safety of C. bergamia cannot be definitively drawn because of publication bias and low quality level of the majority of studies. Further large-scale trials with rigorous design are required to define the role of C. bergamia in clinical practice. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau; bergamot; bergamot essential oil; bergamot juice.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology


  • Plant Oils
  • bergamot oil