The essential oil of bergamot contains more than 300 compounds including linalyl acetate (30-60 percent), limonene (26-42 percent) and linalol (11-22 percent).
Some other constituents are alcohols, sesquiterpenes, alkanes and furocoumarins like bergapten in an amount of 0.30 to 0.39 percent.
The herb got its name from the Italian city of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, where the oil was first produced and sold.
The oil has been used in Italian folk medicine for many years, especially to treat high fever, intestinal worms and even malaria.
Research made in Italy shows that the bergamot essential oil can have a wide spectrum of applications and could be useful to treat some mouth and skin infections and also an infection of the respiratory and urinary tract.
The bergamot essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy. It has cooling and refreshing properties and acts primarily as a tonic for the nervous system since it’s invigorating without being over-stimulating.
Bergamot has carminative (expels gas), antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, making it a useful herb for problems related to the digestive system, especially when it comes to colic, bloating or general indigestion.
The oil may regulate appetite, and its antiseptic properties can be helpful for gastritis and other gastrointestinal infections.
The essential oil is used to get rid of some parasites and to treat scabies.
The herb has been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for cough, flu, high fever, vaginal discharge and infection, poor appetite, some eating disorders,acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, cuts, sores, insect bites and boils
Bergamot seems to have antiviral properties that make this herb a possible remedy for the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores and the herpes zoster virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles.
The oil is used as a flavor component in Earl Grey tea. It’s also an ingredient in the 4711 eau de cologne and it’s used in various perfumes, skin care products, lotions, soaps, and sweets.