The Side Effects of Bergamot Oil
As a natural fruit-derived additive to foods and beverages, bergamot oil brings a distinctive citrus flavor to items such as Earl Grey tea. Aromatherapy also uses bergamot oil to relieve anxiety, depression and tension, and the oil is included in lotions and body oils for its soothing aroma and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of possible side effects, people should use bergamot oil with caution. The component bergapten is responsible for some side effects, but bergapten-free bergamot oil is available.
Like other essential oils, bergamot oil can be very irritating to the skin unless it is heavily diluted. Even then, bergamot oil can cause side effects in some people. As listed by eMedTV, these effects include blisters, scabs, redness and skin pigmentation changes, mainly lightening effects. Some people use bergamot oil to help even out pigmentation lightening due to the disorder vitiligo, but the effects may not be consistent.
- Like other essential oils, bergamot oil can be very irritating to the skin unless it is heavily diluted.
The Side Effects of Geranium Oil
Bergamot oil applied to skin can cause extra sensitivity to the sun -- photosensitivity -- that can result in severe sunburn and cell changes that can lead to skin cancer, according to Drugs.com. This effect is primarily caused by the component bergamottin, which absorbs ultraviolet light. It can continue up to 72 hours after bergamot oil is applied.
Consuming bergamot oil that contains bergapten may decrease potassium levels in the body, which can lead to muscle cramps and muscle twitching, according to Drugs.com. One case report involves a man who consumed about 1 gallon of bergamot-flavored Earl Gray tea daily and developed muscle cramps, twitches, abnormal sensations and blurred vision.
The Side Effects of Geranium Oil
Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Good for Lowering Cholesterol?
Products to Avoid With Rosacea
Side Effects of Frankincense Oil
Does Olive Oil Contain Vitamin E?
What Is Noni Seed Oil Good For?
Borage Oil Side Effects
How Much Oil Should You Eat?
The Toxicity of Linseed Oil
How Many Calories Are in Malt Liquor?
- EMedTV: Bergamot Oil Side Effects
- Drugs.com: Bergamot Oil Information
- Sanguinetti M, Posteraro B, Romano L, et al. In vitro activity of Citrus bergamia (bergamot) oil against clinical isolates of dermatophytes. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Feb;59(2):305-8. doi:10.1093/jac/dkl473
- Dugo G, Bonaccorsi I. (2013) Citrus bergamia: Bergamot and its Derivatives (1st Ed). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
- Han X, Gibson J, Eggett DL, Parker TL. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. Phytother Res. 2017 May;31(5):812-6. doi:10.1002/ptr.5806
- Lazarotto M, Valério A, Boligon A, Tres MV. Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Bergamot Peel Oil from Supercritical CO and Compressed Propane Extraction. Open Food Source J. 2018;10(1):16-23. doi:10.2174/1874256401810010016
- Nauman MC, Johnson JJ. Clinical application of bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for reducing high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease markers. Integr Food Nutr Metab. 2019 Mar;6(2):31057945. doi:10.15761/IFNM.1000249
- Saiyudthong S, Marsden CA. Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behaviour and corticosterone level in rats. Phytother Res. 2011 Jun;25(6):858-62. doi:10.1002/ptr.3325
Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.