Citrus Bergamot for Inflammation

Citrus bergamot is a citrus fruit that has been used as an herbal remedy for many years. This fruit has been used for infections, fevers, heart health, and other concerns.  …

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Written by: Jack Cincotta, MS
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Citrus bergamot is a citrus fruit that has been used as an herbal remedy for many years. This fruit has been used for infections, fevers, heart health, and other concerns. 

Modern research has proven many of the benefits of citrus bergamot as it seems effective for cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation, and other concerns.

In this article, we will go over the specific benefits of citrus bergamot for inflammation and overview how it works, effective dosing strategies, and optimal duration of use.

citrus bergamot for inflammation

Citrus Bergamot Overview:

Citrus bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a citrus fruit native to the southern Italian region known as Calabria. 

This fruit is known by other names too, including bergamot orange and sour orange, despite its yellowish-green appearance. 

The juice extracts and essential oils in citrus bergamot contain many beneficial compounds, such as flavonoids and other antioxidants. Specifically, some of the main compounds thought to deliver health benefits are:

  • Neohesperidin
  • Naringin
  • Neoereocitrin
  • Ponceritin
  • Bergamottin
  • Mitrocin

Additionally, citrus bergamot oil is often used to make Earl Grey Tea. Traditionally, this was done by using a combination of black tea and citrus bergamot oil, which comes from the rind. 

Benefits of Citrus Bergamot for Inflammation:

Several studies have looked at the possible health benefits of citrus bergamot for inflammation. While there aren’t many clinical studies, there is still enough evidence backing the use of citrus bergamot as an anti-inflammatory compound.

One clinical study on 107 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that supplementing with 650mg of citrus bergamot twice daily for 120 days led to reductions in c-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. The researchers noted many improvements in other bodily systems too, such as metabolic health. 

A clinical trial on 80 patients with type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease showed that supplementing with 300mg of citrus bergamot alone or in combination with cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) led to significant decreases in several biomarkers of inflammation compared to the placebo. Some of the markers that were reduced include CR-P, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). 

A lab-based study conducted using human leukemia monocytic cells found that flavonoid fractions from citrus bergamot juice reduced several pro-inflammatory cytokines. Overall, it suggested that bergamot has multiple roles as an anti-inflammatory compound. 

In an in vitro study done on human endothelial cells, flavonoids from citrus bergamot protected against inflammation after being exposed to TNF-a. This suggests that citrus bergamot fruit can initiate anti-inflammatory processes.

One rat study looked into the anti-inflammatory effects of three doses of bergamot essential oil  (0.025, 0.05 and 0.10mL/kg) on rats with inflammation. The researchers found that all doses of bergamot essential oil reduced inflammation, with a dose-dependent effect. From the lowest to highest dose, bergamot essential oil reduced inflammation by 27%, 30%, and 63%, respectively. 

In one study done on mice subjected to experimental colitis, bergamot juice flavonoids reduced numerous pro-inflammatory compounds and showed anti-inflammatory effects against colon inflammation. The researchers concluded that these effects may translate well to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment in humans. 


Clinical studies indicate that citrus bergamot may work to reduce inflammation.
citrus bergamot for inflammation benefits

How Does Citrus Bergamot Work for Inflammation?

There are a few mechanisms behind citrus bergamot’s anti-inflammatory effects. They all generally revolve around the flavonoids and other antioxidant compounds in this fruit. 

For example, various flavonoid compounds in citrus bergamot protect against oxidative stress and increase antioxidant defense activities. This is important because oxidative stress is a key driver of inflammation, so limiting this process may reduce inflammation. 

Moreover, extracts from both bergamot juice and the peel seem to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which would otherwise drive up inflammation. Similarly, citrus bergamot has been shown to reduce a number of common inflammatory markers, such as TNF-a and IL-6 (and several other interleukin compounds), and has also been proven to reduce DNA and cellular damage. 

Mechanism of Action:

Citrus bergamot is thought to lower inflammation by reducing oxidative stress and common inflammatory markers.

How Long Does it Take for Citrus Bergamot to Work for Inflammation?

Since there aren’t many clinical studies regarding citrus bergamot for inflammation, there isn’t a definitive dosage or timeline.

With that said, there are enough clinical studies completed to provide a general supplementation protocol. To this end, it is recommended to supplement with citrus bergamot flavonoids for four months or longer to get the greatest anti-inflammatory effects. 

One may start to experience noticeable benefits well before this time frame is up, but it’s important to stay consistent and continue supplementing to ensure the greatest benefits.

Regarding dosage, anywhere from 300mg to 1,300mg of citrus bergamot flavonoid extract has been used. This is a wide range, so it may be beneficial to start with a moderate dose within that range. Look for a citrus bergamot extract supplement that is standardized for flavonoids. To make this easier, we’ve put together a helpful guide going over the Best Citrus Bergamot Supplements.

Also, the degree of benefits one receives depends on other factors too, such as diet quality, stress levels, exercise, sleep, and others, as all of these have an effect on inflammation and overall health.

Click here to read our article going over the recommended dosages for citrus bergamot.

As always, it is best to talk with one’s doctor or healthcare practitioner to determine what supplementation protocol is safest and most effective for the individual.


Daily supplementation of 500mg to 1,000mg of citrus bergamot is thought to begin working within four months.

Citrus Bergamot vs. Other Herbs:

Citrus Bergamot is often compared with many other different types of herbs. We have put together a few helpful articles going over common comparisons.

Citrus Bergamot vs. Berberine: Similarities & Differences Explained

• Citrus Bergamot vs. Bitter Orange: Similarities & Differences Explained

Citrus Bergamot vs. Red Yeast Rice: Similarities & Differences Explained

Citrus Bergamot vs. Statins: Similarities & Differences Explained

Read More:

Below, we’ve compiled our articles that go over the specific health benefits of citrus bergamot for additional reading.

• 5 Benefits of Citrus Bergamot

5 Benefits of Citrus Bergamot Tea: Dosage & Side Effects

• Citrus Bergamot Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day?

Citrus Bergamot for Blood Sugar & Weight Loss

• Citrus Bergamot for Cholesterol

Citrus Bergamot Safety: Side Effects & Interactions

benefits of citrus bergamot for inflammation


Citrus bergamot is citrus fruit rich in flavonoids and other compounds that have many possible health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects.

Several studies have shown that citrus bergamot reduces inflammation and may improve a number of inflammatory-related diseases, such as fatty liver disease, IBD, and skin ailments. 

For those who are interested in supplementing with citrus bergamot for inflammation, the suggested route is to start with 500mg to 1,000mg per day for four months (or longer), depending on one’s unique situation.

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About Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack has a Master of Science degree in Psychology and is also an AADP® Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and AFPA® Certified Holistic Health Coach. His passion is to help people develop optimal levels of health, particularly mental health.