Throughout the ages humans have relied on nature for their basic needs, in particular medicines for the treatment of several diseases. Traditional use of medicines is recognized as a way to learn about potential medicines for the future. In the last decade, several compounds used in medicine were derived from “ethnomedical plant source” and many of these compounds are used in the same or related manner as the traditional use. 


However, it is often misled to believe that all natural treatments are inherently safe. Sophisticated technologies are now available to identify the composition of medicinal plants and the chemical structure of the single metabolites. A better understanding of their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties is crucial for the development of novel effective therapeutics.

Our Mission

Among medicinal plants, our studies are focused on the pharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot.  Essential oils, currently used in aromatherapy, are concentrated steam distillates obtained from a range of aromatic plants, in particular from the peel of citrus fruits.

Early biological effects of the phytocomplex at level of different cerebral area such as hippocampus and cortex and the mechanisms underlying these central effects have been investigated.  

Neuroprotection is a rapidly expanding area of research and represents a new therapeutic strategy for several diseases. The essential oil of bergamot and some of the main active compounds of its volatile fraction have been shown therapeutic effects in animal models of several diseases (Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot).