Health Benefits of Bitter Oranges
Bitter oranges are also known as Coolie oranges, sour oranges, Sadaphal and Gambhru Khatta in India and Seville oranges, Marmalade oranges otherwise. Their scientific name is Citrus aurantium. The major difference between sweet oranges and bitter oranges is because of pectin content. The bitter oranges have a very high content of pectin as compared to sweet oranges. These fruits are named bitter oranges because of its peculiar pungency (imparting bitter taste to it) and sourness. The ripe fruits of bitter oranges come with a green, yellow and a dark orange peel. The healthier the fruit is, the more weight it possesses because of high quantity of juice in it. The peels of bitter oranges have very high amounts of essential oils and are extremely zesty. It is typically found in some parts of America, Asia and Africa. As the name suggests, these fruits are extremely bitter and acidic, hence, these cannot be eaten directly. The juice of the bitter oranges is diluted with water and sweeteners for consumption.
Primary Use of this Fruit
The rinds of this fruit are used to treat gastric disorders. Nowadays, it’s also used as appetite suppressants. The essential oils obtained from the peel and the flowers are used in making perfume: they are incredibly aromatic.
Chemical And Nutrient Content in Bitter Orange
The fruit contains
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C/ Ascorbic acid
Health Benefits of Bitter orange
This therapy makes use of the essential oils that are super fragrant. This therapy helps stimulate the olfaction. It calms down anxiety. In patients with coronary diseases, it was observed that if they are exposed to aromatherapy, their sleep cycle improves. It is a sleep remedy for sleep disorders in heart patients.
Protection of the kidneys
This fruit plays a nephro-protective role against gentamicin induced kidney damage. It is observed and concluded after various studies that this is because of the flavonoid content and antioxidant properties in the fruit.
P-synephrine in combination with other herbs stabilized heartbeats, EKG, blood pressure urine analysis and serum chemistry. It showed high increase in metabolism and hence is thought to be a contributor in weight loss.
Reducing seizures in epilepsy
The effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of citrus flowers in PTZ and MES showed anti-convulsant effects.
The limonene and myrcene content in bitter orange has a very strong potential for anti-tumor effects.
Aqueous extracts of the flowers have an anti-spasmodic effect on uterine contractions. The uterine contractions induced by Potassium Chloride, Barium Chloride and oxytocin were reduced by the flower extracts. This mechanism is triggered by calcium influx blockade.
Juices of the bitter orange provide protection against Indian earthworms.
Bitter oranges possess chemo-preventive properties against malignant colon cells that cause cancer.
The peels are extremely rich in anti-oxidants.
Used for treating skin disorders
Fresh rind is rubbed on face to get rid of acne and eczema. The bitter orange juice (that is mixed with salt) is also used for treating ringworm.
The extracts are applied on swellings to produce anti-inflammatory effects and reduce the swelling.
To reduce joint pains
The oils obtained from the peels and the flowers are used for treating joint disorders like gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
How to Use
- Bitter orange peel and rind extracts are most commonly used. However, both, its fruit and flowers are used to make extracts.
- Various concentrations of bitter orange juice are used after dilutions according to the requirements.
- It can be used in both fresh and dried form.
Bitter orange has synephrine which is known to increase heart rate and metabolsim. If consumed in excess, the metabolism rate can exceed the normal causing distress and potential disruption of various important metabolic activities in the body.