Bitter orange benefits, medicinal uses and side effects

Bitter orange is a flowering, evergreen tree grows 9 meters in height and has a spread of 6 meters. In this post, we will talk about Bitter orange benefits, medicinal uses, and side effects.

Bitter orange benefits, medicinal uses and side effects

It is in leaf during October-January, and blossoms from April to June. It has dark green leathery leaves. The flowers are hermaphrodite, and the plant is self-fertile. Bitter orange prefers well-drained soils with plenty of sun. It does not grow in the shade.

The fragrance of the orange blossoms is intense. The white flowers have five petals. Not all flowers have the female pistil and the male stigma. The sour orange fruit is like the sweet orange, and it has a bitter taste. Harvesting is in January-February.

Bitter orange common names

The common name for the plant is bitter orange. Other names include naranjaagria, neroli, citrus vulgaris, zhishi, Bigarade orange, sour orange, Seville orange tree, and Amara.

Botanical name or family

The botanical name of this plant is Citrus x aurantium. It belongs to the Rutaceae family.

Common geological places where sour orange tree grows

This is native to tropical Asia, but people cultivate it in the Mediterranean region also. You find it growing in parts of Florida. It also grows in the Bahamas. In India, it grows in TamilNadu, Goa, West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala.

Ways to use bitter orange fruit

You can use bitter orange as a tincture or make an extract. The bitter orange peel and the bitter orange oil find great use in treating a variety of ailments. The dosage for the use is as follows:

Tincture: ½ teaspoon thrice daily.

Crushed peel: 1 teaspoon thrice daily.

Extract: ¼ teaspoon.

Bitter orange benefits and medicinal uses

sour orange flower and fruit

The bitter orange has a variety of medicinal uses. The bitter orange peel contains flavones, carotenoids, octopamine, and others. The fruit also has flavonoids glycosides, essential oils, and flavonoids. It is an appetite suppressant.

  • Treat fungal infections: You can treat a variety of fungal infections with the extract of the bitter orange. The most common ailments include athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. 
  • Antianxiety: You can use the essential oil to treat depression and anxiety. The popular method of use is in aromatherapy. 
  • Good source of nutrients: Orange has good amounts of vitamins and minerals. It has phytochemicals like pectin, polyphenols, synephrine, and liminoids. Among minerals, it has potassium calcium and magnesium. It also has niacin and thiamine. 
  • Antibacterial: Studies show that the bitter orange extract has good antibacterial property. So, they use the extract and the dried peel as a preservative in many food items. 
  • Antiemetic: Having the juice or extract of the sour orange helps offset the vomiting sensation. This is useful for those who get sick while traveling. Have two drops of the extract with your tea, and you will forget the nauseating sensation. 
  • Antispasmodic: Bitter orange extract finds use in relieving the spasms of the involuntary muscles. It can make the effect of seizures less intense. 
  • Antitussive: if you have the feeling of congestion in the chest, use bitter orange decoction to get relief. People use the seed and the pericarp for chest pains, colds, and coughs. 
  • Anorexia: For people who suffer from a loss of appetite, the use of bitter orange extract proves to be a big boon. 
  • Appetizer: Use the bitter orange peel before your meal to improve your appetite. It stimulates the digestive system and gets the juices flowing. 
  • Aromatherapy: Since the olden times, the oil of the bitter orange has found use in aromatherapy. It relieves a headache and improves the appetite. It stimulates the brain and relieves congestion in the airways. 
  • Carminative: Get good relief for your gas problems with orange extract. This will relieve your flatulence fast and strengthen your digestive system. 
  • Contraceptive: People use the bitter orange as a contraceptive in some places. People have it to prevent conception. 
  • Diaphoretic: One of the uses of bitter orange is to induce sweating. You need this for patients with specific medical conditions that need the patient to sweat to get relief. 
  • Digestive: One may use the fruit peel to cure digestive problems. Have the peel before your meal for best effect. Chewing the peel between meals helps keep your appetite up. 
  • Sedative: The bitter orange tincture is useful for those who suffer from insomnia. The sedative action makes the person go to sleep fast. 
  • Stimulant: Use the bitter orange preparation to get energized since it pops up the metabolism and makes the person full of energy. Have the bitter orange preparation twice a day to remain energized throughout the day. 
  • Stomachic: The good settling effect on the stomach is useful for those who have frequent upset stomachs. Take the bitter orange peel or the extract half an hour before your meal. 
  • Tonic: Get good vigour by having the preparation of the bitter oranges often. It uplifts your immune system and gives you good energy throughout the day. 
  • Vitamin C: This fruit is replete with vitamin C and is one of the richest known sources. This antioxidant helps protect us from cell damage and other detrimental effects of the free radicals. Vitamin C helps form collagen and blood vessels, skin, ligaments, and tendons. It strengthens the bones and teeth and heals wounds. 
  • Dyspepsia: You can put right the belly pain, discomfort, and uncomfortable feeling after eating by having the tincture of the bitter orange. It settles the stomach and stimulates the appetite. 
  • Constipation: People suffering from constipation can get relief from constipation by having the extract of the bitter orange. Have the tea made from the bitter orange peels twice a day or until the symptoms disappear. 
  • Relief for abdominal distension: People having prolapse of the uterus, stomach, and rectum use the bitter orange. It relieves the symptoms and gives good relief.

Side effects of bitter orange

The fruit is possibly safe when taken in small amounts. It becomes unsafe when you use it in high doses along with stimulants such as caffeine for weight loss and other issues.

Bitter Orange increases the risk of blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, fainting and other severe side effects. It can trigger headaches and migraines in some people. It causes sensitivity to the sun. Also, you might get rashes if you touch the oil or the peel often.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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