Citrus aurantium

Other Names: Orange, China Orange, Citrus dulcis

The first mention of oranges appears in the writings of Arabs, the time and manner of their first cultivation in Europe being uncertain.

Orange trees, at the age of ten years, will occupy nearly an acre of land, and will produce during the season about 2,200 lb. of Orange flowers.

Orange as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

Orange herbThe medicinal parts are the fresh and dried peel as well as the oil extracted from the peel.

Sweet Orange promotes gastric juice secretion. It has been used for dyspeptic complaints and loss of appetite. No health hazards or side effects are known. There is a low potential for sensitization through skin contact with orange essential oil. This essential oil is used for many ailments: Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, cordial, deodorant, digestive, stimulant (nervous) and tonic (cardiac, circulatory). It has also been applied to combat colds, constipation, dull skin, flatulence, the flu, gums, slow digestion, and stress.

The most common – and popular- means of using orange for its medicinal qualities is through drinking tea.

Orange essential oil is used chiefly as a flavoring agent, but may be used in the same way as oil of turpentine in chronic bronchitis. It is non-irritant to the kidneys and pleasant to take.

In aromatherapy, orange is used to treat anxiety and depression. Orange oil is very affordable and has a wonderful, up-lifting ability. You can also use the orange oil to scent a room or office. A small bottle of sweet orange essential oil can go a long way, because you only need a few drops at a time.

Orange oil is also good for cleaning – just add a few drops to your water, but do be careful not to use too much, as you could harm some surfaces.

In China the dried peel is used for its diuretic properties.

Orange blossoms are still used by many as a tea and as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia.

Original French Cologne. Take one liter (90 percent alcohol), mix in 4 grams each of the following: Orange blossoms, rosemary, citron-tree, bergamot. Allow to stand for 24 hours, filter and it is ready to use.

Wild Orange Blend

A blend of wild orange, clove bud, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus oils have been studied for their strong antiviral effects. Here is how to use it this way.

  1. Use a drop or two with water as a gargle twice a day as a protective mouth rinse.
  2. Take several drops under the tongue or in a vegetable capsule as an immune support.
  3. In a 16-ounce glass spray bottle, mix 25 drops orange oil with water. Use to spray door knobs, handles and surfaces to kill bacteria and viruses.

Culinary Uses of Oranges

The culinary uses for oranges are seemingly endless – there is something about their flavor that pairs well with sweet and savory, tangy, spicy and even sour flavors. Whether in juice, zest or section form, oranges can be incorporated into just about any dish.

Did you know? June 27 is National Orange Blossom Day.

Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange: The bitter orange is native to Africa, Arabia, and Syria. The membranes and pulp of the fruit, are very sour and bitter (hence the name).

Bitter orange peel has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

Herbalists in Europe began using bitter orange for stomach complaints, nervous conditions, gout, sore throat, and as a sedative. Currently, the British Pharmacopoeia lists it as a bitter tonic. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used as an ingredient in several different formulas, most of them dealing with coughs, colds, indigestion, nausea, and even organ prolapse. Contemporary Chinese practitioners inject it for the treatment of anaphalylactic shock and shock syndrome. It is also used in bath and body care products.

The German E Commission has approved the use of bitter orange for loss of appetite, dyspeptic ailments and stomach complaints. There is some speculation and testimony that bitter orange peel can be used for weight loss and as a nasal decongestant, but according to the German Commission there still need to be clinical trials done.

Culinary: Bitter Orange

As a flavoring agent, bitter orange can be used in a wide variety of foods, and is used in liqueurs (most notably Triple Sec), deserts, candy, gelatins and puddings. It is used to cover up the taste of pharmaceuticals, as well as being a key ingredient in marmalade. The peel is used in teas, especially those made for digestive complaints.


The orange was once known as the golden apple, because it was thought to have been given to the goddess Venus from Paris as a gift.

Cautions: Oranges

Some find the orange to be an irritant to the skin.

Cautions: Bitter Orange

Not recommended during pregnancy, and should not be used by children.

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