Bitter Orange

Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium

Botanical Name:
Citrus aurantium

Bitter orange tree with fruit and flowers

Family:

Rutaceae

Appearance:

Tree

Origins:

Eastern Africa & Asia

Native to eastern Africa and tropical Asia, bitter orange now is grown throughout the Mediterranean region and elsewhere, including California and Florida. 

Active Constituents:

  • P-synephrine

Healing Properties:

People use bitter orange for conditions such as weight loss, upset stomach, and exercise performance, and many others, but so far, science has shown only that the oil, when applied to the skin, might be effective for the treatment of fungal skin infections (ringwormjock itch, and athlete's foot).

In foods, bitter orange oil is used as a flavouring agent and the fruit is used for making marmalades and liqueurs such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and Curacao.

Because the fruit is so sour and bitter, it is rarely eaten, except in Iran and Mexico.

The dried peel of the fruit is also used as a seasoning.

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