Bitter Orange
    
Citrus Aurantium

Bitter Orange dates earliest history to tropical Asia.  Essential oil neroli, aromatherapy, perfume. Antiseptic, boosts immune system. Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory, relieve fevers, reduce heart rate, palpitations, encourage sleep, calms digestion, and detox waste. Synephrine, raises energy encourages weight loss.Petit Grain (or Bitter Orange) also called "bigaradier" in French is indigenous to Mediterranean countries. It is thought to have been introduced into Europe around the year 1200 by Arab tradesmen and became widely utilized by Italian, Spanish and French herbalists during the 17th century. One of its essential oils is called "petit grain" in French. Use of Bitter Orange dates back to earliest history - the ancient Greeks employed it as an antiseptic in aromatherapy and in phytotherapy as a calmant. In cosmetology, it is valued for its fragrance and revitalizing properties.

The bitter orange, native to tropical Asia, has provided food and medicine for thousands of years. Its oil contains flavonoids which are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. Bitter orange juice is rich in vitamin C which helps the immune system. As an infusion, it helps to relieve fever, soothe headaches and lower fever. It yields neroli oil from its flowers, and the oil known as petitgrain from its leaves and young shoots. Both distillates are used extensively in perfumery. Orange flower water is a by-product of distillation and is used in perfumery and to flavor sweets and biscuits, as well as being used medicinally to reduce heart rate and palpitations, to encourage sleep and calm the digestive tract.

Bitter oranges, the most well-known of which are the Seville and the Bergamot, are as their name implies, too sour and astringent to eat raw. Instead, they're cooked in preparations such as Marmalade and Bigarade Sauce. Bitter oranges are also greatly valued for their peel, which is candied, and their essential oils, which are used to flavor foods as well as some liqueurs, such as Curacao. Most of the bitter orange supply comes from Spain.

For thousands of years, immature bitter orange has been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine. An active compound in bitter orange is synephrine, which has thermogenic properties and may heighten the body's activities.

Drinking the sour juice helps the body get rid of waste products and naturally boosts the immune system. The acidic fruit of Bitter Orange stimulates digestion and relieves gas. An infusion of the fruit works to soothe headaches, calm palpitations, reduce fevers, coughs, and constipation. It is also used for insomnia and indigestion in many parts of the world. Bitter Orange also helps stimulate the appetite, and reduce chest and stomach pain, and vomiting. The peel and the flower are used for headaches and pain. Drinking the sour juice helps the body get rid of waste products and naturally boosts the immune system. A tincture of Bitter Orange can be used to help treat shock or insomnia.

Synephrine is used to activate the adrenaline system without the stimulatory effect posed by ephedra-based products. The most likely explanation for weight loss effects attributed to citrus aurantium (synephrine) supplements is the stimulant like effects of the alkaloids. Although this effect is likely to be somewhat less dramatic than effects induced by Ma Huang (ephedra - also known as Sida Cordifolia), users can expect variable effects including reduced appetite and heightened feelings of energy (similar to caffeine), both of which are likely to result in weight loss.

Supplement promoters have created a new marketing term, "thermogenics," which literally means "heat generation." The idea is that these products alter the metabolism in a way that causes the body to use more energy. The effect is a more energetic you, with accompanying weight loss.

Bitter Orange Safety & Interaction Information
There are no known safety issues or interactions associated with Bitter Orange when taken in the recommended doses; however, frequent contact with Bitter Orange peel can cause skin irritation, including redness, swelling, and blisters. Heightened sensitivity to sunlight may occur in light-skinned individuals. Using Bitter Orange oil internally should be done so only under a physician's supervision. Not intended for use by young children. Safety in pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.  If you are being treated for heart disease consult with your physician before taking bitter orange.

References:
Synephrine Info And Products, Republished from Clayton South's Health Facts, www.bodybuilding.com
Thermogenic Products, William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007

 

 

 

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The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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