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Orange

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  • Botanical: Citrus aurantium
  • Family: Rutaceae
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Orange

Botanical

Citrus aurantium

Family

Rutaceae

Known as

Orange, Citrus aurantium, Apfelsine

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

autumn

Parts Used

fruit, peel

Aroma

citrus, fruity, sweet

Medicinal

aging, anorexia, bladder disease, bladder weakness, colic, depression, eczema, fatigue, fever, flatulence, flu, herpes, insomnia, menstrual problems, sore throat, throat inflammation, vaginitis, neurasthenia, mouth sores, sprains

Hormone & Sexual Organs

herpes, menstrual problems, vaginitis

Infection & Inflammation

chills, fever, flu, mouth sores, throat inflammation

Muscle & Joints

sprains

Mind & Nerves

colic, depression, fatigue (exhaustion), insomnia, loss of appetite, neurasthenia

Respiratory System

sore throat

Stomach & Intestinal

bladder disease, bladder weakness, flatulence

Skin & Hair

aging, eczema

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, relaxant

Note

middle

Extraction

cold pressed/unrefined

Description

It is a small tree with a smooth, greyishbrown bark and branches that spread into a fairly regular hemisphere. The oval, alternate, evergreen leaves, 3 to 4 inches long, have sometimes a spine in the axil. They are glossy, dark green on the upper side, paler beneath. The calyx is cup-shaped and the thick, fleshy petals, five in number, are intensely white, and curl back.

The fruit is earth-shaped, a little rougher and darker than the common, sweet orange: the flowers are more strongly scented and the glands in the rind are concave instead of convex.

Properties & Uses

Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight.

Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics. The plants also contain umbelliferone, which is antifungal, as well as essential oils that are antifungal and antibacterial.

They also contain the pyrone citrantin, which shows antifertility activity and was once used as a component of contraceptives. Both the leaves and the flowers are antispasmodic, digestive and sedative. An infusion is used in the treatment of stomach problems, sluggish digestion etc. The fruit is antiemetic, antitussive, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive and expectorant.The immature fruit can be used (called Zhi Shi in China) or the mature fruit with seeds and endocarp removed (called Zhi Ke). The immature fruit has a stronger action.

They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation, abdominal distension, stuffy sensation in the chest, prolapse of the uterus, rectum and stomach. The fruit peel is bitter, digestive and stomachic. The seed and the pericarp are used in the treatment of anorexia, chest pains, colds, coughs etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Radiance'. It is used in treating depression, tension and skin problems. 

Other Uses

This species is much used as a rootstock for the sweet orange, C. sinensis, because of its disease resistance and greater hardiness. Grown as a hedging plant in N. America. A semi-drying oil obtained from the seed is used in soap making. Essential oils obtained from the peel, petals and leaves are used as a food flavouring and also in perfumery and medicines. The oil from the flowers is called 'Neroli oil' - yields are very low from this species and so it is often adulterated with inferior oils.

The oil from the leaves and young shoots is called 'petit-grain' - 400 kilos of plant material yield about 1 kilo of oil. This is also often adulterated with inferior products. Neroli oil, mixed with vaseline, is used in India as a preventative against leeches

Cautions

None known

Distribution

Native of SW Asia and cultivated in tropics worldwide. It now grows in Bermuda, the Bahamas, West Indies and throughout American tropical regions

Constituents

Ätherisches Öl, Linalylacetat, Limonen, Terpineol, Bergapten, Bisabolen, Nerol