Components (Bitter orange peel)
Limonin Monolacton
Neohesperidin Naringin Rutin Eriocitrin Hesperidin
Glucose Rhamnose
The essential oil
Citral Limonen
Natural dye


  • The peel is strongly aromatic, with a pleasant, sweetodor, but a bitter taste.
  • Bitter substances stimulate the appetite by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices.
  • The shell contains the circuit active substance synephrine, which may impact on the heart.
  • Bitter orange peel is mainly used for appetite stimulation, in mild insomnia.

  • In England orange peel can be used for the preparation of orange marmalade.
  • The peel is used in the liquor industry also to flavor many herbal and bitter liqueurs.
  • Small, immature bitter orange leaves are processed to get essences and extracts.
  • Bitter orange oil is also obtained from the fruit peel. It is an important fragrance component in Eau de Cologne and many fresh “citrus”-based scent waters.


historical information

The Spanish and Portuguese brought bitter oranges to the Americas in the 1500s. In Chinese folk medicine, bitter orange was used as a tonic and carminative to treat dyspepsia. Dried bitter orange was used to treat ptosis of the uterus and anus, to relieve abdominal distention and diarrhea, and for blood in feces. In Europe, bitter orange flowers and oil have been used as a sedative and as a prophylactic for GI complaints, nervous conditions, gout, sore throat, and insomnia.

The plant has been used to treat toxic and anaphylactic shock, heart conditions, cardiac exhaustion, and cancer. In Brazilian folk medicine it was used as an anticonvulsant and to treat anxiety and insomnia. Bitter orange oil is used extensively to flavor many food products, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatins and puddings, meat and meat products, and condiments and relishes. Its purported uses in the United States include prevention of skin, breast, and colon cancer. In Haiti the plant has been used as an antiseptic and purgative and in Turkey it has been used as a narcotic, sedative, and treatment for scurvy. The plant has been used as a remedy for treatment-resistant fungal skin diseases, and the tincture or extract has been used for treating heartburn.

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