Discover the various benefits of bitter orange

Citrus aurantium, commonly called bitter orange or sour orange, is a plant that belongs to the rutaceae family. The sour orange is a tree that can reach 10 m in height, with glossy, oval evergreen leaves. Its fruits have a rough skin, with a green-yellow color. The flowers are white or pink. In herbal medicine, it is especially the zest of the immature fruit that is used. Citrus vulgaris is very popular in cooking and medicine thanks to its many active ingredients: flavonoids, pectins, synephrine, limonenes, essential oil, vitamin C, N-methyl-tyramine, coumarins, carotenes.


The zest of sour orange contains synephrine and N-methyltyramine. At the end of the years 93, this gave rise to the creation of a pharmaceutical product with adrenergic properties, by Chinese doctors. In other words, a product with stimulating action in the same way as adrenaline. Thanks to a process of semisynthesis, they concentrated these 2 substances and were able to obtain an extract which was a drug of the class of sympathomimetics. Therefore, it has been used as an injection in Chinese hospitals, to counter the effects of anaphylactic shock.

When to use it and how to benefit from its benefits ?

Bitter orange is particularly suitable:

  • For lose weight : 1 g of Citrus aurantium powder per day, which must be taken in 3 times without meals;
  • Against loss of appetite and symptoms of dyspepsia: consume 1 to 2 g of the zest of the plant, dried 3 times a day. It is also possible to drink 1ml of mother tincture in 3 times a day;
  • Other indications: distilled water from the flower of this plant can treat insomnia and palpitations . In addition, the essential oil of sour orange, when massaged, allows it to regenerate the skin in the event of eczema or acne. On the other hand, to treat nervousness or anxiety, you can put 10 drops in a diffuser, or place 5 to drops in the bath water.

In what form can it be used?

Herbal medicine uses sour orange in the form of powders, infusions, essential oil or syrups.

What are the precautions for use?

Bitter orange should be used with caution, since it contains synephrine, which is a substance similar to ephedrine, which is prohibited. The association of Citrus vulgaris with caffeine is therefore able to cause cardiovascular disorders.


This plant is contraindicated for individuals with the following disorders:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Coronary thrombosis;
  • Diabetes;
  • Anxiety, depression, agitation;
  • Cardiovascular disorders;
  • Angle-closure glaucoma;
  • Thyroid disorders.

In addition, the zest of sour orange is also prohibited for:

  • Individuals undergoing treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (family of antidepressants);
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women;
  • Children under 6 years old

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sour orange Citrus aurantium bitter orange

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