Bitter orange is more often known as Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, marmalade orange, or neroli.


 It is native to Southeast Asia and has spread to many parts of the world, especially on the Mediterranean coast and Spain.

Part Used

The medicinal part is derived from the dried outer peel of the fruit and the leaves. The leaves are also commonly used in many folk traditions.

Traditional Uses and Benefits:

In Western medicine, bitter orange oils used to reduce heart rate and palpitations, encourage sleep, and soothe the digestive tract. The essential oil of this plant contains linalool and the fragrant substance limonene. These chemicals have antianxiety, sedative, and antidepressant effects.

Citrus aurantium peel contains volatile oil with limonene (about 90%), flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenes, vitamin C, carotene, and pectin. The flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

This plant therapeutically useful in the application of various diseases such as; digestion and flatulence problems, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and stroke.

Bitter orange peel contains citral, limonene, and several citrus bioflavonoids, including hesperidin, neohesperidin, naringin, and rutin.  Some studies mention that these substances might have an antiviral effect.

Citrus aurantium juice helps the body eliminate waste products, supports the immune system. The strongly acidic fruit stimulates digestion and relieves flatulence: An infusion of the fruit is believed to soothe headaches, calm palpitations, and lower fevers.

Dosage and Precautions

Health professionals recommend 1 to 2 g of dried bitter orange peel decoction three times a day. To prepare a decoction, add 1-2 g of the dried bitter orange peel in a cup of water, boil for 10 to 15 minutes, and then strain the liquid.

The recommended dosage for a tincture is 2 to 3 ml three times daily.


Bitter orange oil may cause light sensitivity, especially in fair-skinned individuals.  Decoctions of bitter orange considerably increased blood levels of cyclosporine, causing toxicity.  It contains synephrine and octopamine, and these chemicals may cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), heart attack, and stroke.


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