Bitter Orange

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Bitter Orange Fruit

Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


There are only two kinds of people who teach tolerance:
  1. The Bullies. They want you to tolerate them so they can continue to maliciously deprive you. Do not believe these bullies teaching tolerance, saying that it’s the path to prevent hatred and prejudice.
  2. The victims who are waiting for the right moment to retaliate. They can’t win yet, so they tolerate.

Bitter Orange

The medicinal herb Bitter Orange as an alternative herbal remedy for nausea, indigestion - The bitter orange tree is native to eastern Africa and tropical Asia. Today, it is grown throughout the Mediterranean region and elsewhere, including California and Florida. Bitter orange oil is used in foods, cosmetics, and aromatherapy products. Bitter orange oil from the tree's leaves is called petitgrain, and oil from the flowers is called neroli.Common Names--bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, Zhi shi

Latin Names--Citrus aurantium

Bitter orange has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest for nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Current folk or traditional uses of bitter orange are for heartburn, loss of appetite, nasal congestion, and weight loss. It is also applied to the skin for fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete's foot.

The dried fruit and peel (and sometimes flowers and leaves) are taken by mouth in extracts, tablets, and capsules. Bitter orange oil can be applied to the skin.

What Bitter Orange Is Used For

Bitter orange has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest for nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Current uses of bitter orange are for heartburn, loss of appetite, nasal congestion, and weight loss. If used on a regular basis, bitter orange, can be very effective against obesity. It is also applied to the skin for fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete's foot.

How Bitter Orange Is Used

The dried fruit and peel (and sometimes flowers and leaves) are taken by mouth in extracts, tablets, and capsules. Bitter orange oil can be applied to the skin. What the Science Says about Bitter Orange There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bitter orange for health purposes. Many herbal weight-loss products now use bitter orange peel in place of ephedra. However, bitter orange contains the chemical synephrine, which is similar to the main chemical in ephedra. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra because it raises blood pressure and is linked to heart attacks and strokes; it is unclear whether bitter orange has similar effects. There is currently little evidence that bitter orange is safer to use than ephedra. Side Effects and Cautions about Bitter Orange Because bitter orange contains chemicals that may speed up the heart rate and raise blood pressure, it may not be safe to use as a dietary supplement. There have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine. People should avoid taking bitter orange if they have a heart condition or high blood pressure, or if they are taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors), caffeine, or other herbs/supplements that speed up the heart rate. Due to lack of safety evidence, pregnant women should avoid products that contain bitter orange. Bitter orange oil used on the skin may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people. Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Herbal remedies in zamboanga.PNG

News About Bitter Bitter Orange

Seville orange tart with roast orange slices

By Diana Henry
For the pastry
• 125g unsalted butter
• 75g icing sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 250g plain flour
• ½ tbsp milk
For the roast oranges
• 3 thin-skinned, seedless oranges, cut into thin, round slices (discard the ends)
• juice of 3 oranges
• 100g caster sugar
For the filling
• 225ml Seville orange juice (if you can’t get these use normal orange juice and replace about 60ml with lemon juice)
• 125g sugar
• 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
• 150ml double cream
• finely grated zest of 4 oranges
• Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
• Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until creamy, then beat in two egg yolks, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
• Mix in the flour and a pinch of salt until the mixture comes together in a ball. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly until it’s completely smooth (don’t overwork it).
• Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
• Meanwhile, for the roast oranges, layer up the orange slices in a smallish gratin dish. Pour on the orange juice and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of the sugar. Cover with foil and bake for an hour, or until the peel is soft.
• When the pastry has chilled for 30 minutes, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3mm and use it to line a 22cm tart tin with a removable base. Let the pastry hang over the edges (you’ll trim it later).
• Prick the base with the tines of a fork. Put in the freezer to chill for an hour. Keep the surplus pastry.
• Once an hour is up for the roast orange slices, remove the foil, transfer the slices to a roasting tin in a single layer, sprinkle with the rest of the sugar and put into the oven for another 40 minutes until almost all of the juice has evaporated and the slices are sticky and slightly singed.
• Add a little more sugar if they aren’t singeing, but don’t take them too far otherwise they’ll become tough. Once done, leave them to cool.
• Meanwhile for the filling whisk the orange juice and sugar together to help the sugar dissolve. Add the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
• Fill the pastry case with crumpled greaseproof paper and with baking beans (or dried pulses). Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
• If there are any cracks in the pastry fill them in with the leftover pastry – it’s important that there are no holes or the filling will run out.
• Carefully trim the excess pastry from round the edges with a sharp knife. Brush the inside of the case with the remaining egg yolk mixed with a little milk. Put it back into the oven for a couple of minutes – this seals it so the custard doesn’t make it soggy. Leave to cool.
• Turn the oven down to 160C/gas mark 3.
• Wait until it has reached this temperature then pour the filling into the tart case and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. The top should seem set but still be slightly wobbly in the middle, as it will continue to cook once it has come out. Leave to cool completely and top with the roasted orange slices.

Citrus aurantium – Is there a Sweet Side to the Bitter Orange?

(Food Heritage)

Bousfeir is the Lebanese name for the Seville orange, also known as bitter orange and bigarade orange grown all over the Mediterranean, and commonly used in the cuisine of this region in a variety of recipes. The most common recipe to the Mediterranean countries producing bitter orange is jam and marmalade; even though the preparation method differs from one place to another, no pectin is added since the fruit is richer in pectin than sweet orange.

Total servings: 5

Preparation time: 5 hours with overnight


• 1 kilo of Bousfeir (choose the fruits with the thickest peel for their taste is better)
• 500g of sugar
• 50 ml of lemon juice

Preparation steps:

1. Wash the Bousfeir oranges and slightly grate to obtain a soft and uniform skin
2. Divide the thick peel into 4-5 parts (depending on the size of the orange) then cut and remove using a knife; remove the pith
3. Roll each peel, and with a needle thread each 10-12 rolled peels together
4. In a pot, heat 2L of water. When water starts to boil, add-in the threaded peels and let boil for 1 minute
5. Soak the peels in water, overnight in order to remove the extra bitter taste
6. On the next day, drain the peels and squeeze them to remove excess water
7. In a pot, add one cup of water to the sugar and put on medium fire. Add the Bousfeir peels and boil until the syrup thickens. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to avoid the sugar from sticking on the sides of the pot
8. When syrup is thick enough, add the lemon juice, stir in and remove from fire
9. Allow to cool before removing the thread and putting the jam in sterilized jars
10. Make sure to cover the jam with syrup

Citrus aurantium – Is there a Sweet Side to the Bitter Orange?

By Tim Wilson
What is Citrus aurantium?

Bitter orange is a plant made from a cross between two different orange species. The fruit is bitter in taste rather than sweet because of its high acidic content.

Bitter orange reached the Americas in the 1500s when it was brought along by the Portuguese and the Spanish. It was previously used for treating gastrointestinal infections in ancient Chinese medicine. In Europe, the flowers and oil of the bitter orange have been used as a prophylactic and a sedative. While in Brazil, it was used for treating insomnia and anxiety in the folk medicine.

The peel of bitter orange is used to make its oil, while the flowers, leaf, fruit juice, peels and fruit are used in making medicine. It is also available as a supplement in the form of capsules for weight loss management.

Benefits of Citrus aurantium for Weight Loss

In 2004, the FDA banned the sale of dietary supplements which contained ephedrine because of safety concerns for the users as it causes a variety of health concerns. Since then, manufacturers have turned to bitter orange as an alternative to ephedrine. When combined with a healthy low-caloric diet and exercise, the effects of bitter orange for weight loss are noticeable.

Extracts from bitter orange are shown to have the following effects which promote healthy weight loss:

• Facilitating the absorption of amino acids for muscle buildup
• Increasing the resting metabolic rate
• Stimulation of the medical processes
• Contributing to satiety (feeling of fullness so you eat less throughout the day)
How Does It Work?

The extract from bitter orange contains powerful alkaloids which include tyramine, octopamine, hordenine, N-methyltyramine and synephrine. These alkaloids target alpha and beta adrenergic receptors in the body which promotes the breakdown of fat. The activation of these receptors also reduces gastric motility which results in reduced intake of food.

Other Benefits

Bitter orange peel is very aromatic and its scent is rightfully utilized in the food and beverage industry. Some common benefits of bitter orange include:

• Aromatherapy – bitter orange essential oil is applied to the skin and can also be inhaled to relieve pain
• Bitter orange is used as a flavoring agent in food
• In the manufacturing industry, bitter orange is used in soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
• Immature and dried bitter orange fruits are used for the treatment of digestive disorders in many folk medicines, especially in Asia
• Dried peel of bitter orange is used for seasoning in food
• The bitter orange flower and its oil is also used for treating anemia, cancer, hair loss, frostbite and skin infections
• The peel of the bitter orange fruit is used for reducing the swelling of the eyelids and retina, headaches, cold, muscular, joint and nerve pain, bed sores and swelling of the blood vessels
• It is also used to make marmalades as well as liqueurs
• The flower of this plant helps in treating many gastrointestinal infections such as ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and gas
• For people with diabetes, it lowers the blood sugar by stimulating blood circulation and also regulates the levels of fat in the blood
Clinical Studies

Multiple clinical studies have been performed on animals as well as humans to study the effects of bitter orange. They are summarized as under:

• Alkaloids, such as synephrine reduce food intake and increase the expenditure of energy as a result of activation of alpha and beta adrenergic receptors in the body. They have shown to reduce fat cells and food intake in dogs, hamsters and rats (source). By stimulating the beta-adrenergic receptors, lipolysis (breakdown of fat) is also promoted in fat cells.
• In a clinical trial (source) with 12 subjects, one of the two groups was given Citrus aurantium juice while the other a placebo. The pulse and blood pressure was measured at every hour but the Citrus aurantium juice had no effect on the pulse or blood pressure of the subjects.
• The effectiveness of bitter orange in combination with caffeine was investigated in a study in which overweight men and women who followed a weight loss program with a low fat diet and regular exercise were given bitter orange extract and a placebo. It was found that the group with bitter orange extract lost more weight and had increased resting metabolic rate.
Side Effects

Bitter orange is very safe for children as well as adults when it is taken in the ordinary quantities as present in food. It is also safe to utilize for aromatherapy or application to the skin for certain problems. But some side effects of bitter orange include:

• Headaches – cluster headaches and migraines
• Sun sensitivity – wear sunscreen when you go out
• May increase the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, fainting
A word of caution

Many existing conditions may worsen if you do not take your health condition in consideration before starting with bitter orange:

• It may interfere with surgery so don’t use bitter orange at least two weeks before you go into surgery
• Don’t use bitter orange with caffeine if you have an irregular heartbeat or you are hypertensive
• You run the risk of serious problems if you take bitter orange with an existing heart condition
• Bitter orange may worsen glaucoma
• Monitor your blood sugar closely if you have diabetes and are taking bitter orange

Bitter orange has faced much controversy in being used as a supplement for weight loss since its increased popularity as an alternative to ephedrine. The concerns for this fruit and its effects are not baseless; increased usage, not following the manufacturer’s advice labels or not consulting your doctor before including bitter orange in your diet may lead to serious health consequences and side effects. But if proper care and caution is exercised, you may reap the many benefits of this natural remedy for weight loss as well as other infections and diseases.

No-Churn Bitter Orange Ice Cream


I first made this with Seville oranges, but since these are available only in January here, it would be unhelpfully restricting to suggest no substitutes out of season (though you could always freeze the oranges, either whole or just their zest and juice). I won't lie to you and say that my suggested substitutes are quite as magnificent as the original - nothing can provide that biting, aromatic intensity that you get from Seville oranges, which have the taste of orange and the ravaging sourness of lemons - but ordinary eating oranges combined with lime juice provide a glorious tangy and fragrant hit of their own.


Serves: 6

• 3 seville oranges (or 1 eating orange and 2 limes)
• 175 grams icing sugar
• 584 millilitres double cream
• 6 wafers (to serve)

1. If using Seville oranges, grate the zest of 2 of them. Squeeze the juice of all 3 and pour into a bowl with the zest and sugar. If you're going for the sweet orange and lime option, grate the zest of the orange and one of the limes, juice them and add to the sugar as before.

2. Stir to dissolve the sugar and add the double cream.

3. Whip everything until it holds soft peaks, and then turn into a shallow air-tight container (of approximately 2 litres / 8 cups) with a lid.

4. Cover and freeze until firm (from 3 to 5 hours). Remove to ripen for 15-20 minutes (or 30-40 in the fridge) before eating.

5. Serve in a bowl, in cones, with wafers - however you like.

Bousfeir jam or Bitter Orange peel jam

(Food Heritage)

Bousfeir is the Lebanese name for the Seville orange, also known as bitter orange and bigarade orange grown all over the Mediterranean, and commonly used in the cuisine of this region in a variety of recipes. The most common recipe to the Mediterranean countries producing bitter orange is jam and marmalade; even though the preparation method differs from one place to another, no pectin is added since the fruit is richer in pectin than sweet orange.

Total servings: 5
Preparation time: 5 hours with overnight

• 1 kilo of Bousfeir (choose the fruits with the thickest peel for their taste is better)

• 500g of sugar

• 50 ml of lemon juice

Preparation steps:
1. Wash the Bousfeir oranges and slightly grate to obtain a soft and uniform skin
2. Divide the thick peel into 4-5 parts (depending on the size of the orange) then cut and remove using a knife; remove the pith
3. Roll each peel, and with a needle thread each 10-12 rolled peels together
4. In a pot, heat 2L of water. When water starts to boil, add-in the threaded peels and let boil for 1 minute
5. Soak the peels in water, overnight in order to remove the extra bitter taste
6. On the next day, drain the peels and squeeze them to remove excess water
7. In a pot, add one cup of water to the sugar and put on medium fire. Add the Bousfeir peels and boil until the syrup thickens. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to avoid the sugar from sticking on the sides of the pot
8. When syrup is thick enough, add the lemon juice, stir in and remove from fire
9. Allow to cool before removing the thread and putting the jam in sterilized jars
10. Make sure to cover the jam with syrup

Seville Orange Curd

By Nicole Coudal

In the course of my 50 years, I’ve enjoyed many tasty desserts and have to say that I’m partial to those that are citrus-based. When Easter rolls around, I especially crave lemon meringue pie because it was always on our family’s holiday table. But that’s not to say I would turn away zingy lemon tarts, lemon-filled layer cake with fluffy white frosting, tender orange scones, refreshing lime refrigerator cake, lemon bars with rich shortbread crust, lemon danish and so much more.

Am I making you hungry?

Bottom line – I think Spring is an especially wonderful time to highlight citrus dishes, because they scream fresh, flavorful, pretty, and delicious.

And this is a great time of the year to get delicious oranges in Florida. But there’s an orange variety that’s very unique, and it’s available pretty much December through February in Florida — Seville oranges, sometimes called bitter or sour oranges.

These may not be the prettiest oranges you’ve ever seen, with their bumpy/rough skin that’s sometimes brown and leathery. And you certainly don’t want to take a bite out of them because you’ll be very surprised. While fragrant, they’re extremely tart, almost like a super-sour lemon. The juice is the star of this fruit, but the peel and pulp definitely make a tasty and complex marmalade. Folks in Latin America adore Seville oranges, using then in preparations like Mojo (especially good with pork), ceviche, and more. So, these babies are best in baking and cocktail preparations, especially those that blend sweet and savory, sometimes leaving the consumer to wonder ‘what IS that wonderful flavor?’

You might be lucky enough to know someone who has a tree, or you could find some at farmers markets, but this variety even grows wild, so you could find them on roadsides, on the edges of golf courses or parks, or other public access areas. If you do, grab as many as you can and don’t look back! Fortunately, I didn’t have to lurk near any fields this year, because my loyal friends stopped by with some. After hearing my plea for these delectable oranges, these two hard-working golfers spotted some wild trees on the outskirts of the course. The oranges just happened to be within picking range, so they (naturally) gathered up a bunch. Pretty great

I’ve wanted to cook with them for some time, ever since my friend Robin served me her Sour Orange Pie — tart, orange-y, bright and complex. A darned good pie. But today I decided to make curd – an intensely-flavored, thick, dessert spread, almost like pudding. The primary ingredients are citrus juice & zest, egg yolks, sugar and butter. It’s easy to make, too. This delectable stuff can be spread on toast, slathered on cake, spooned into tart shells, stirred into yogurt, and so much more.

Because Seville oranges have an acid level similar to that of lemon (compared to regular oranges that have lower acid level), they do very well in curd because they easily achieve a thick consistency. But you don’t want to use the zest of the Seville oranges in curd because the rinds are very bitter. Rather, use ‘regular’ orange zest for its sweet flavor.

I didn’t have a curd recipe in my arsenal, so I checked what baking guru Rose Levy Beranbaum had to offer. I don’t believe this recipe is in her classic The Baking Bible book, but I found a blog post (Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum) from January 19, 2008, titled “As Orange as it Gets” where she outlines her method with Seville oranges, so that was my inspiration recipe.

This curd is SO delicious. The perfect blend of sweet, tart and citrus. It’s rich and creamy and perfect on my favorite morning toast.

So, keep your eyes peeled for Seville oranges – you never know where you’ll see them

Seville Orange Curd
Prep time : 5 mins
Cook time : 15 mins
Total time : 20 mins
• 4 tsp. naval orange zest
• 4 egg yolks
• ¾ c. granulated sugar
• 6½ Tb. sour orange juice, strained (about 3 oranges)
• 4 Tb. unsalted butter
• Pinch kosher salt
1. Place zest in a medium bowl, then place a large strainer over the bowl; set aside.
2. In a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (i.e., double boiler), beat egg yolks and sugar with a wire whisk until well combined. Stir in juice, butter and salt.
3. Whisk regularly, until mixture is thick and covers the back of a wooden spoon (about 12-15 minutes).
4. Pour mixture into strainer so it combines with the orange zest. The mixture is thick, so you may need to push it through the strainer with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until most of it is captured and the ‘coarse’ residue is left behind (that’s a tasty snack, too!).
5. Stir the mixture to combine with the zest, then allow it to cool for about 15 minutes.
6. Pour into a sterilized jar with a tight fitting lid.
7. The curd can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

1) Don’t have Seville oranges? Use naval or juice oranges - the juice just needs to be concentrated. As Rose suggests, butter a 4-cup heat-proof glass measuring bowl and add 1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice to it. Microwave on High until the juice reduces to 2 Tb. In the recipe, only use ½ c. sugar, instead of ¾ c. sugar.

OR, try 2 parts fresh orange juice to 1 part lime juice (Note: I have not tried this method, but it's worth experimenting). OR, try Calamondin juice if you have access to that precious fruit.

2) Have too many Seville oranges? Juice them and place the juice in airtight containers and freeze for up to a few months.

The Difference Between Orange Peel Oil, Bitter Orange

By Monique Muro

Two commonly confused ingredients in the health supplement industry today are bitter orange and orange peel oil.

Also known as d-limonene, orange peel oil is used in herbal remedies, flavorings, and aromatherapy products, similar to bitter orange, which is why they’re easy to confuse.

And since bitter orange has recently come under fire due to its chemical similarities to ephedrine, it’s important to understand their differences so as not to eschew all orange-peel based products.

What is Bitter Orange?

Bitter orange is listed mainly under the name citrus aurantium, but may also crop up as citrus bergamia, citrus vulgaris, citrus bigaradia, or aurantii percarpium. In layman’s terms, bitter orange is known as the Seville orange, bitter orange flower, zhi shi, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange.

Extract from bitter orange has been used in perfume, aromatherapy products and flavoring in Tamil and Southern Indian cuisine. Its peel has even been used in Belgian white beer as a spice. As a flavoring agent, bitter orange has been approved by the FDA. In other countries, like Europe, it’s been used as a sedative, to treat gout, sore throat, toxic shock, cancer, and cardiac exhaustion.

Because bitter orange shares a similar chemical structure with ephedrine, which was banned from diet pills in April 2004 by the FDA, it has been frequently used as an alternative to ephedrine in many performance enhancing supplements. The first reported case of a person suffering heart damage due to an “ephedra free” product containing bitter orange was noted in the Texas Heart Institute Journal in 2009.

Subsequent cases related to heart malfunction due to “ephedra free” products suggest supplement manufacturers have merely found a loophole to the FDA ban, as both ephedra and bitter orange contain the potentially harmful chemicals synephrine and octopamine. Both chemicals have been known to speed up heart rate, raise blood pressure, and induce stroke when mixed with caffeine or other supplements.

While a study from the University of California, San Francisco showed that bitter orange alone wasn’t as damaging as ephedra, it can be harmful when mixed with caffeine. Dr. Christine Haller, who led the study, noted that the main difference between the effects of caffeine alone and when it was mixed with bitter orange was that the pairing affects both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

On its own, caffeine impacts only systolic blood pressure—when the heart beats. Bitter orange mixed with caffeine however, has the tendency to both affect the heart when it beats and also when it is at rest.

How is D-limonene Different?

In comparison, d-limonene comes from the rinds of the sweet orange grown from the citrus tree citrus sinensis, rather than the bitter orange tree citrus aurantium. It is a low-toxic part of the residual oil extracted from the peel after orange juice production, with a lemon-like smell and a clear color. Like bitter orange, d-limonene is also used as a flavoring agent and in perfumes, gum, and cleaning applications.

As a weight loss element, d-limonene is a monoterpene, a class of hydrocarbons that has been noted in the Journal of Applied Toxicology as a natural appetite suppressant.

The bulk of the data surrounding d-limonene in weight loss applications comes from studies done on animals, and an article in Positive Health Online has determined that the majority of the literature surrounding monoterpenes classifies them as anorexics, given their ability to naturally decrease the appetite.

Talk To Your Doctor

As with all supplements, it’s important to research all literature available for each ingredient, and consult a doctor when taking multiple supplements in tandem.

While d-limonene has been deemed GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA, all orange extract products should be taken with caution, as some are standardized as synephrine, the potent chemical in bitter orange, as opposed to d-limonene. Given the recent guise of ephedrine as bitter orange, it’s important to clarify that all ingredients in a supplement are listed under legitimate names.

Benefits of bitter orange to burn fat

(Frad, Food Fair)

The bitter orange, also known under the name of Citrus aurantium (or extract of Citrus aurantium) is a fruit native of Syria and Africa, but today, especially since a few centuries ago, it is cultivated in the Mediterranean.

As we know, when a person decides to lose weight, must face a diet that generally cannot be easy to follow it, because we must control our appetite (we know how we can reduce the sensation of appetite), eating less than we did before, and especially avoid fatty foods or very rich in calories.

So, therefore, it may find it extremely difficult not only follow the diet itself, but burn fat.

In this sense, for example, we can count on the help of the bitter orange or Citrus aurantium, because as with fucus is ideal for burning fat.

We explain below what are the benefits of bitter orange to burn fat .

Benefits and properties of bitter orange to burn fat

Several studies and researches have been able to confirm many of the benefits of bitter orange, an ideal fruit when you lose weight, because it has the ability to act through two mechanisms of action extremely useful and appropriate.

On the one hand, it has a powerful fat burning effect that helps eliminate the accumulation of fat that we want to reduce and that our body does not need. Furthermore, it increases caloric expenditure, so that the calories of our organism are substantially reduced.

Therefore, the result is certainly clear: allows you to burn fat in areas where it is stored, but without altering the muscle mass of the person.

Drink recipe: Joseph Slater's bitter orange rickey


This week's drink is an all-in-one brunch drink, for when you want a juice but also a soda and feel like marmalade toast but also want to eat a proper breakfast. You will probably need a coffee too.

In Europe, bitter orange sodas are common and are one of the main soda flavours. Here in New Zealand we mostly have their fake, over-sweet and trashy American cousins. The drier, more bitter versions are a more grown-up soda, more of an aperitif than an accompaniment to fish and chips.

In 2000, bartender Salvatore Calabrese created a drink called a breakfast martini (which was neither breakfast nor, truly, a martini) mixing gin, lemon juice, Cointreau and marmalade. Putting marmalade in a drink was pretty revolutionary at the time and his fame in bartending circles multiplied. These days it seems you need to invent a new type of fruit to be considered experimental.

My bitter orange rickey is a non-alcoholic cousin of the breakfast martini, using Six Barrel Soda Co. Orange and Dandelion syrup in place of the Cointreau. The soda syrup uses roasted dandelion root, Nelson Sauvin hops, and kawakawa as bittering. The drink is sweet but has complexity from mixing the orange and dandelion with the fresh juice and the bittersweet and zesty marmalade.

If you can't find the syrup, you could use another orange or grapefruit soda in place of the syrup and soda water. This is a great drink if you have friends over for brunch and want a step up from a simple OJ. It's also pretty great with a nip of gin or tequila.

1 teaspoon marmalade (use a decent one)
30ml Six Barrel Soda Co Orange Dandelion Syrup
¼ lemon
¼ orange
150ml (or so) soda water
Grapefruit bitters (optional)
Orange zest to garnish
Thyme sprig to garnish
In a tall glass, add the marmalade and orange and dandelion syrup. Stir well, squeeze the orange and lemon quarters and leave the shells in the drink. Add lots of ice and top with soda water. Stir again and add grapefruit bitters, thyme and orange zest.

Darina Allen’s Old Fashioned Seville Orange Marmalade

(Weekend food with Darina Allen)

MARMALADE seems to be a very personal taste.

You don’t find people getting enthused in the same way about how they like their blackcurrant or raspberry jam.

On the other hand, a discussion on marmalade often elicits very firmly held view points and definite preferences.

For some it must be totally traditional, made with Seville oranges and dark and bitter; others opt for fresh and fruity; some of us favour chunky peel; for others its slivery shreds. Another whole group hate any peel at all and just want bitter/sweet orange jelly to slather on their morning toast.

Marmalade is after all, mostly a breakfast thing — so it must be quite right at the time of the day when we are doing our best to wake up and come to terms with the world — one wrong note can upskuttle the whole day.!

Marmalade making, like barbecing and grilling, also appeals to guys, maybe it’s something to do with all that chopping; for some it brings back memories of childhood.

For whatever reason, marmalade definitely presses buttons, which may help to explain the extraordinary success of the annual Marmalade Festival launched in 2005 in Cumbria. The first Amateur Award had just 60 entries in 2012 — 1,800 jars were entered.!

The precious jars were posted from all over the world, including The British Virgin Islands, Japan, America, Canada, Spain, France, Gibraltar, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, Alaska, Austria and South Africa.

This year there are 11 categories in the Amateur Awards and five in The Artisans’ Category — commercial marmalade makers who use the traditional open-pan method. There’s even a children’s competition and for home-bakers there is a new marmalade cake category.

This year for the first time there is a Marmalade Literary Competition so if you’d rather wield a pen than a chopping knife or wooden spoon that category might well appeal to you.

A few months ago I got a review copy of Marmalade — Sweet and Savoury Spreads for a Sophisticated Taste by Elizabeth Field published by Running Press.

I’ve been saving it until the marmalade oranges came into the shop so I could test some of the recipes.

Darina Allen’s Old Fashioned Seville Orange Marmalade

For those of you who are too busy to make marmalade at present, just buy the fruit and pop it in the freezer until you can snatch a few spare moments.

This is my classic marmalade recipe which people repeatedly ask me for and the Seville Whole Orange Marmalade below. Seville and Malaga oranges come into the shops after Christmas and are around for 4-5 weeks, these bitter oranges are traditionally used for marmalade.

Makes approx. 7 lbs (3.2kg)

2 lbs (900g) Seville Oranges

4 pints (2.3L) water

1 lemon

4 lbs (1.8kg) granulated sugar

Wash the fruit, cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Remove the membrane with a spoon, put with the pips and tie them in a piece of muslin.

Slice the peel finely or coarsely, depending on how you like your marmalade. Put the peel, orange and lemon juice, bag of pips and water into a non-reactive bowl or saucepan overnight.

Next day, bring everything to the boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours until the peel is really soft and the liquid is reduced by half.

Squeeze all the liquid from the bag of pips and remove it.

Add the warmed sugar and stir until all the sugar has been dissolved.

Increase the heat and bring to a full rolling boil rapidly until setting point is reached 5-10 minutes approx.

Test for a set, either with a sugar thermometer (it should register 220F), or with a saucer.

Put a little marmalade on a cold saucer and cool for a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it’s done.

Allow marmalade to sit in the saucepan for 15 minutes before bottling to prevent the peel from floating.

Pot into hot sterilised jars. Cover immediately and store in a cool dry dark place.

NB: The peel must be absolutely soft before the sugar is added, otherwise when the sugar is added it will become hard and no amount of boiling will soften it.

Whiskey Marmalade

Add 6 tablespoons of whiskey to the cooking marmalade just before potting.

Blood Orange Marmalade

Makes 4 jars

This recipe comes from the Marmalade Book by Elizabeth Field.

We used 2 teaspoons of Campari which we felt was adequate, but you will want to add the liquor to taste or omit altogether.

675g (1lb 6oz) blood oranges approximately (we used two)

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime (we used two)

720g (1½lbs/4 cups) granulated sugar, or more to taste

3-4 tsp Campari, Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional) (we used two teaspoons Campari) Slice the tops and bottoms off each orange and discard. Slice the oranges crosswise as thinly as possible, then cut each slice into four or six wedges. Discard the seeds. Place the orange wedges and 1.2 litres/5 cups of water in a medium mixing bowl, cover, and let stand for 12-24 hours.

Transfer the mixture to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring quickly to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the peel is tender when pierced with a fork. Stir in the lime juice and zest.

Measure out the cooked citrus and liquid: to every cup – measure 150g (¾ cup) – 175g (1 cup) sugar, according to your preference of sweetness. Transfer the mixture to a clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add the sugar.

Over a low heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for 15-30 minutes or the mixture has thickened and a sugar thermometer reads 220F/104C. Use the ‘wrinkle test’ to double-check for a firm set. Stir in the Campari, Cointreau or Grand Marnier if you are using it.

Allow to stand in the saucepan for 5 minutes before ladling into hot, sterilised jam jars leaving 5mm (¼ inch) of head space. Seal. Store in a cool, dark place.

Marmalade Cake with Honeycombed Filling

How delicious does this cake sound it comes from The Duchy Originals cookbook by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler, published by Kyle Books.

Makes a large cake — 16 slices approx.

• Equipment

Silicone sheet or baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

4 litre (7 pint) thick-bottomed saucepan

Sugar thermometer

Round cake tin with removable base, 24 x 8cm (10x 3in)

• For the honeycomb

75g (3oz) Duchy (or good quality local) honey

150ml (¼ pint) liquid glucose

400g (14oz) castor sugar

100ml (3½ fl oz) water

15g (¾oz) bicarbonate of soda

• For the cake

250g (9oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

250g (9oz) caster sugar

3 large eggs and 1 extra yolk (about 250g/9oz in total)

250g (9oz) flour

2 tsp baking powder

50g (2oz) ground almonds

150g (5½oz) Duchy Originals (or home-made) Seville orange marmalade, plus 2 extra tablespoons

100ml (3½ fl.oz) double cream

50ml (2fl.oz) crème fraiche or sour cream

Start with the honeycomb. First loosen the honey and glucose syrup by dipping their containers in warm water, then weigh out into your saucepan.

Add the sugar and water and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually raise the temperature of the pan’s contents to 150C (300F).

Something dramatic is about to happen.

Carefully sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda into the pan.

The contents will fizz up like lava from the underworld, but don’t be alarmed; this is what puts the tiny air bubbles into the honeycomb.

Stir the mixture to make sure all the powder is incorporated, then pour it out onto your silicone sheet (or baking tray).

Leave to set for at least 30 minutes, then break the brittle mass into small pieces.

Then take 100g (3½ oz) of the honeycomb and blend it in a food processor.

Stir the remainder in an airtight jar — you will have more than you need — and you are unlikely to regret it.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350G/gas mark 4. Grease the cake tin with butter, and then shake a little flour over it to form a non-stick barrier.

Turn the tin upside down and pat it so that any excess flour falls off.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes until pale, light and fluffy.

Lightly beat the eggs, and slowly add them to the butter and sugar, mixing them as you go.

If the mixture starts to curdle, beat a little flour into it to bring it back.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and add the almonds. Mix until the contents are smooth.

Fold in the marmalade with 4 swirls of the spoon to ensure that the cake is marbled.

Then gently pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven until cooked and firm (about 50 minutes).

Turn the cake onto a wire rack.

When it has cooled, cut it through the middle with a long serrated knife and lift off the top half.

Spread the bottom half of the cake with the 2 extra tablespoons of marmalade.

Then whip up the honeycomb with the cream and crème fraiche until stiff, and blob it over the marmalade. Replace the top of the cake and leave it to set in a cool place for an hour.

The Type of Orange Tree Used for Grafting

(San Francisco Gate)

The citrus tree you plant in your backyard is not growing on its own roots. The grapefruit, tangerine or other citrus is grafted onto a separate rootstock. Grafting gives disease-resistance, improved cold hardiness and dwarfing. Through the history of citrus-growing, citrus rootstock trees changed due to new diseases and plant pests that attack rootstocks. More than 12 kinds of citrus rootstocks are used, depending on local climate and soil factors, on diseases present in a geographic area, and on degree of scion dwarfing. Three types of oranges are used as rootstocks.

Sour Orange

Widely grown in the Mediterranean area as an ornamental and as a crop plant in its own right, sour orange (Citrus aurantium), also called bitter orange or Seville orange, is used for marmalade. Bitter orange oil, called petitgrain, is used in foods, cosmetics and aromatherapy. Sour orange has been one of the most widely used citrus rootstocks. Now it isn't used at all in California, Florida or anywhere tristeza -- or quick decline virus disease -- occurs because of sour orange's susceptibility to tristeza, which kills the tree. Otherwise, sour orange gives excellent cold hardiness, gives the best flavor and texture to fruits of the grafted budstock, and has good resistance to other diseases.

Sweet Orange

Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis or C. aurantium var. sinensis) is the original orange, thought to have originated in China or southeastern Asia, and brought to Europe sometime between 1450 and 1500 by Spanish or Portuguese explorers. Oranges made their way to the New World with Spanish priests as they journeyed to South America, Mexico and the American Southwest. Sweet orange rootstock gives good cold hardiness, good taste to budstock fruit, and good resistance to viral diseases and blight. However, it is not resistant to the fungal disease Phytophthora foot rot, which limits its use in Florida.

Trifoliate Orange Other Than "Flying Dragon"

Trifoliate orange, also called hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata), is a small tree or large shrub native to eastern Asia that bears small, fragrant yellow fruits resembling miniature oranges. They taste somewhat like lemons, and are used in beverages and marmalade. The trees are deciduous in winter and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. As a rootstock, trifoliate orange provides an added 3 degrees Centigrade of cold hardiness over other species. It gives good-tasting but smaller fruit and smaller stature to budstock. The cultivar "Roubidoux" produces trees that are 15 to 20 percent smaller than trees grown on the cultivar "Pomeroy." Smaller trees reduce costs for commercial growers because of ease in harvesting and tree maintenance. These cultivars are susceptible to blight, limiting their use in Florida.

Trifoliate Orange "Flying Dragon"

"Flying Dragon" (P. trifoliata "Monstrosa") is a semi-dwarf form of hardy orange that has contorted stems and large curved thorns. As a rootstock, "Flying Dragon" confers extreme dwarfing to the scion, including smaller but rich-tasting fruits. It is resistant to blight disease and tolerant of most viruses. A drawback is the plant's susceptibility to exocortis viroid, a disease that causes severe stunting and bark scaling in the scion.

Simply Nigella Christmas: Bitter orange tart

By Nigella Lawson

I can't stop feeling the urgent need to use Seville oranges for their short season

Since my Seville Orange Tart in How To Eat, I’ve never stopped feeling the urgent need to use Seville oranges for their short season between December and February, but that bitter orange taste is too good to forsake during the long months that Seville oranges are not about. Then I simply try to re-create their floral sharpness by using regular orange and lime juices in something approximating a 2:1 ratio. And although I am not someone who uses the deep freeze as one great, efficiently stacked culinary filing cabinet, I do try to make little packages of the zest and juice of 4 Seville oranges just for this; then when I run out, I use the eating orange and lime combo.

This is more than a simplified revision of the How To Eat recipe: it uses a crushed gingernut-and-butter base in place of homemade pastry, and is even more acerbically – and excitingly – sharp than its predecessor. I love its cheek-squeaky, sherbetty bitterness, but I serve a small pot of good honey alongside, and urge everyone (to the point of irritation) to drizzle some over as they eat.

I have to say that when Seville oranges are in season, this tart looks like a disc of winter sunshine on the plate – and tastes like it, too. I love it particularly after the Asian-Flavoured Short Ribs or Italian Veal Shank Stew from Simply Nigella, but don’t want to restrict its application in any way. I must also add that the curd is just as fabulous spread over toasted crumpets or proper white bread.


• 3 large eggs

• 2 egg yolks

• 100g caster sugar

zest and juice of 4 Seville oranges (about 200ml juice) or use 60ml lime juice (from 2-3 limes) and 140ml orange juice (from 1 large or 2 medium oranges) and the zest of just the oranges

150g soft unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes


• 250g gingernuts or plain ginger biscuits

• 75g soft unsalted butter


• good runny honey


1 x 24cm loose-bottomed, shallow flan tin

● Process the ginger biscuits until crumbled and no longer whole, then add the butter and process again, patiently waiting until it begins to clump and look like damp, dark sand. If you don’t have a processor, put the ginger biscuits in a freezer bag or resealable plastic bag, and bash with a rolling pin or similar heavy implement, even if it has to be one with less comedy value. Melt the butter, and transfer the crumbs to a bowl. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated.

● Tip into your flan tin, and carefully spread the biscuit base all around the tin and up the sides; you can do this with your hands or the back of a spoon.

● Put the tin in the fridge, to allow the biscuit base to harden, for at least 1 hour – although it may take up to 2 hours if your fridge is stacked. I often find it easier to get the base done in advance, so it’s coolly ready and waiting, in which case, I do it up to 2 days ahead.

● Once your base is set firm you can get on with your curd filling. In a heavy-based saucepan – off the heat – whisk together the eggs (both the whole eggs and the yolks) and sugar, making sure you incorporate them well.

● Add the orange zest (grate gently so you don’t get the pith, too) and juice from the oranges (and lime juice, if using the orange-lime combo) along with the cubes of butter, then put the pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly; I use a small flat whisk for this.

● This thickening process will take about 5-7 minutes, but do take it off the heat regularly during this time, while you carry on whisking, to prevent it from getting too hot. Once the curd has thickened, take it off the heat, keep whisking for about 30 seconds, and carry on doing so as you pour it straight into a jug (it makes about 550ml). Then place a piece of dampened baking parchment or greaseproof paper on top of the filling (this will stop it forming a skin), and let it cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

● Once the filling has cooled, but not set solid, pour and scrape it into your biscuit-lined tin and spread it out evenly.

● Let the tart set further in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight), and up to 2 days, before unmoulding. This is best done while it is still cold – so don’t take it out of the fridge for more than 5-10 minutes before you want to cut it. Then serve in slices, with a little pot of honey for people to drizzle over as they wish.


Base can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in fridge until needed, covered loosely with clingfilm. Once firm, the base (in its tin) can also be wrapped tightly in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in fridge for 2-3 hours before filling. Curd can be made 2 days ahead. Fill the tart and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until the curd has become firmer, then tent loosely with foil, trying not to touch the surface of the tart. S


Leftovers can be stored in fridge for 2 days. The tart base will soften gradually as the tart stands.

The Benefits and Cautions of Bitter Orange Supplements

By Sherry L. Granader (Fitday Editor)

Walk into your local health food store and you can find bitter orange supplements, tinctures, extracts and essential oils. What is interesting about bitter orange is that the oils from the leaves and the oils from the flowers have different scents, however both smell like oranges. In aromatherapy, bitter orange is used to stimulate and awaken like a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning. But they can also be used to enhance stress relief, help with relaxation and can actually enhance your meditation practice.

Use of Supplements

Traditional medicine systems use bitter orange supplements to treat digestive problems, constipation, indigestion and nausea. You will also see bitter orange supplements marketed for treating congestion, heartburn, weight loss and a variety of fungal problems including some skin conditions. Add them to your diffuser, a hot bath or place a few drops on your pulse points for a relaxing feeling any time of day.

Reasons to Be Cautious

There is not a lot of research and science behind bitter orange. Studies are cautious when it comes to health purposes of bitter orange. Here are some concerns to be aware of when using bitter orange:

1. Bitter orange contains a substance known as synephrine that is similar to ephedra that was all the rage for weight loss before the FDA banned it. Ephedra raises blood pressure thereby increases the risk for a heart attack or stroke. It is highly probably that synephrine does the same thing.

2. Be cautious about putting bitter orange oil on the skin as it can make you more susceptible to sunburn.

3. Avoid using bitter orange if taking any medications because again, the supplement raises blood pressure and could cause other reactions.

4. Smelling bitter orange is totally safe without ingesting it.

The peel of bitter orange may help with digestive problems and other health concerns. The oils are extracted from the peel, where the strong odor and flavor is utilized. In addition to synephrine, it contains alkaloids, octopamine and N-methyltyramine and carotenoids. Always follow label directions as different manufacturers have different dosages and potencies.

Use in the Past

Folk medicine used bitter orange for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, nervousness or anxiety, insomnia, sore throat, gout and for weight loss. Oriental medicine still uses the flower of the bitter orange to increase appetite, and ease stomach and chest pain as well as vomiting. Homeopathic practitioners use both the flower and the peel to get rid of headaches, aid in digestion, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, high blood pressure and weight loss. Those in Latin America use it to prepare a tonic to be used as a laxative, reduce anxiety and help with insomnia.

Should You Use It?

Keep in mind that bitter orange is generally recognized as safe in the U.S. in small amounts found in foods. However, it is not safe in high doses. It can cause hypertension and cardiovascular toxicity. Skin sensitivity is also quite common so be careful with using bitter orange peel or oil on the skin. Women who are breastfeeding, pregnant and children should not use bitter orange supplements at all. Anyone suffering from hypertension, a fast or irregular heartbeat, or glaucoma should avoid bitter orange altogether.

What Causes Pithy Bitter Oranges?

By Tarah Damask

Orange trees in the home garden provide visual interest with lush green foliage and warm, orange-hued fruits. While expecting a plentiful harvest creates a sense of joyful anticipation, the idea of eating pithy, bitter oranges is not so delightful. Unfortunately, the disease responsible for these less-than-perfect oranges spreads quickly and takes a toll on its hosts. To save your trees and those in surrounding areas, act quickly to diagnose and treat the problem.

Preventative Care

Regardless of the problem, healthy, well-maintained trees have a greater ability to fight off and recuperate from problems than stressed trees. Orange trees thrive in areas of the garden that provide full sunlight. These citrus plants prefer well-drained soil, as waterlogged conditions may lead to fungal disease and root stress. Gardeners should irrigate only when soil is dry to the touch. Removal of weeds further protects the tree from potential pests or fungal infections.

Disease and Pests

Citrus greening disease, also referred to as Huanglongbing disease, is a bacterial disease caused by the pathogens Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, Ca. L. africanus or Ca. L. americanus, all resulting in identical problems. Bacteria are transmitted to orange trees by pests called Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri). Adult pests display mottled brown bodies measuring approximately 1/10 inch long with tan heads. Nymph psyllids are typically too small to see and display yellow-orange to green bodies.


Psyllid pests feed on new leaf growth, referred to as "flush," resulting in discolored leaves, yellowed shoots, defoliation, malformed and discolored fruit that drops early, and twig dieback. Yellowing occurs most often along veins, which may appear swollen, and fruit takes on a bitter taste, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Citrus greening disease leads to plant death within several years. The development of disease and symptoms is most prevalent during warm weather.


Because citrus greening disease and Asian citrus psyllids are newer problems that are still spreading, gardeners should contact their county agricultural commissioner’s office or a local county extension immediately to alert an agent of a potential infestation or disease. In areas still unaffected, a quarantine may be put into effect for an area of up to 20 miles, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program. In addition, professionals will treat the trees chemically. For gardeners in areas already affected by this problem, gardeners may release natural enemies, such as parasitic wasps and lady beetles. To control adult psyllids, applications of a foliar insecticide with the active ingredient carbaryl provides control. To treat nymphs, a ground application of an insecticide with the active ingredient imidacloprid provides extended control.

Seville Orange Trees

By Cathryn Chaney

If you were to visit the city of Seville, Spain you would find the streets lined with thousands of evergreen citrus trees. Named after the city because they have been grown there as an ornamental since the end of the 12th century, Seville orange (Citrus aurantium) is also called bitter orange or sour orange. In contrast to its relative sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), Seville orange fruits have a bitter peel and sour pulp and are not eaten as fresh fruit. The trees are widely used as an ornamental and as rootstock for edible citrus, but the fruits also have many uses.


Native to Asia, the Seville orange traveled to the Pacific Islands during prehistory and to the Mediterranean area. It was reported growing in Sicily in 1002 A.D. and Arabs grew it during the ninth century. It went to Mexico, the West Indies, Florida and South America with early Spanish explorers in the 1500s. The trees were valued for their fragrant white flowers, the essential oils derived from the peel, and juice and marmalade products that come from the fruit. A number of cultivars developed for specific uses and are grown commercially in Asia, Europe, Africa and the West Indies.


Seville orange trees grow to about 20 feet tall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. The dark green leaves highlight the round, red-orange fruits that ripen in October to May, depending on the cultivar. The fruits have a pebbled skin that is rougher than that of sweet orange and a more vivid color. Flowers appear in late February into March with a sweet fragrance. The branches have 1- to 3-inch-long thorns. The fruit's pulp is light orange and contains numerous seeds.


The cultivar grown in Seville is "Sevillano" (Citrus aurantium "Sevillano"), the primary type used in Spain to make orange marmalade. Its fruits have a higher pectin content and the trees are comparatively thornless, vigorous and productive. Bergamot orange (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia) grows primarily Mediterranean countries, and is used in perfumery and to flavor Earl Grey tea. "Oklawaha" was bred in the U.S. and has large fruits rich in pectin for marmalade. "Daidai" furnishes flower buds that are dried and used in Japan and China to flavor tea. "Bouquet," also known as "Bouquet de Fleurs," is a smaller variety grown as an ornamental plant. It reaches 10 feet tall or less, with small few-seeded bright orange fruits. Two varieties provide essential oil, which is extracted from the dried peel of immature fruits to flavor liqueurs: "Jacmel" (Citrus aurantium "Jacmel") in Jamaica and "Curacao Orange" (Citrus aurantium var. curassaviensis).

Growing Seville Oranges

The Seville orange is tolerant of a wider variety of growing conditions than its relative, sweet orange. It grows in richer, heavier soils that keep moist longer, and accepts a variety of soil types. Although it grows in subtropical and tropical climates, it is cold-hardy enough to live through short periods of freezing weather. The trees need regular, deep watering and will grow in full sun or partial shade. They naturalize in favorable climates, now growing wild in many tropical and subtropical areas, such as Florida, Mexico and the West Indies. In the garden, fertilize them as you would any citrus. Use them to line paths or sidewalks, as accent or specimen trees, or for your own source for homemade marmalade. You can also grow them from seed.

Health Benefits of Bitter Orange

By Aaron Ismail (bateeilee, Aceh Forex Business)
Uses for Bitter Orange

In traditional Chinese medicine, bitter orange has long been used to treat health problems such as nausea, indigestion, and constipation.

Bitter orange is also purported to help treat heartburn, loss of appetite, and nasal congestion, as well as promote weight loss. Some proponents recommended applying bitter orange topically to treat fungal infections (such as ringworm and athlete's foot).

Benefits of Bitter Orange

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bitter orange for health purposes. Indeed, no studies have shown that the herb is useful in treatment of nausea, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, nasal congestion, or fungal infections.

Bitter Orange for Weight Loss

In recent years, bitter orange has been marketed as a natural weight-loss aid. Proponents claim that bitter orange helps stimulate the fat-burning process.

In several small studies, participants have experienced an increase in metabolic rates when consuming bitter orange products. However, researchers have yet to confirm that bitter orange is beneficial to people wanting to lose weight.

What's more, bitter orange contains two compounds (synephrine and octopamine) that are structurally similar to those found in ephedra (an herb banned by the U.S. FDA because it raises blood pressure and is linked to heart attacks and strokes). Synephrine has been found to increase blood pressure in humans, and may increase risk of cardiovascular events.

Safety Concerns for Bitter Orange

Because of its potential to cause abnormal heart rhythms, raise blood pressure, and speed up heart rate, bitter orange should only be used under the direction of a physician. Anyone with a cardiovascular condition (such as heart disease or high blood pressure) or diabetes should avoid bitter orange.

Bitter orange should not be combined with caffeine or any natural substances containing caffeine (such as green tea and yerba mate). It should also be avoided by anyone taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors) or herbs/supplements that increase heart rate.

Due to lack of safety evidence, pregnant women should avoid products that contain bitter orange.

Adverse Effects of Bitter Orange

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine.

When topically applied, bitter orange oil may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people.

Bitter Orange Uses and Its Health Benefits

By Kingsley Felix
Health Benefits of Bitter Orange

Although clinical data is limited in regard to the bitter orange fruit, the pharmacological actions of the fruit are believed to be effective for the following;

• Acts as an inflammatory
• An antibacterial
• Antifungal agent
• As a vascular stimulant
• Sedative
• Demulcent
• Eupeptic
• Antispasmodic
• Tonic
• Cholagogue
Uses of Bitter Orange
• Air freshener: The extracted water is used as an air fresher traditionally and is very effective in neutralizing odor.
• Food and beverages: Bitter orange water is used in cocktail, cakes and the oil from the peel used as an ice cream, candies, puddings and gelatins flavor or seasoning. Bitter orange fruit is commonly used to make marmalades and liqueurs as well.
• Weight loss: the bitter orange extract is used in many weight loss regimes since its acts as an appetite reducer due to an alkaloid property found in the fruit known as synephrine.
• Skin benefits: the astringent properties of the bitter orange soaks up excess sebum from the skin thus enhancing a balanced distribution of the skin oil which is beneficial to acne prone skin types. Bitter orange is considered ideal because it doesn’t strip the skin like the synthetic formulas in the market. Its antibacterial and inflammatory properties also make it suited for such skins since it will also reduce the redness and irritation. The bitter orange is also considered effective in ridding oneself of fungal infections like ringworms and athletes foot if applied directly on the affected spots. Bitter orange tea bags can also be applied directly to the eyes to get rid of bags under the eyes.
• Digestive aid: traditionally the Chinese made use of extracts from this fruit to calm upset stomachs and its flower together with the plant oil used for gastrointestinal issues. The issues can range from diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, intestinal gas and even bloody stool. Further to this, the extracts are believed to aid in kidney, bladder issues, and gall bladder and liver disorders.
• Aromatherapy: the essential oils of this fruit can be inhaled to relieve pain while providing therapy to the user.
• Vascular system: the bitter orange extracts are believed to regulate fat levels within a person’s vascular system while lowering the blood glucose levels in persons suffering from diabetes. Its cleansing qualities, ensures a pure circulation of blood and aids those with a lower blood pressure level leaving them energized.
• Nasal decongestant: traditionally bitter orange is used as a nasal decongestant when the fruit is added to boiled or steaming water and the steam inhaled.
• Manufacture; a number of manufacturers use the bitter lemon extracts in the formulation of products such as soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Bitter Orange Dosages

There is no formal research regarding the dosages that can be effective or detrimental for consumers of bitter orange fruit. Thus the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed in gaining direction on usage. Bitter Orange Side Effects

When the fruit is used in food, it is presumably safe to both adults and children. However, when being used as a supplement caution should be taken especially for weight loss regimes since it can heighten one’s blood pressure and heart rate which can result into further complications. Besides its use as a skin remedy can cause the skin to become sensitive and can get damaged by the sun if precautions such as sunscreen and covering garments are not used. There are several researches which have differing opinion on whether bitter orange is safe diabetes, but certain it can increase high blood pressure in previously normal persons. On the same note, it has been said to aggravate glaucoma and heart diseases further and definitely a no when going for surgery due to an increased heart rate effect.

Health Benefits of Oranges

(Gardening Channel)

Oranges are round citrus fruits that grow best in tropical climates and are harvested in late fall or early winter. There are a variety of oranges. Most common are the sweet oranges or Citrus sinensis. These are the Navel, Mandarin, Valencia and Jaffa varieties. A new hybrid, called the blood orange, has reddish veins.

Bitter oranges, scientifically known as Citrus aurantium are often used in marmalades and jams. The zest, or rind shavings, are used to flavor liqueurs like Grand Marnier and Cointreau.

Oranges originate from Asia. They spread through the Holy Land and were brought to Spain with the Moorish invasion. Around the 15th century, the Spanish Armada brought the trees to the Caribbean. Oranges were coveted by sailors who needed Vitamin C on long voyages to combat scurvy.

Up until modern times in Northern Europe they were so expensive and such a rare treat that they were a favorite in Christmas stockings. Now, oranges are available almost year round in supermarkets.

Seville Orange Marmalade: A Truly British Tradition

By Laurel Ann Nattress

Here is a dose of “sunshine in a jar” to brighten your day! It’s marmalade makin’ season in the Pacific Northwest. Seville oranges have finally arrived at my local specialty grocer, and my kitchen has been taken over by this annual winter ritual.

Seville orange marmalade is a fruit preserve that has been a British staple for centuries. If you were invited to tea at the Downton Abbey Dower House with Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, she would be appalled if it had been left off the menu. Its beautiful bright orange color, distinctive tangy flavor and bitter rind make it quite different from the typical sweet orange marmalades available on American supermarket shelves. I distinctly remember purchasing my first jar of James Keiller & Son Dundee Orange Marmalade as a young woman. I had no idea what it would taste like, and knew only that Brits were passionate about it. The first bite was a puzzling surprise to my unsophisticated palate. The classic white jar sat in my refrigerator for months until I gave it a second try. I soon became addicted. Seville orange marmalade is like any other acquired taste, such as gin martinis, broccoli or opera. It is a right of passage that one never regrets and now regularly enjoys.

While marmalade can be produced from any citrus fruit, Seville orange marmalade is the “King of Preserves.” It is made from Citrus aurantium—also commonly known as the Seville, bitter, sour, bigarade, or marmalade orange—which is the ugliest, most bitter tasting, pip-populated orange you would never want to eat. The fruit originated from Southeast Asia and was brought to Spain by the conquering Moors who ruled before being vanquished by King Ferdinand in 1492. After centuries of hybridization, the Seville orange is now a small, evergreen tree grown throughout the Mediterranean and the subtropical states in the U.S. Renowned for its unparalleled intense flavor, Sevilles are utilized in cooking, essential oil production and the distillation of fine liqueurs such as triple sec and Grand Marnier. However, if you were to ask anyone in Britain what Seville oranges are most valued for, they would indisputably say marmalade, while they slathered it on their toast and washed it down with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

The Romans first made a simple version of marmalade with quince and honey, but it was the Scots who perfected it. The story goes that a Spanish ship was damaged in a storm and landed in Dundee harbor for repairs. Its cargo of Seville oranges was off-loaded and sold at a bargain price to local merchant James Keiller, whose mother Janet owned a sweet shop. She quickly saw the potential in the bitter fruit as a preserve, and in 1797 the family opened a factory to produce their signature “Dundee Marmalade.” The business prospered and expanded throughout the 19th century, exporting its products to the far reaches of the Empire, from Canada to Australia to Southeast Asia. Today there are many famous British brands of marmalade, including Wilkin & Sons “Tiptree,” Mackays and Robertsons; yet James Keiller & Sons “Dundee Marmalade” remains the most well-known because of the family story.

Making orange marmalade is a science and not a domestic art, according to the “Queen of Marmalade” Vivien Lloyd, author of the books, First Preserves: Marmalades, Jams, Chutneys and Marmalade: Make & Bake. She explains, “[R]ecipes that are successful have an ideal balance of fruit, pectin, acid and sugar. They should be brilliant in color and have a jellied consistency; spreadable, but not runny or stiff.” Vivien should know. She has been passionate about preserving since 1987, when a bountiful harvest from her garden in Worcestershire, England sparked her interest. Courses in preservation and judging from the Women’s Institute (the very same group that the ladies of Home Fires are involved in) prepared her to enter and win best in class and “Best of the Best” at the 2008 World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion in Penrith, Cumbria.

Yes, of course there is a Marmalade Festival and competition! Established in 2005 by Jane Hassell-McCosh, the annual event is held on her country estate, a medieval, Tudor and early Georgian house and gardens in England’s Lake District that has been the family pile since 1679. The awards are truly the Holy Grail of serious marmalade preserving. Last year there were over 1,500 entrants from around the world competing for awards in the homemade, artisan, and B&B/hotel/restaurant categories; this year, a Young Chef’s award will be added. The deadline to enter this year’s competition is February 14th, but you can work on your preserving skills and power up for next year with plenty of time to spare. If you happen to be traveling to Northwest England or Scotland and want to visit a classic English country estate and sample several award winning marmalades, the festival is set for March 19-20, 2016.

Inspired to “have a go” at making marmalade? If so, please make haste. The Seville orange season is very short, running from early January through February. In the U.K., fruit is imported from Spain, but according to my local grocer, the Seville oranges available for purchase in the Seattle area are “made in America,” grown in the citrus belt from California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Sevilles lose their flavor and expire very quickly, so preserve them immediately or store them in your refrigerator as briefly as possible. It is best to use granulated white cane sugar, which produces a clear, bright jelly that does not change the pure orange flavor you seek. Here is an excellent video from Vivien Lloyd, including her prize-winning recipe and the complete step-by-step process to create traditional British Seville orange marmalade.

There is nothing like a bracing bite of orange marmalade on toast to start your day. It also adds incredible flavor to dishes like orange chicken and orange marmalade cake. A jar of this homemade preserve is the perfect gift for family and friends, so do give it a try. I predict you will become as passionate about Seville orange marmalade as the British are.

Buying and using Seville oranges

(The Good Housekeeping Cookery Team)

Seville oranges only have a short season, so check out our top tips for choosing the best ones, and the ways you can use them

Gone almost as soon as they arrive, the Seville orange season runs from the end of December through to mid February. Luckily these knobbly-skinned, bitter marvels can be enjoyed year-round as they freeze well whole, so when you see them, stock up.

Sevilles are generally unwaxed, so don’t let them hang around in the fruit bowl for more than a week as they lose their moisture content quickly and become tough, mean and unusable.

When buying, look for fruit with plump, firm skin to ensure the oranges are not ruining already.

Although most often used to make marmalade, a little Seville rind adds zing to meat dishes and a squeeze of the juice gives sophistication to a gin and tonic.

Thought For Food

(So Magazines)

This month is all about oranges for our celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager

I absolutely love homemade marmalade. When I go to local fetes and shows I always make a beeline for them, so this month I would like to salute the Seville orange.

I love that bitter, sour, sweetness. You cannot eat them raw, but they are wonderful used in the culinary world. I think these fruits are pretty special – you can use them for almost anything. We think of them mostly only for the marmalade, because of the high pectin level in the pips – it’s a great setting fruit, you can use the pips with other fruits to help the setting. In fact, you can use Seville oranges for any amount of dishes and that goes for savoury as well, especially the famous duck a l’orange.

In Spain, Seville oranges are normally harvested from November onwards. For some reason we get them into market in January, so if you want them for Christmas you could order them in.

The flowers of the fruits in the spring are used in aromatherapy and perfumes, and orange flower water, and the leaves are used in some countries for alternative medicine.

Seville oranges originally come from China; they were imported through the trade routes via Italy, to the Mediterranean. Then the sweet oranges were brought via the Portuguese coast in the 17th century and soon overtook the bitter oranges except in the small area of Spain where they still grow them – hence the name Seville oranges.

I hadn’t realised myself that marmalade was not originally made from Seville oranges or any other orange at first, but quince. Quince did come from Spain though, in fact the Spanish word for quince is ‘marmelo’ and the quince paste was called ‘marmelada’, hence the English called the bitter orange marmalade.

In my family they have always complained that my marmalade does not stand still and it runs. You will find so many people make it in so many ways.

This recipe was given to me by a Yorkshire lady called Margarita, so I have named it after her. The great thing about marmalade, is it’s quite difficult to get it wrong!

ENJOY! Speak next month

Margarita’s Seville Marmalade

• 1.5kg Seville oranges
• 2 lemons
• 3kg granulated sugar
• 1 dessert spoon black treacle
• 3.3 litres water

First in a large saucepan simmer the oranges in water for 1½ hours.

Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and carefully place on a large plate to cool. Turn the heat off for a moment while you prepare the fruit.

Cut open the fruit and remove the pips and add to the water. Bring the water to boil and simmer to reduce the liquid to just over a litre. Strain the pips through a fine sieve then put the liquid back into the saucepan.

Now remove the flesh and pith from the oranges, then cut the peel into any length or size you like in your marmalade.

Put the cut peel back into the liquid with the sugar and treacle. This is when the sugar must roll boil for at least 15 minutes, if using a thermometer I boil from 105°c to 107°c or until set. Also I remove scum if there is any.

To test whether its ready take a cold plate put a little on then you can see if it starts to thicken.

What to do with Seville oranges

By Diana Lyn Roberts

I recently spent an afternoon juicing, researching, and playing with sour oranges. It made a big, sloppy, super-fun mess. In a recent article, I referred to them as Mexican sour oranges (also called bitter oranges) because they are, in fact, common in Yucatecan and other regional cuisines of Mexico. Yet the sour oranges that grow so well here, that no one seems to know what to do with, are in fact the Seville oranges of traditional Dundee marmalade fame, and prized the world over for their juice, oil, peels, and even the leaves.

Native to Southeast Asia, evidence suggests they've been grown in Sicily since the 11th century, cultivated in Seville since the 12th, and dispersed the world over via Spanish colonialism. According to legend, there's a tree in the orangerie of Versailles planted in 1421. Notoriously self-sufficient, they are frequently used as rootstock for the more finicky sweet orange. They produce well from seed, which is convenient since there are about 30 in each fruit. They are very high in pectin, which can be rendered by boiling the pith, seeds, and membranes and stored for future jelly making. Or, make orange marmalade; the recipe I used suggested tying a bunch of seeds in muslin and boiling it with the juice and peel, removing it from the pot when you add the sugar for the final assault. It worked remarkably well, and the flavor is amazing. Sour orange curd is UNBELIEVABLY good — follow any recipe for lemon curd, substituting the orange juice and zest. Conveniently, I still have three bottles of juice in the freezer for orangeade, margaritas, and ceviche this summer, and marmalade glaze on a simple vanilla custard tart is on the agenda. The dried peels are beautiful, smell good, and make a wonderful addition to a Provençal tomato sauce. If even a fraction of the seeds germinate, we'll have enough for an entire orchard. In which case, I may need to start a colony of honeybees.

Study: Bitter Orange Safe At Higher Dosage

(National Products Insider)

WEST CALDWELL, N.J.—A new study in Food and Chemistry Toxicology confirms bitter orange extract's safety in dosages up to 98 mg daily. The trial, “A 60-Day Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Safety Study Involving Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract" found no adverse effects in 60-day supplementation of bitter orange extract (as Advantra Z, from Nutratech Inc.).

The study—the longest trial to research bitter orange only—found no significant changes in blood pressure, blood chemistries or blood cell counts in both Advantra Z and placebo groups.

In June 2012, an FDA-funded study explored the safety of bitter orange extract, noting it shouldn't cause consumer harm at appropriate doses. Health Canada also released guidelines supporting use of up to 50 mg of p-synephrine daily; Intertek Cantox deemed dosages up to 60 mg were safe, but later increased it to between 70 mg and 100 mg.

All About Citrus aurantium (Sour Orange)

By Catherine Reddy
Origin of Sour Orange

Sour orange’s prehistoric origins are located in Southeast Asia, most notably in China and India. Early explorers brought the fruits via boat to the islands of Fiji, Guam and Samoa. The Arabic countries were the next to receive the fruit circa 9th Century, followed by their mentions in Italy around 1,002 AD. However, the appearance of citrus trees in Italian mosaics indicates that the fruit may have been growing in Italy around Constantine’s rule as early as 330AD.

Even today, most of the commercially grown Citrus aurantium fruits are in Italy and France, while Morocco, Haiti, Taiwan and Cyprus grow the fruits on a much smaller scale. Sour oranges are naturalized throughout diverse regions of the world, from Central America to Tropical Africa.

While various types of oranges have existed in India for centuries, the book, “Citrus Classification” explains that the Assam government introduced India’s unique variety, Citrus karna, circa 1904.

Availability of Sour Orange in India

Sour oranges grow all over the moist, warm regions of the country up to an elevation of 1,000 meters. The Eastern Ghats and hill ranges of India are just a few examples of the regions in which it’s cultivated. Like most other citrus fruits, it’s also grown mainly in Guntur and Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, the Khasi hills, Cachar, and in its wild state, Naga. Other states cultivating the fruit are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal and Goa. While India’s main sour orange variant is karna, the country grows other famous varieties such as bitter, Seville, and Bergamot.

Where to find Sour Orange in India

The sour oranges grown in India seldom reach the consumer in their whole fruit form. Rather, they come as manufactured products as syrups, flavoring agents, health supplements, candies, oils or extracts. Nonetheless, those living in the warm, tropical regions of India can easily grow the fruit in their yards and gardens. Furthermore, a few large cities like Delhi grow the trees for landscaping, thus making it possible to find while strolling through parks, avenues, and city monuments.

Checking for Ripeness in Sour Orange

Some types of sour orange possess green skins, some yellow, while others are deep orange. This means the fruit’s best indicator of ripeness is the fragrance and aroma of its skin. The best oranges have incredibly oily, zesty peels that practically burst with a citrusy aroma. Look for fruits that feel heavy for their size, and avoid those with hard, brown skin and small pores.

Taste of Sour Orange

Like amlas, lemons, and limes, a sour orange cannot be eaten in their raw form—it’s extremely acidic, bitter, and, as its name suggests, sour. Drinking the juice requires adding copious amounts of water and sweetener. However, cookbooks are chock full of recipes highlighting the fruit’s light, zesty, citrusy and aromatic qualities.

Nutritional Value of Sour Orange

As per a sample taken in Guatemala and El Salvador, 100g of sour orange contains the following values:

83-89.2g Moisture
.6-1g Protein
.1g Fat
9.6-15.3g Carbohydrates
.4g Fiber
.5g Ash
18-50mg Calcium
.2mg Iron
12mg Phosphate
200IU Vitamin A
100mcg Thiamine

40mcg Riboflavin

.3mg Niacin
45-90mg Ascorbic Acid
Health Benefits of Sour Orange

Sour oranges have a number of health benefits—so many, in fact, that bitter orange extracts are sold as a health supplement. When the US’s Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra, many turned to bitter orange extracts as a weight management supplement. This is because the extracts contain compounds structured similarly to ephedrine, namely synephrine and norepinephrine.

According to the book, “Indian Medicinal Plants,” sour orange’s peel traditionally acts as a laxative, emmenagogue, and stomachic. The leaves manage arthritic symptoms and bronchitis. Even the flowers have medicinal uses—as an aqueous extract, it treats scurvy, inflammation, fever, and hysteria. The fruits remedy fever and enlarged spleen.

In aromatherapy, neroli (an oil made from sour oranges) treats a number of ailments. As per the book, “Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty,” neroli calms heart palpitations, acts as a calming agent, soothes stress, alleviates menstrual cramps, and ameliorates skin irritation arising from eczema and dermatitis. European practitioners use the oils for patients experiencing insomnia and nervousness.

Scientific studies reveal amazing additional health benefits:

--A 2012 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that Citrus aurantium flavonoids inhibit apidogenesis, the process in which the body converts and multiplies fat cells. This research supports the extract’s use as a weight loss supplement.

--A 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that sour orange peel may have therapeutic benefits based on its ability to reduce swelling in rats.

--A 2012 study published in Phytotherapy Research indicates that sour orange’s flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties.

--When testing for the supplement’s safety, a 2013 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology shows no adverse health effects from taking bitter orange extracts.

--Amazingly, a 2011 study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that sour orange flavonoids may be an effective chemo preventative agent against gastric cancer.

--Another 2012 study published in Food Chemistry found similar anti-cancer effects against lung cancer cells.

--A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Oncology found the peels have anticancer activity on human leukemia cells.

--A 2011 study published in Revista Brasileira de Anesteseologia affirms sour orange blossom’s use as a relaxant: the group that took oral tablets before a surgery showed less anxiety than the placebo group.

How to Open/Cut:

For sour orange juice, simply cut the fruit in half and squeeze the fruit. If a commercial juicer is on hand, slice away the rind of the whole fruit using a sharp paring knife, and then drop the fruit in the processor.

Because there are so many medicinal benefits in the rind, use a citrus rinder to make small fine shreds of the peel. Use in baked goods recipes or even atop salads. Or, cut the rind into fine, match stick-sized pieces for the purposes of candying the peel.


Keep sour oranges at room temperature, as they will retain their juiciness best when kept out cool climates. They will keep for two to three weeks. If willing to put in a bit more effort, individually wrap the fruits in newspaper and place in a cardboard box. Store the box in a low-humidity refrigerator with a temperature nearing 40F. These will keep for six to eight weeks. While the fruits will not tolerate freezing, it’s possible to freeze the juice as ice cubes and use as needed. They will keep for six months. Store orange oil in dark-colored glass away from direct sunlight. Keep in a cool location.

Sour Orange Recipe Ideas and Uses:

--Make sour orange salad dressing by including the juice with some olive oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and coconut oil.

--Squeeze sour orange juice into glazes and marinades

--Make marmalade, as the peel makes an exceptionally tasty addition

--Instead of making lemonaid, substitute the lemons for sour orange.

--Include the juice in sodas for an alternative to artificially colored and flavored orange soda.

--Add sour orange juice to sweet bread, pancake and cupcake batter.

--Make a glaze from sour orange

Certain types of sour oranges are famous not for the juice, but the extracts and oils from parts of the fruit. For instance, the oils from the peels of bergamot oranges make world-renowned perfumes, aromatherapy medicines, liquors, teas, and even flavors for smokeless tobacco.

The blossom of the bitter orange tree is the chief agent making neroli oil, a compound renowned for its gorgeous aroma with floral, sweet, spicy and distinctly citrus notes.

Flavor Complements:

Lemon, lime, banana, pineapple, mango, strawberry, peach, noni, apricot, pomegranate, date, fig, grape, guava, cherry, coconut, amla, persimmon, kiwi, kumquat, nungu, papaya, passion fruit, pomelo, santol, soursop, wood apple

Herbs, spices, and oil: olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, pepper, rum, nut butter, chili, fennel, rosemary, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisin, maple syrup, nut milk, pistachio, almond, walnut, coconut oil, vanilla, chocolate, champagne

Random Facts:

Neroli oil is a strongly suspected compound in the top-secret Coca Cola formula.

Amazingly, Europe didn’t receive sweet oranges (or any other type of citrus, for that matter) until 500 years after the arrival of sour oranges.

Sour oranges didn’t have the best reputation amongst noble classes in the medieval period, as they were considered peasant food. Ironically, orangeries—greenhouses to grow citrus fruits—became en vogue amongst European aristocracy between the 17th to 19th centuries.

Binomial Name: Citrus aurantium, Citrus jambhiri, Citrus penivesiculata

“Sour orange” is one of the broadest terms to use for an orange with a sour, pungent, mouth-puckering quality. With approximately 1,500 types of citrus fruits growing in the country, pinpointing which types constitute this broad definition is nearly impossible.

Even karna’s citrus classification is debatable. According to R.C. Woodford’s book, “Citrus Classification,” some botanists proposed naming the fruit, Citrus karna while others thought Citrus aurantium var karna was ideal.

Other Names: Citrus karna, Sadaphal, Gambhru khatta, Kharna katta, Mallikanarangi (Siddha/Tamil), Swadu-naringa (Sanskrit)

Related Fruits: Any fruit in the Citrus genus: citron, orange, calamondin, mandarin, sweet lime, etc.

Citrus Peel Medicine

By Don Matesz

People have used citrus fruits as a source of medicines for thousands of years, but not in the citrus-flavored foods familiar to us today, like orange juice, key lime pie or lemon slices on slabs of salmon. While we usually consume the flesh and nectar of these succulent fruits as food, herbalists have used the rinds as medicine for numerous maladies throughout history.

In some cases, these discoveries in the apothecary led to innovation in the kitchen. For example, in Asia, the use of orange zest, lemon zest and dried orange peel in cooking developed out of the knowledge of their application as remedies for digestive disorders. A little citrus peel in your diet can go a long way. Zesty Citrus Recipes

• Citrus Baked Black Cod
• Turkey-Carrot Soup With Citrus Peel
• Citrus Peel Coffee
• Lemon Cookie Crumble Ice Dream
• Cinnamon Ice Dream
Ancient Healing: Traditional Uses of Peel

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine uses several citrus peels for specific health support, including those of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata ‘Blanco’) and bitter orange (C. aurantium).

For hundreds of years, herbalists trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have used mature mandarin orange peel, known as chen pi or ju pi in Chinese medicine, to improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and resolve phlegm. This peel acts primarily on the digestive and respiratory systems. We apply it in conditions involving a sense of distension and fullness in the chest and upper middle abdomen combined with loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, or coughs with copious phlegm.

Immature mandarin orange peel, known as qing pi in Chinese medicine, acts primarily on the liver and stomach to promote digestion, relieve food retention and abdominal distension, and promote good liver function. Practitioners of Chinese herbology use this herb when the sense of distension and discomfort lies primarily under the rib cage rather than the central abdomen.

The Chinese materia medica states that the rind of the mature bitter orange (zhi ke) relieves abdominal distension and chest congestion.

The rind of the immature bitter orange (zhi shi) relieves gas, bloating and constipation. It also dissolves phlegm. Practitioners of TCM consider it more purgative than the mature form.

Citrus Rind in Your Daily Diet

You don’t have to follow TCM to reap the benefits of citrus peel. Although we have discussed the traditions and uses in Chinese medicine, common sweet orange (C. sinensis) peel has many of the same constituents as the mandarin orange peel and also is beneficial to your health. You can incorporate 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried or powdered peel or 4 to 8 teaspoons of fresh peel into your daily diet, or you can try the yummy, easy recipes listed at the start of this article. Although cooking with healing herbs does not regulate your intake of the substance the way a regimented dose does, if you are looking to add some flavor and healing action to your meals, this is the way to do it!

Science Supports Citrus

Sweet and bitter orange peels have similar constituents. Modern research shows many benefits to these peels or their constituent phytochemicals.

The medicinal actions of citrus peels come in part from their primary essential oil, d-limonene. D-limonene has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a solvent for cholesterol, which has led some physicians to use it to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. D-limonene neutralizes gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis, making it useful for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Research also indicates that d-limonene has cancer-preventive properties.

Citrus peels also contain hesperidin, a flavonoid that reduces the proliferation of cancer cells and induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells. Korean researchers found that qing pi extract induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells.

A team of scientists from Taiwan investigated the effects of the four citrus herbs mentioned above on adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation. They found that mandarin orange peel (chen pi) markedly reduced production and accumulation of triglycerides (fats) in fat cells, with the highest dose tested reducing triglyceride production by nearly 50 percent.

A team from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nankai University in Taijin, China, found that chen pi has anti-asthmatic properties.

Healing with Citrus Essential Oils

Orange oil acts as a sedative, relieving nervous tension and insomnia. Blend it with lavender, or alternate with lavender or sandalwood. It also enlivens the mind and relieves depression.

Use it externally to treat intestinal spasms, constipation and diarrhea. Mix 3 drops of orange oil into 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil, then massage the oil into the abdomen. Start the massage in the lower right-hand quarter of the abdomen, then massage in a clockwise circle from that corner, up along the rib cage, across the upper abdomen, then down along the left side and into the pelvic area.

Other uses for orange oil: Add to massage oil to help normalize blood pressure and circulation. Combine with warming oils such as cinnamon and clove to fight chills and body aches.

Hold the Citrus Seed Extract

Buyer beware! Although several companies market grapefruit seed extract (GSE) as a “natural” antibiotic, research has revealed that citrus seed contains no antibiotic activity and the antibiotic actions of commercial GSE preparations appear to be due to the presence of synthetic preservatives.

Master herbalist Todd Caldecott has reported that two independent studies have shown that GSE does not have antibiotic actions of its own. According to Caldecott, in 1999 Japanese researchers compared a self-made alcohol extract of grapefruit seed to a commercial GSE and found that the latter contained methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate and triclosan, two synthetic, antibiotic preservatives.

Seville Orange Marmalade

By Elise Bauer

Yield: Makes 5-6 8-ounce jars.

• 3 lbs of seville or bitter oranges (about 12 oranges)
• 4 cups water
• 2 lemons - 1 regular lemon and 1 Meyer lemon
• 4 to 5 cups white granulated sugar

Equipment needed

• 1 wide 5 or 6-quart pan (stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining, not aluminum which will leach, hard anodized is okay)
• An electric or mechanical juicer (you can juice all the oranges by hand but it is much easier and less time consuming with a juicer).
• A sharp chef's knife
• A candy thermometer
• A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
• 5 to 6 8-oz canning jars
• Potato peeler
• A muslin jelly bag (for the pectin), or a large (18" diameter) round piece of muslin, or several pieces of cheesecloth that you can tie up into a bag

Health benefits of Bitter Orange

(Health Benefits Times)

Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium) other names: Aurantii Fructus, Aurantii fructus immaturus, Aurantii pericarpium, Aurantium, Bigarade, Bitter Orange Flower, Bitter Orange Peel, Chao Zhi Ke, Chisil, Citrus amara, Citrus aurantium, Citrus Aurantium Fruit, Citrus bigarradia, Citrus vulgaris, Extrait de Zeste d’Orange, Fleur d’Orange Amère, Flos Citri Auranti, Fructus Aurantii, Fructus Aurantii Immaturus, Green Orange, Kijitsu, Methyl-Synephrine, Methyl-Synephrine HCl, Méthyl-Synéphrine HCl, Methyl Synephrine, N-Methyltyramine, Naranja Amarga, Neroli Oil, Norsynephrine, Octopamine, Octopamine HCl, Orange Amère, Orange de Séville, Orange Peel Extract, Orange Verte, Seville Orange, Shangzhou Zhiqiao, Sour Orange, Synephrine, Synéphrine, Synephrine HCl, Synéphrine HCl, Synephrine Hydrochloride, Zeste d’Orange Amère, Zhi Ke, Zhi Qiao, Zhi Shi.

The bitter orange is an extremely well-known fruit and is also regarded as an invaluable therapeutic herb too. Initially the bitter orange probably originated in China. However, by the Middle Ages the fruit of the bitter orange would be a favorite in lots of lands and its herbal qualities were respected by Arabian physicians in the Middle East. Oil extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange is discovered and prepared like a scent throughout the 16th century, supposedly by an Italian princess named Anna-Marie de Nerola; she utilized the oil to scent her gloves. Because of this, the neroli floral oil, since it is now known is prohibitively costly and famous like a perfume. The usage of medicinal oranges is definitely the main domain of the Chinese herbalists, who’re still the best enthusiasts of medicinal oranges and its particular remedies today.

Medicinal preparations mostly are made out of the bitter Seville orange – C. aurantium or even the sweeter tangerines and satsumas – C. reticulata. The bitter orange remedies have got a great repute in several places.The usage of the bitter orange like a food as well as for preparation of herbal medicines have been going on for millennia. The flowers of the bitter orange, yields the valued neroli oil, the volatile oil extracted from the leaves and young shoots is known as the petit grain. These two distillates from the bitter orange are used extensively in the perfumery and scent industry. Another product of distillation of the bitter orange is an essence known as the orange flower water; this really is utilized in perfumery as well as a flavoring within the manufacture of candy along with other baked goods. This particular essence also offers a number of other therapeutic purposes and uses in herbal treatments.

The bitter orange is really a native plant of the exotic regions within the Asian continent. Nowadays, the bitter orange is widely grown like a plantation tree through the entire tropics as well as subtropical areas of the world. Areas along the Mediterranean coast abound in orchards of the bitter orange; Spain particularly has numerous of those orchards. Health benefits of Bitter Orange

The bitter orange fruit can be used in marmalades, as stated, but additionally in liquers like triple sec and Grand Marnier. Bitter orange essential oil is expressed through the fruit, whilst neroli oil originates from the flowers. Manufacturers also have the flowers to distill orange flower water, that has long been utilized to freshen the air as well as in traditional Mediterranean dessert dishes.

Today, orange flower water is utilized in certain cocktails, scones, as well as wedding cakes. Bitter orange oil expressed through the peel can be utilized to flavor candies, ice cream, gelatins and puddings, chewing gum, as well as pharmaceutical goods.

Bitter orange extract have been marketed like a weight-loss aid as well as appetite suppressant, but since it may boost blood pressure as well as heart rate, medical experts suggest caution. Dieters need to seek advice from their doctors first. Bitter orange, when used orally, might also create interactions along with other drugs like cholesterol-lowering statins, in the manner much like grapefruit.

Traditionally, bitter orange flower as well as bitter orange oil were utilised to help relieve gastrointestinal upset, lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes, and also to promote blood circulation. It absolutely was also considered to help individuals with insomnia to sleep better, and also to perk up “tired blood” or even anemia. In aromatherapy, bitter orange has an awakening, revitalizing effect.

Listed are a few well-known Health advantages of Bitter Orange

1. Benefits to the Skin

One of the main advantages of bitter orange is its astringent capability. It soaks up excessive sebum helping balance the creation of oil in the skin, calming over-active oily as well as acne-prone types. Yet it doesn’t strip the skin as can some harsh over-the-counter synthetic formulas. After utilizing a formula along with bitter orange, skin feels balanced, refreshed, and ready for moisturization.

Bitter orange peel, particularly, also offers anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anfi-fungal qualities, that makes it again, ideal for acne-prone skin tones. Mixing the balancing effect together with the anti-bacterial effect assists in keeping the skin clean and free of excessive oil, whilst the anti-inflammatory action calms irritation and redness, assisting skin to recuperate from past injuries.

These types of properties also make bitter orange the ideal choice whenever you’re battling fungal infections just like athlete’s foot and ringworm. Try applying the bitter orange oil directly on the infection, you can also utilize bitter orange tea. You may also use cooled bitter orange tea bags on the eyes to calm swelling and help wake up droopy eyes.

There is one caution when utilizing bitter orange in your skin-it makes you more responsive to UV rays, so make sure, as always, to utilize sunscreen and sun-protection clothing to safeguard the skin.

2. Weight Loss

Bitter orange consists of an alkaloid known as synephrine, which has similarities to ephedra, a drug banned by the Food and Drug Administration due to dangerous blood pressure elevations. It really is unclear whether synephrine has got the same degree of response as ephedra. In the six-week study published in “Current Therapeutic Research,” scientists gave bitter orange, caffeine, and St. Johns Wort to the small group of people, and placebo to another group. The group taking bitter orange lost a lot of weight, whilst the placebo group didn’t, indicating that bitter orange, caffeine as well as St. John’s Wort have significant weight loss properties.

3. Digestive Aid

Bitter orange is well known in traditional Chinese medicine like a digestive aid. First, it is known to assist with weight loss, because the extract suppresses your appetite. When required, it may also enhance the appetite; bitter orange peel is usually recommended in this case. The fruit likewise helps if you have an upset stomach.

The flower as well as oil of the plant are suggested with regards to dealing with gastrointestinal problems. This includes health conditions like diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas, ulcers within the intestine, or blood in feces. Also, they are able to assist with liver and gallbladder disorders, in addition to kidney and bladder problems.

4. Good for the vascular system

Bitter orange is wonderful for the vascular system, too. It can benefit regulate the fat levels within the blood and lower blood glucose levels in those who have diabetes. It energizes the circulation and it has cleansing qualities, purifying the blood. It may also help individuals who have lower blood pressure level by increasing it.

• Other Uses of Bitter Orange

• In aromatherapy, the essential oil of bitter orange is used on the skin and in addition inhaled like a painkiller.
• In foods, bitter orange oil is utilized like a flavoring agent. The fruit of bitter orange is utilized to make marmalades as well as liqueurs like Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and Curacao. Since the fruit of bitter orange is really sour and bitter, bitter orange fruit is rarely consumed, with the exception of Iran and Mexico. The dried peel of the fruit is additionally utilized as a seasoning.
• In manufacturing, bitter orange oil is utilized in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and soaps.
• In Asian medicine, the whole dried unripe fruit is utilized mainly for digestive disorders.
• Bitter orange is often utilized in “ephedra-free” products since the FDA banned ephedra in 2004 for serious side effects on the heart. Bitter orange and caffeine, a regular mixture in weight loss as well as bodybuilding products, may cause high blood pressure levels and also increased heart rate in healthy adults with otherwise normal blood pressure. There isn’t any proof to point out that bitter orange is any safer than ephedra.
• Bitter orange oil is utilized in foods, cosmetics, and aromatherapy products. Bitter orange oil through the tree’s leaves is known as petitgrain, and oil from the flowers is called neroli.
• Bitter orange has been utilized in traditional Chinese medicine and also by local people of the Amazon rainforest for nausea, indigestion, and constipation.
• Current folk or traditional uses of bitter orange are suitable for heartburn, loss of appetite, nasal congestion, as well as weight loss.
• It is also used on the skin for fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.
• The dried fruit and peel (and sometimes flowers and leaves) are taken by mouth in extracts, tablets, and capsules. Bitter orange oil can be applied on the skin.


No formal research has been carried out on dosage of bitter orange therefore it can vary in people. claims that reasonable weight reduction can be carried out along with 32 milligrams per day of synephrine in obese individuals. It really is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s label and not exceed the suggested dose.

•Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium) Side effects

Bitter orange is probably safe for kids as well as adults whenever consumed in the amounts present in food. Bitter orange essential oil is likely to be safe whenever used on the skin or even inhaled as aromatherapy.

But bitter orange is likely to be unsafe whenever used like a supplement for the medical purpose like weight loss. Bitter orange, particularly if taken along with stimulants like caffeine or caffeine-containing herbs, boosts the chance for high blood pressure, fainting, heart attack, stroke, along with other serious negative effects.There are actually reviews that bitter orange can result in head aches, which includes migraine and cluster headaches, in certain people.

Bitter orange may cause sensitivity towards the sun. Wear sunblock outside, particularly if you are light-skinned.

•Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Bitter orange is probably safe while pregnant whenever utilized in the amounts present in food. However, bitter orange is possibly unsafe whenever utilized in therapeutic amounts. The effects of bitter orange on breast-feeding infants aren’t known. Remain on the safe side and prevent using bitter orange while pregnant or breast-feeding.


Some proof shows that bitter orange might interfere with blood sugar levels control in patients along with type 2 diabetes. Use along with caution and monitor blood glucose levels carefully.

•High blood pressure

Several research claim that bitter orange, particularly in conjunction with caffeine, can boost blood pressure level in healthy people. Other research has discovered no such blood pressure elevation. To date, there haven’t been any studies looking at the effect of bitter orange on blood pressure in individuals who curently have high blood pressure levels. Don’t take a risk. Stay away from bitter orange, particularly in conjunction with stimulants like caffeine, in case you have high blood pressure levels.


Bitter orange may possibly aggravate glaucoma. Stay away from it in case you have this problem.

•Heart disease

Utilizing bitter orange, particularly in conjunction with caffeine or any other stimulants, may possibly boost the chance of severe negative effects in individuals with a specific heart problem known as “long QT interval syndrome” (named after the wave pattern made by a electrocardiogram).

•Irregular heartbeat (heart arrhythmia)

Several research claim that bitter orange, particularly in conjunction with caffeine, can boost heart rate in healthy people. Other research has discovered no such effect on heart rate. So far, there has been no research of the effect of bitter orange on those who have an irregular heartbeat. Stay away from bitter orange, particularly in conjunction with stimulants like caffeine, in case you have an irregular heartbeat.


Bitter orange acts just like a stimulant, therefore it may possibly hinder surgery by increasing heart rate as well as blood pressure. Quit taking bitter orange a minimum of Two weeks just before a scheduled surgical treatment.

5 Uses For Sour Orange Juice


Bitter orange juice comes from a specific type of orange and it's a smaller orange with thick skin that gets a little wrinkled with deep pores. It's not the best for chowing down on straight from the tree, but it is a super tasty flavor to add to many of dishes. If you can't find fresh oranges at your local grocer, try looking for just the juice. It's usually in a tall skinny bottle in the Mexican aisle. Here's a few ways to give it a try in your own home:

1. Marinades: Bitter orange pairs perfectly with chicken, beef, pork, duck and even vegetables. Add a little olive oil, some garlic and salt and pepper and your foods for the grill will be ready to go!

2. Seville Orange Marmalade: When we can find the physical oranges in the store we make sure to buy extra to make this marmalade from David Lebovitz. It's a perfect pairing with meats, sweets or on a simple piece of toast once you have the taste for it.

3. Pickling: The acidity in these oranges is high enough that you can use the juice like you would vinegar. It's great in dressings, but it makes amazing pickled onions, ready for tacos, gyros and more!

4. Naranjada: When mixed with sugar (1/4 cup) and water (1 1/2 cup), this overly bitter juice (hopefully of 4 oranges) becomes something quite tasty. It's a staple beverage in other parts of the world, more specifically South America. So when your food choices turn that direction, mix yourself up a glass and make sure it's cold, cold, cold! It's great in cocktails in general and perfect if you own a Soda Stream machine!

5. Fish Wet Rub: Mixing 3 tablespoons of sour orange juice with 1 glove of roasted garlic (plus salt and pepper to taste) is a great wet rub for fish. It makes your flaky friend a little slimy and a little sour no matter if it's pan friend, grilled or baked, it works out great in the end.


(Herbs-Treat and Taste)


If you’ve ever been to the Spanish city of Seville or Athens, Greece, then you will have seen these bitter oranges trees lining the streets. Unfortunately although they look edible, you have a nasty shock if you eat them, as Norah Jones found out on her trip to Athens to sing at the Herodion in 2008. They are mainly used for making marmalade and the peel is used for its oil, as are the flowers, which is valuable to the food and perfume industry.

Bitter oranges have become popular as a herbal remedy since 2004 when the US Food and Drug Administration banned Ephedra sinica products. It will no doubt come as a relief to the industry that in March 2011 HerbalGram, the quarterly Journal of the American Botany Council. A not for profit research and educational organization announced “based on current research as well as the extensive ingestion of bitter oranges and p-synephrine…the data demonstrate that bitter orange extract is safe for human consumption.” The press had seemingly confused m-synephrine which can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system with the p form; m-synephrine is not present in bitter oranges.

Bitter oranges are also called sour oranges and bigerades, and it is believed that they originated in South East Asia and at some time in prehistory found their way to the Pacific Islands, notably Fiji, Samoa and Guam. The Arabs took them to the Arabian Peninsula and from there they found their way into Europe. They were being cultivated on the Italian island of Sicily by 1002 AD and were being grown in southern Spain by the 12th century. One tree dating back to 1421 is still growing in a tub at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, and in Seville, in Spain there are trees that are reputedly 600 years old. The trees are evergreen and in the Rutaceae family along with lemons, kinnow, citron and other citrus fruits. For 500 years they were the only orange trees that were grown in Europe. The Spaniards took them to North America where they were adopted readily by the Native Americans in the Florida region, and by 1763 they were being exported from Saint Augustine to Britain, where they had failed to thrive due to the cold weather. The orange known as the Bergamot orange is one of these bitter orange varieties.

Seville oranges are most usually found in marmalade but in Spain they are used in sauces to go with such dishes as suckling pig, as the citrus taste cuts through the fat of the young pig, and with salt cod. In Mexico these oranges are cut in half and salted then spread with a paste made with chilli peppers and eaten. They are also used in cordials and in Yucátan, Mexico they are used like vinegar. In the Pacific Islands, the crushed fruit and macerated leaves are used as a substitute for soap to wash clothes and for shampoo. Petitgrain oil is used to enhance the flavours of other fruit such as apricots, blackcurrants, gooseberries and peaches in food products. Neroli oil and “orange flower absolute” is used in the perfume industry and the fruit is also used in the making of liqueurs such as orange curaçao and Triple Sec. The honey from the nectar of these orange flowers is delicious and the wood is valuable in carpentry and turning. In Cuba baseball bats are made from it.

In traditional Chinese medicine the small, dried, immature fruit are used for ailments which include indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation and as an expectorant. In Africa the cut fruit is applied to sores and ulcers on the skin and research seems to have shown that the fruit and leaves have antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, although more research needs to be done. In folk medicines the leaves have been used for centuries as antispasmodics, for stomach problems and as a general tonic. The flowers are often boiled to a syrup and used as a sedative to promote sleep in people suffering from nervous disorders. An infusion of the flowers, an ounce of flowers to a pint of boiling water left to steep for some hours, is said to be a mild stimulant. The oil from the peel has been used in cases of chronic bronchitis, and the dried powdered peel is considered a general tonic.

The leaves have a high vitamin C content in the form of ascorbic acid, and the fruit is full of this too. The fruit also contains flavonoid-glycosides such as aldehytes, ketone-free acids, esters, coumarins and tetranotriterpenoids (limonin). Synephrine is the main chemical constituent in the fruit flavones naringin and neohesperidin. The fruit contains vitamin A and some B-complex vitamins, with the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorous; amino acids are also present.

Below is a recipe for orange and ginger marmalade which is one of my favourites.



- 16 Seville oranges, finely sliced
- 5 large lemons, finely sliced
- 4 inch piece of ginger root finely minced
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 16 cloves
- sugar
- 24 cups water


Put the fruit into a non-corrosive pan along with the spices and simmer until tender, for about ½ an hour. Measure the fruit and juice in cups and add 1 cup of sugar to each cup of fruit and liquid. Pour everything into the pan again and cook the boiling mixture until it reaches setting point. This is reached when two big drops slide together and hang from a metal spoon (rather like honey does). Pour the marmalade into sterilized jars and seal. This has Taste and is a Treat.

Bitter Orange for Weight Loss

By Cathy Wong (ND)
What Is Bitter Orange?

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is a type of tree that grows in the Mediterranean region, as well as in California, Florida, and other parts of the world. Extracts of the tree's flowers, leaves, and dried fruit and peel are used in herbal medicine.

Uses for Bitter Orange

In traditional Chinese medicine, bitter orange has long been used to treat health problems such as nausea, indigestion, and constipation.

In alternative medicine, bitter orange is also purported to help treat heartburn, loss of appetite, and nasal congestion, as well as promote weight loss. Some proponents recommended applying bitter orange topically to treat fungal infections (such as ringworm and athlete's foot).

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bitter orange for health purposes. Indeed, no studies have shown that the herb is useful in treatment of nausea, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, nasal congestion, or fungal infections.

Bitter Orange for Weight Loss

In recent years, bitter orange has been marketed as a natural weight-loss aid. Proponents claim that bitter orange helps stimulate the fat-burning process.

In several small studies, participants have experienced an increase in metabolic rates when consuming bitter orange products.

However, researchers have yet to confirm that bitter orange is beneficial to people wanting to lose weight.

What's more, bitter orange contains two compounds (synephrine and octopamine) that are structurally similar to those found in ephedra (an herb banned by the U.S. FDA because it raises blood pressure and is linked to heart attacks and strokes).

Synephrine has been found to increase blood pressure in humans, and may increase risk of cardiovascular events.


Because of its potential to cause abnormal heart rhythms, raise blood pressure, and speed up heart rate, bitter orange should only be used under the direction of a physician. Anyone with a cardiovascular condition (such as heart disease or high blood pressure) or diabetes should avoid bitter orange.

Bitter orange should not be combined with caffeine or any natural substances containing caffeine (such as green tea and yerba mate). It should also be avoided by anyone taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors) or herbs/supplements that increase heart rate.

Due to lack of safety evidence, pregnant women should avoid products that contain bitter orange.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine.

When topically applied, bitter orange oil may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. While consumers face such risks when purchasing any dietary supplement, these risks may be of greater magnitude in the purchase of products marketed for weight loss and bodybuilding.

Also, the safety of supplements in nursing women, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here. Using Bitter Orange for Health

Due to the limited research and safety concerns, it's too soon to recommend bitter melon for weight loss (or any condition). It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using bitter melon, make sure to consult your physician first.

Can Bitter Orange Benefit Your Health?

By Mark Stibich, PhD

Can Bitter Orange Reduce Your Weight or Help Your Fungal Infection?

Bitter orange is, well, bitter — in fact, it's the type of orange most commonly used to make orange marmalade, which tends to be quite sour. In traditional medicine, bitter orange and extracts made from the fruit are used to treat digestive problems such as nausea, constipation and indigestion.

These days, bitter orange oils, extracts and supplements are used for heartburn, congestion, weight loss, and even to treat certain fungal infections like athlete's foot.

However, there's not much evidence that these work, and there's reason to exercise considerable caution with bitter orange.

Health Benefits of Bitter Orange?

Bitter orange is a type of sour orange hybrid that's a close relative of both mandarin oranges and pomelos. It's grown throughout the Mediterranean (hence its alternative name "Seville orange"). In Chinese medicine, it's called zhi shi.

Despite bitter orange's use in traditional medicine, science hasn’t looked into bitter orange very much, and the studies that have been done raise some concerns.

Bitter orange is probably best studied for its potential role in weight loss, where it's commonly marketed either by itself or in a formula with other so-called "fat burners" and "metabolism boosters," such as caffeine.

The few studies that have been completed indicate that people taking bitter orange extract, either by itself or in a formula incorporating other ingredients, do see an increase in their metabolisms and may lose a bit of weight.

However, the evidence here is limited, and there are strong reasons to be careful about using bitter orange supplements.

Bitter Orange Oil for Fungal Infections

I was only able to find one older study relating to the use of bitter orange oil for fungal infections. That study did show good results: virtually all of those who started the trial saw their infection resolved, and side effects were minimal, involving mostly irritation of the skin with the least-dilute form of the oil.

The researchers in the study concluded that bitter orange is a promising and inexpensive way to fight fungal infections.

Bitter Orange: Cautions

Bitter orange contains a substance called synephrine, which is similar to ephedra. Ephedra was all the rage for a while because of its weight loss effects, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra because of serious health concerns.

Specifically, ephedra raises the blood pressure (thereby increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke). It is unclear whether synephrine does exactly the same thing, although studies have shown that it may raise your heart rate (and possibly your blood pressure).

When using bitter orange on your skin (as you would to fight a fungal infection), it may make you more susceptible to sunburn. Finally, people taking medications should avoid bitter orange supplements because the supplements may raise blood pressure and affect health in other ways.

In short, I recommend avoiding taking bitter orange or putting it on your skin.

Smelling bitter orange oils seems to be safe.

Bitter Orange and Aromatherapy

I first encountered bitter orange when dabbling with aromatherapy. Bitter orange essential oils smell like, well, oranges.

The fun part of bitter orange is that oils from the leaves (called petitgrain) and oils from the flowers (called neroli) have distinctly different scents, but are both recognizable as “oranges.” In aromatherapy, bitter orange is used to provide a scent that stimulates and awakens (think orange juice in the morning).

African Tea Offers Promising Treatment For Type-2 Diabetes

(University of Copenhagen)

Researchers are attempting, with the help of a special African tea, to develop a new treatment for type-2 diabetics. The tea is used as a treatment in traditional Nigerian medicine and is produced from the extract of Rauvolfia Vomitoria leaves and the fruit of Citrus aurantium. The scientists have recently tested the tea on patients with type-2 diabetes and the results are promising.

The researchers have harvested the ingredients for the tea in Africa, totalling approximately fifty kilos of leaves and three hundred kilos of fruit from the wild nature of Nigeria. Afterwards the tea has been produced exactly as local healers would do so. The recipe is quite simple: boil the leaves, young stalks and fruit and filter the liquid.

First mice, then humans

Associate professor Per Mølgaard and postdoc Joan Campbell-Tofte from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry have previously tested the tea on genetically diabetic mice. The results of the tests showed that after six weeks of daily treatment with the African tea, combined with a low-fat diet, resulted in changes in the combination and amount of fat in the animals' eyes and protection of the fragile pancreas of the mice.

The researchers have recently completed a four month long clinical test on 23 patients with type-2 diabetes and are more than satisfied with the result.

"The research subjects drank 750ml of tea each day. The [tea] appears to differentiate itself from other current type-2 diabetes treatments because the tea does not initially affect the sugar content of the blood. But after four months of treatment with tea we can, however, see a significant increase in glucose tolerance," said postdoc Joan Campbell-Tofte from the University of Copenhagen.

Changes in fatty acid composition

The clinical tests show another pattern in the changes in fatty acid composition with the patients treated in comparison with the placebo group.

"In the patient group who drank the tea, the number of polyunsaturated fatty acids increased. That is good for the body's cells because the polyunsaturated fat causes the cell membranes to be more permeable, which results in the cells absorbing glucose better from the blood," said Joan Campbell-Tofte.

The researchers hope that new clinical tests and scientific experiments in the future will result in a new treatment for type-2 diabetics.

Seville Oranges – for more than just marmalade

By Suzanne Wynn

Seville Oranges are in the shops for the next couple of weeks and I’m making an exception to my usual principle of discussing only British produce because apparently our consumption of marmalade has fallen by 5.6% over the last two years – a pattern of decline that looks set to continue given that the majority of marmalade eaters are over the age of 65.

Does this really matter? Not much in the great scheme of things I have to admit, but I will be a little sad if the time comes when Seville Oranges no longer make their brief appearance in late January. So, I imagine, will the Spanish, since they are grown almost entirely for the British marmalade market. During the Second World War making marmalade was considered so essential to British morale that special efforts were made to ensure the supply of Seville Oranges, so what has changed?

One heartening suggestion is that, dissatisfied with commercial offerings, we have returned to making marmalade at home, although I have not been able to find statistics to support this theory. Were it simply that we have realised that a breakfast of toast and marmalade has little nutritional benefit and now started our day in a more healthy way there would be some comfort in marmalade’s demise. However it seems that in the same period increased sales of chocolate spread and peanut butter more than covered the drop in marmalade sales so health doesn’t appear to be the motivation. Sales of jams also continued to increase, with only honey joining marmalade in seeing declining sales. Honey is of course worthy of further discourse in its own right, but for today let’s consider what we will lose if indeed we are losing our appetite for Seville Oranges.

In common with the rest of the citrus family, bitter oranges are native to China. Following the Citron, Citrus aurantia (bitter oranges) were the next member of the citrus family to be cultivated in the west. They were apparently grown in Sicily in the early 11th century and around Seville towards the end of the 12th century, no doubt introduced by the Arabs. The first sweet oranges, Citrus sinensis , reached Lisbon in the 1630’s and thirty years later theatre goers in London were offered them as refreshment, and although they quickly gained popularity over the bitter orange, sweet oranges were expensive and bitter oranges continued to be the norm in cooking. Up until the early nineteenth century, unless sweet oranges are specified (sometimes referred to as Portugal oranges) you should assume that bitter oranges are required. The casual substitution of sweet oranges has led to the ruin of such previously fine recipes such as Canard à la orange .

Before Seville orange marmalade was made in Scotland, preserves of bitter orange peel were already known in Arabic cooking, whilst “marmalade” was being made in Britain from quinces. The other main use of bitter oranges derives not from the fruit but from the flowers. The distillation of the flowers produces the essential oil Neroli, which is drawn off for use in perfumery, whilst the aqueous remains is known as Orange Flower Water and is used in cooking, particularly in the Middle East. In Southern France bitter oranges are called Bigarard and the area around Grasse is the main western producer of orange flower water.

But what of the implications of bitter oranges falling out of favour in our own cuisine? Could it be, I wonder, a sign that we are losing our appreciation of bitter tastes as a whole?

At marmalade making time each year there is always some debate as to whether it can be made from other citrus fruit. Technically, and even historically, the answer is yes, but what people are really asking here is whether the distinctly bitter taste is an essential part of the marmalade that has become culturally associated with Britain. A grapefruit marmalade, for example, will taste zesty and refreshing, but is this really marmalade or just a peel jam?

A similar argument rears its head when discussing cider. The eastern side of the country, and increasingly commercial cider makers from wherever they hail, make cider from dessert rather than cider apples, which, like Seville Oranges, contain the distinctive bitter element that for many is the essence of the true taste of cider. Feelings also run high over the naming of pear equivalents – those made from genuine Perry Pears are the only ones that ought to be called Perry (although there is no law enforcing this) and to mistakenly call it Pear Cider (which would be made from dessert pears) is deeply insulting.

Bitterness adds a depth of flavour that is missing from fruit which is predominantly sweet or sour. By including it you will literally be activating more of the taste buds so that the whole taste experience is more complex, less one dimensional. Human beings are born with the basic ability to appreciate sweetness because it tells us when things are fully ripe but the addition of bitterness can prevent sweet dishes from becoming cloying. Sourness is the direct opposite of this and is often likened to the white in an artist’s palette in that a little of it will lighten and lift a dish and actually enhance our perception of the sweetness that exists. Try squeezing a little lemon juice over strawberries rather than adding sugar and see which tastes sweeter.

If sour is the white in an artist’s palette then bitter equates to black, allowing the cook to create shade and depth in a dish. Strangely people often confuse these two, perhaps because either, in excess, will cause one to wince and screw up the face in dislike. The two can also exist together, making distinction more difficult: trying to eat a raw sloe is one example.

Unlike sweetness, an appreciation of bitter usually develops with time and this is probably a natural defence mechanism since it enabled hunter-gatherers to distinguish poisonous plants by their bitter flavour. As their knowledge grew so did their realisation that not all bitter plants are poisonous, but still it appears that these receptors develop with age. So food containing a degree of bitterness has sophisticated, adult overtones.

Yet tea is the example usually used to taste bitterness caused by tannins without the added complication of sourness, and there can be no import more associated with British taste than tea!

Could it be that our basic taste receptors have adapted in response to industrial food production? The main purpose of additives is to enhance the attractiveness of food to us, but it does seem that the majority of these are based on sugar or salt. Consider our taste in chocolate for example. Pure cacao is unpalatably bitter so a degree of sugar is needed to make chocolate for eating, but although we are beginning to appreciate chocolate with higher cocoa solids, the majority of that sold in the UK is still milk and quite sweet. Palates do of course differ and gauging the degree of bitterness that others will enjoy is difficult – you have only to think about the differing amounts of sugar that individuals choose to add to tea or coffee. A quick test to assess your own, or others, tolerance to bitterness is simply to add, one drop at a time, some Angostura Bitters to a glass of Perrier water. Other brands will suffice, but I suggest Perrier in this instance because it is quite salty and the combination, plus the carbonation, should make an enjoyably refreshing drink but exactly how much Angostura to add will be quite a personal taste.

So what I would miss most about the absence of Seville Oranges is not their sourness – for which there are plenty of substitutes, but the bitterness that comes with it. I do not eat much marmalade and thankfully there still seems to be a plentiful supply of good homemade offerings for what I do need, but there are plenty of other recipes for which I still buy a single kilo of organic Seville oranges when the season arrives. It is sometimes suggested that a mixture of orange and lemon juice be substituted when Seville oranges are not available, but whilst this can give an approximation of acidity it really doesn’t provide the complexity and sophistication that comes from the bitterness of Sevilles. I hope that some of this month’s recipes will convince you both to support the bitter orange, for the sake of biodiversity, but also to look for the pleasing touch of bitterness in other foods.

Food writer Laura Donohue celebrates the refreshing powers of citrus

(Cambridge News)

Laura Donohue's blog, Crumbs on the Table, was a finalist for the Guild of Food Writers Food Blog of the Year 2015. In her January column, the writer and cook reflects on the brilliance of citrus in helping to kick-start the new year.

I love January. Despite its grey tendencies, I relish the fresh start, the hopeful certainty that last year's inadequacies can be redressed by what comes next, that this year's surprises will be of the wondrous variety.

I'm also one of many relieved that the holidays have been navigated for another year without incident or illness, and glad of the respite from round-the-clock kitchen duty. I crave eating and preparing simple, clean-tasting foods – not self-denying or effortless foods, but those that taste of themselves with minimal interference from the cook.

Nothing does this job like the brilliant citrus at its best this month. Oranges are so ubiquitous we can forget how glorious they taste in January at the peak of their season, so juicy and sweet, nothing like their year-round impersonators. And oranges are not the only orange. The intense tangerine, distinctive in taste from its many cousins, is available for a brief couple of weeks longer, full of juice. Excellent easy-peeling satsumas and seedless clementines, also in the class of mandarin oranges along with the tangerine, are still to be had if you choose carefully from the leftover holiday supply. Look for heavy fruits with good skin.

In the sweet orange class there are seedless navels and navelinas, and early Valencias with their few seeds. Grapefruit, especially the ruby red, can be as sweet as oranges now. Claret-hued blood oranges, the most celebrated of which grow in the Sicilian sun under Mt Etna, are complex, gutsy, addictive. Their cousin the blush orange is sweeter, and gorgeous with tie-dye sunset pigments, each a little different from the last. The best and simplest thing to do with all these treasures is to juice them and drink down all that sun and promise in a few good gulps that will make you instantly glad to be alive. As January rituals go, this is a joyously straightforward one that requires only a few good fruits and a strong hand or simple juicing device, nothing fancy. It is the ultimate convenience food and natural high, blessed with the virtues of sun and vitamins just when we need them most. Knowing you have a bowl of citrus waiting to be squeezed can make it easier to start the day and even convince you (on a weekend at least) that you're on holiday in Italy, where spremuti from the fruits of local trees are in themselves worth the whole holiday.

This is also the perfect time of year to experiment with cooking with citrus. Sliced in salads, squeezed onto carrots, or onto broccoli or flower sprouts (a delicious new cross between kale and Brussel sprouts), oranges add a zing to winter's vegetables and enhance their nutritional value.

January also means the Seville oranges are in town, and there is so much more to do with these mouth-puckering, pip-filled fruits than making marmalde. The juice of the Seville is easy to squeeze and has both the notes of orange and the tartness of lemon, so makes brilliant curds, mousses, drizzle cakes, sorbets and sauces. It brightens fish, chicken, duck and guinea fowl. Frozen in small cubes it can enhance rhubarb and other fruit compotes throughout the year. Freeze a few whole and you will find many uses for them beyond the breakfast table.

'Sour oranges' were the oranges prized as luxuries by the Romans and medieval cooks, brought from China by Arab traders. It wasn't until the 17th century that truly sweet oranges were cultivated in Europe, and not until the 19th century that they were for mass trade. Wartime shortages made them a precious commodity once again, and they have vacillated since between being taken for granted and being revered. What is now seemingly so commonplace a fruit is still a miracle most of us would not wish to live without.

Don't miss the window. You owe it to yourself to get a few prime specimens this month, carry them home, wash them and put them in a bowl where you can admire them, and then one by one, hold them in your hand to marvel for a moment before you take in the scent of zest, their inner beauty, and finally, taste. Sun in winter.

Scroll for two of Laura's best-loved citrus recipes:

• Hassled chicken with citrus

Serves 2

This dish is so quick and juicy. It's comfort food in a flash, the zesty brightness of Seville orange or lemon on every bite-sized morsel making a week-night chicken breast anything but bland. It's so named because you hassle your chicken pieces in the pan, cooking and turning them quickly: a little harmless kitchen therapy to redress the day's minor harassments. It obligingly makes its own moist glaze with nothing more than the squeeze of a few citrus fruits.

A family friend gave this dish its name in the spirit of irony after a difficult day. He loved it with mashed potatoes he would dress with a legendary excess of butter. I often serve it with rice or orzo, but mash provides a double dose of comfort. A clean and crunchy salad of shaved fennel, sweet orange slices and black olive makes a sympathetic and quick accompaniment; or serve it with broccoli or flower sprouts jazzed up with garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of sweet orange juice.

Season the chicken pieces before you flour, and don't overcook them. The pan should be hot enough for the meat quickly to take on a golden colour, but not to scorch. Stop when a skewer or knife goes through the chicken easily. This takes only about three minutes. Cooking just to doneness ensures succulence.

If scaling up the recipe, cook the chicken in batches (too much in the pan and it will steam). Keep the first batch/es lightly covered with foil on a plate in a very low oven and return them to the hot pan for a final stir with the garlic, capers, parsley and juice. This dish is best cooked just before serving so the chicken doesn't get dry.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Strained juice of 4 Seville oranges or 2 lemons, about 100ml

Finely grated zest of 1 Seville orange or lemon

2 minced garlic cloves

About 60g flour (6 tablespoons) or substitute cornflour if avoiding gluten

1 level teaspoon sea salt and about 30 grinds of finely ground pepper

About 50ml (3 tablespoon) olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1-2 tablespoons capers (ideally the small 'nonpareille')

1. Slice and season the chicken: a) Slice the breasts on the diagonal into strips about 6mm (¼ inch) thick, and halve the longest so you have uniform bite-sized pieces. b) Season with the salt and pepper, zest, and half the minced garlic (reserve the rest for the pan). Rub in well and let the pieces absorb the seasonings and come to room temperature while you get on with the rest of the meal prep.

2. Flour the chicken and heat the pan: a) Put a large frying pan on to heat over medium while you flour the seasoned chicken pieces. b) Shake the chicken in a bag with the flour to coat completely.

3. Cook the chicken: a) Add the oil to the pan when it has warmed up and put the heat up to medium high (one or two settings up from medium). Allow the oil to get hot but not to shimmer or smoke. b) Give the chicken pieces a good shake to get rid of excess flour (which would otherwise burn) and add them to the hot pan one by one in a single layer, taking care not to crowd the pan. The pieces should sizzle decisively but not fiercely. c) Turn with tongs or a spatula until golden on both sides, cooking only until the chicken can easily be pierced without resistance by a skewer or knife. This will take just about 3-4 minutes.

4. Finish the dish: a) When the chicken is almost finished, add the remaining garlic and give it about 30 seconds to soften; don't let it brown. b) Add the parsley and capers and give everything a quick stir. c) Quickly finish by adding the orange or lemon juice. The juice will sizzle and immediately thicken to coat the chicken pieces in a flavoursome glaze. Stir through and serve immediately.

• Fresh orange jelly with passion fruit and banana

Serves 6-8

This vibrant pudding is packed with fruit, held together with a delicious passion fruit and orange jelly: a combination that brings out the best in both. The soft banana and tart grapefruit and blood orange make every bite interesting in taste and texture, and the colours are beautiful.

This is special enough for important celebrations and so popular you'll want to make it often when citrus fruits are at their best. It also makes a tempting tonic for those suffering from seasonal sore throats and colds. The vitamin hit of the citrus and the protein in the gelatine makes it a wholesome pudding, soothing and delightful.

The quantity of gelatine given here allows for moulding, either as one large jelly, or in individual portions. If making a single large jelly, use a loaf tin or dish with a capacity of just over one litre, and portion the finished dessert with a serrated knife. You could instead forego the moulding and simply set the jelly in individual glasses, in which case cut down on the gelatine for a more delicate set.

This recipe calls for you to segment (i.e. to 'supreme') the citrus fruits so they are free of peel and pith, a silky smooth treat. The job will go faster if you use large fruits. A sharp paring knife is essential and you'll need to work on a board or over a bowl to catch all the juices, much of which you need for the jelly (the rest is the cook's reward for doing thirsty work).


6 passion fruits

6 large sweet oranges

2 ruby red grapefruits, or 1 grapefruit and 3 blood oranges

3 small ripe bananas

75g caster sugar

1 x 12g sachet gelatine powder; use 8 grams (1 tablespoon) if not moulding the jelly

60ml hot water

1. Prepare the moulds: Lightly moisten the inside of one 1.25 litre jelly mould or loaf tin, or 6-8 individual moulds, and line with cling film, leaving an overhang on all sides.

2. Prepare a plate for the citrus slices: Line a plate with kitchen towels to absorb excess juice from the citrus. You will need extra for each layer of fruit.

3. Dissolve the gelatine: Sprinkle the gelatine over the hot water (never vice versa) and stir; set aside to soften, stirring occasionally.

4. Sieve the passion fruit for the jelly: a) Place a mesh strainer over a large measuring jug (or use a bowl). Halve the passion fruits and press the pulp through the strainer to obtain as much seedless juice as you can, about 80ml. Set aside and keep the slippery seeds in the strainer for now.

5. Segment ('supreme') the oranges: a) Cut off the tops and bottoms of each orange so it can sit flat, taking away just enough to expose the clean flesh. b) With the fruit sitting stable on a cutting board, and working from top to bottom, use a sharp paring knife to slice away the peel and white pith in downwards slices. Go just deep enough into the orange to expose the clean flesh with the minimum wastage. Follow the curve of the fruit as you get to the bottom. Continue the downwards slicing action until you've made it all around the fruit. c) Trim off any remaining pith you may have missed. d) Carefully cut between the membranes separating the orange segments and remove each segment cleanly. e) Lay each slice onto the prepared plate to drain.

6. Make up the juice to 300ml: As you supreme the oranges, squeeze out the juice from the peels and membranes into the strainer with the passion fruit seeds; collect all the juices from the cutting board and add them too. You need enough orange juice to bring the total quantity of juice in the jug to 300ml. The orange juice will also help rinse off more passion fruit flavour from the remaining seeds in the strainer. Discard the seeds once they've given all their pulp.

7. Finish the jelly: a) When you have collected 300ml combined passion fruit and orange juice, stir in the caster sugar. b) Heat the juice just to boiling point (on the stove or in the microwave, and don't let it boil over). c) Remove the hot juice from the heat and stir in the softened gelatine until it is completely dissolved in the juice; set aside to cool and stir occasionally. Don't boil the juice again once the gelatine is added; boiled gelatine tastes awful.

8. Segment the grapefruit and/or blood oranges: Proceed as described for the oranges.

9. Mix the fruit into the jelly: a) Once the juice with the gelatine has cooled to room temperature (it will still be liquid), strain it through a clean sieve into a bowl large enough to take all the fruit. b) Slice the bananas about 6mm (¼ inch) thick and add to the cooled juice. c) Add the drained citrus fruits and mix gently.

10. Fill the moulds and chill: a) Keeping the overhanging cling film clear, fill the mould/s with fruit first, distributing it in pleasing colours with as much or little fuss as you please. b) Top up with the juice, coaxing it into all the nooks and crannies until it just covers the fruit. c) Cover the top of the mould/s with the overhanging cling film and refrigerate until the jelly is firm, about 5 hours or overnight.

11. Unmould and serve: a) Open up the cling film to clear the tops of the jellies. b) Use the overhang to remove them from their moulds, and turn into serving bowls or plates, removing the rest of the cling film once they're in place. c) If you made one large jelly, it's easier to place a lightly moistened platter on top of the mould once the top is clear of cling film, and to then flip it right-side up before removing the mould and rest of the film. Serve cold. Leftovers last a couple of days in the fridge.

Sweet news for bitter orange

By Shara Rutberg

Supplement still safe after two months, study finds

The longest safety test yet of bitter orange on its own suggests that the compound is safe after two months of daily use. A new study published in Food & Chemical Toxicology was noted in the American Botanical Council's most recent Herbclip.

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) became popular with dieters and weight-loss supplement manufacturers after the the Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra. A compound in bitter orange, p-synephrine, is a stimulant similar to ephedra. The safety of p-synephrine hasn't been established, though there have been no direct adverse event reports made for it, writes Risa Schulman in HerbClip. P-synephrine's similar in structure to ephedrine, norepinephrine and m-synephrine, which have been known to have have detrimental cardiovascular effects.

Because bitter orange is often taken in combination with other supplements like caffeine, it has not been clear what role bitter orange has had in adverse events reported for the combination. To gain some clarity, researchers designed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety of bitter orange alone and in combination with the citrus flavonoids naringin and hesperidin, in healthy adults.

For 60 days, researchers gave 75 healthy adults (average age, 51.6 years; 15 males and 60 females) two daily doses of either 49 mg of p-synephrine alone, 49 mg of p-synephrine with 576 mg of naringin and 100 mg of hesperidin or a placebo. None of the subjects reported adverse events, according to the HerbClip article. There were no statistically significant changes from baseline in the blood chemistry, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, heart, liver, kidneys or quality of life in any of the groups. There was a small, but statistically significant, difference in the increase of the average resting heart rate between the combination group (3 beats per minute) and the p-synephrine-only (0.1 beat per minute) and placebo groups (P < 0.05 for both). However, they weren't considered clinically significant.

“This study indicates that a daily dose of nearly 100 mg of p-synephrine taken for up to 60 days is safe in healthy male and female adults. Efficacy studies need to be done to determine if there would be any effects on weight loss,” writes Schulman. HerbClip notes, however, that “the combination of p-synephrine and caffeine is still a major concern among some health professionals and researchers, and this paper did not address this issue.”

This study echoes another published in 2012 in the International Journal of Medical Sciences that concluded p-synephrine did not appear to pose a health risk.

Oranges add distinctive flavor to all sorts of dishes

By Doris Reynolds

Chu Sung, the great Chinese poet wrote in the 13th century: "Fairest of all God's trees, the orange came and flourished, commanded by God not to move but to grow only in the south country."

Oranges were originally cultivated in China and their history has been traced back some 20 million years ago when the islands of the South Pacific were still part of the landmass that included Asia and Australia. It is believed that modern oranges were developed from a bitter ancestral plant whose sacred seed was stolen from a Buddhist temple.

Arab traders brought the bitter orange, Citrus aurantium, from the east and cultivated it in the Mediterranean regions. The Moors introduced it to Spain, where it established itself and became known as the Seville orange. Later, the Crusaders brought oranges to northern Europe and while the climate was too cold for cultivation it became the rage for royalty and the aristocracy to build orangeries in which to show off the trees and their fruit. One of the most lavish such orangeries is at the Palace of Versailles, outside of Paris.

It was much later that the sweet orange, Citrus sinensis, was imported from China. The sour orange had been revered for the scent of its flowers and skin was used mostly in cooking. Once the sweet oranges became available it quickly became an extraordinary treat and were sold in theaters, gift boxes and by street vendors.

The Renaissance painters believed that the orange had originated in Palestine and often included oranges and orange trees in their religious paintings. The significant and symbolic "Golden Apples of Hesperides" was one of these paintings as well as the inclusion of oranges in "The Last Supper" and other works. Oranges and orange trees were considered symbols of the Virgin and were considered to represent love and fidelity.

French brides often refused to marry if they could not find orange blossoms to carry or wear. In Germany, oranges played an important role in the dating game since young girls often threw oranges from their balconies to encourage their suitors. Orange peels were used to redden lips long before lipstick was invented and they were credited as a nostrum to rid evil thoughts from a woman's mind.

Florida owes much to Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon. During Columbus' second voyage in 1493 he brought the first sweet orange seeds to the New World. The first plantings of oranges and other citrus was in Hispaniola. Ponce de Leon brought seedlings of orange trees and while he never did find that Fountain of Youth his contributions to our state live on and have a profound effect on our diets and our economy.

The first orange groves were established in Florida between 1513 and 1565 in and around the settlement of St. Augustine and along the St. Johns River. Assisted by Spanish explorers, missionaries and the Indians, sweet orange groves spread rapidly throughout the state.

Oranges are one of Florida's greatest gifts. We lead the nation in the production of oranges and we supply the most superior quality fruit, juice concentrate and juice in crystallized form to most of the United States and for most of the year. In addition to wonderful jams, jellies and marmalades, oranges are made into syrups, ice cream, candied and jellied products. Not an orange goes to waste and they are used for perfume, alcohol, cosmetics, textiles, paints, insecticides and for cattle feed.

Oranges are best eaten out of hand or squeezed for the most delicious and healthful juice ever devised. However, oranges add distinctive and tempting flavor to all sorts of dishes.

Any proof bitter orange can help shed pounds?

By Herb Weisbaum

SEATTLE -- Bitter orange extract is a popular weight loss supplement. For many people it became a replacement for the herb ephedra, which was banned by the FDA because of health concerns.

There's no question bitter orange can speed up your metabolism for a very short time. But is there solid proof it will help someone shed the pounds?

"The data to show that it helps to lose weight is not there," said Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. "They haven't been proven safe and they haven't been proved effective."

Swartzberg is concerned that bitter orange supplements might be dangerous because it contains chemicals that are similar to ephedra.

"People taking excessive amounts of bitter orange could develop heart disturbances, high blood pressure, really dangerous things," he said.

There's also concern that bitter orange can interfere with the proper absorption of certain medications, including antidepressants, statins and calcium channel blockers.

A citrus celebration

By Pat Thomas (NYR Natural News)

You know that sharp, energising scent.

It’s the hit that you get when you peel and orange or zest a lemon that is immediately uplifting and able to take your mind away to some sunny corner of the world.

In the world of complementary health we are always looking for the next unique, exotic ingredient. That’s led to some amazing discoveries, but it can also cause us to overlook some of the simplest, most effective and most affordable remedies right on our doorsteps.

The smell of citrus is now so common in many commercial products used around the house that we don’t always think of it as therapeutic. And yet the citrus family provides some of the most delightfully refreshing and energising essential oils around. Think of them as a good mood in a bottle.

Great for depression

Although each citrus scent is unique, one thing they all seem to have in common is the ability to lessen anxiety and lift our moods. This makes citrus essential oils a good choice if you are feeling a little depressed.

Another thing they have in common is their usefulness as insect repellents. Try them in a spritz on holiday to keep the mosquitoes at bay or sprinkle a few drops in drawers to keep bugs and moths way from your clothes.

Unlike most essential oils that are extracted using steam distillation, most citrus oils, with the exception of oils like neroli and petitgrain, are extracted by cold pressing the rinds of the fruit.

Although citrus oils are generally inexpensive, it pays to make sure that you are using the best quality oils you can find, and if they are organic so much the better since citrus fruits are heavily sprayed with pesticides and going organic means you won’t risk any pesticide residues on yourself or in yourself.

Finding your favourite

There are many different citrus oils to choose from. Since everyone responds to scent a little differently, and since most citrus oils share similar properties, it’s worth experimenting to find the one that most resonates best with you.

Orange (Citrus sinenis)

Orange oil is expressed from the rind of the fruit. It has a sweet, uplifting scent that is energising and revitalising. Not long ago Brazilian scientists tested the effects of orange oil, tea tree and (as a control substance) water, in stressed out men. The participants spend five minutes inhaling one of three substances then underwent a stressful test while having their vital signs measured. Those who inhaled the orange oil were less anxious throughout the test and for some time afterwards. Used externally orange oil is gently detoxifying and great for supporting the skin’s natural repair process.

Lemon (Citrus limonum)

Lemon oil is also expressed from the rind of the fruit. Its scent is uplifting and fruity and it has a cleansing, toning action and can help purify both skin, when used in toiletries, or the environment, when used in a vapouriser or essential oil burner. Lemon is a generally happy scent – a good choice if you have a hectic day ahead and need an extra dose of mental clarity and positivity. Like most citrus oils lemon also has an antiseptic effect that can be put to good use in cosmetics, and even household cleaners.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

An energising, crisp and zesty scent, grapefruit essential oil can help lift the emotions and when used in cosmetic products has a toning action on the skin. There is some evidence from animal studies that grapefruit essential oil (along with lemon) can help boost metabolism and can help reduce food cravings. It is also thought to have diuretic, stimulant and cleansing properties that support the kidneys, lymphatic and vascular systems.

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)

A gently toning and detoxifying oil expressed from the rind of the fruit. Like grapefruit, inhaling lime essential oil has been shown in animal studies to help reduce weight. Lime is reputed to support creativity and clear thinking. It’s refreshing and stimulating, so a good choice when you are feeling exhausted or listless.

Mandarin (Citrus nobilis)

Relaxing, warming and soothing this oil has a calming effect on the nerves and is especially good for fractious children and pregnant women. If you are feeling a bit nauseous mandarin may help calm your stomach down. Used in massage oils it is good to aid lymphatic drainage. You might also see some shops selling tangerine oil. Tangerines are a type of mandarin and you can expect similar effects from this oil.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium amara)

A relaxing floral aroma steam distilled from the flowers of the bitter (Seville) orange tree. Unlike most citrus oils neroli is very costly to produce. It has an uplifting effect on the emotions and is great when you are feeling stressed out. Used externally it good for all types of skin, but particularly mature skin, and for improving the appearance of scars. It also has an antibacterial effect that can make it useful for healing sores and wounds. Read our full profile of neroli here.

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Also from the bitter (Seville) orange tree, but this time distilled from the leaves and twigs. It has an uplifting effect making it a good choice for depression and anxiety. Some sources also consider it an aphrodisiac. Used externally it is a good choice if you are prone to oily skin or acne.

Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia)

Bergamot oranges have a very sour fruit but a deeply scented rind. Bergamot is what gives Earl Grey tea its unique scent. It’s a balancing and calming oil with a fruity and uplifting scent. Used externally it is good for cold sores and acne as well as for soothing dry, itchy skin and improving the appearance of scars.


Citrus oils are good all-rounders; they are used widely in perfumes and cosmetics as well as in cooking and room scents and are a staple of many aromatherapists personal blends.

They are also generally safe to use for everyone but remember that most citrus oils are phototoxic, which means they can encourage skin burning when exposed to sun. As a general rule you should not use them immediately before going out into the sunshine.

To get the most from your citrus oils use them in a diffuser or as a room spray – they are great for clearing the air of cigarette smoke or other unpleasant smells. Or you can directly inhale them (try putting a few drops on a hankie and keeping this in a plastic bag for when you are on the go or using a pre-blended remedy like Neal’s Yard Remedies ‘Remedies to Roll’ blends which can be applied to pulse points for a quick lift.

Mixed in a suitable base oil you can also apply them topically, for instance as massage oils, or use them as bath oils. See our essential oils chart for suggestions on blending. You can also try adding a few drops of a citrus essential oil of your choice to boost the scent of products you are already using such as shampoos and skin creams.

These days we can’t predict what the weather will do, but making use of citrus oils is a way to bring a little summer sunshine into your life no matter where you are.

Aromatherapy using bitter orange during labor can reduce anxiety

By Nadine Watters

The freshly gathered blossoms of the evergreen tree Citrus Aurantium, commonly known as the Bitter Orange tree, are water distilled to create Neroli Oil. Citrus Aurantium has been used in complementary medicine for its versatility and helpful effects such as antibacterial and antifungal properties.

A recent study performed by the Department of Midwifery of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran, confirmed that aromatherapy using Neroli Oil is an effective way of reducing anxiety during labor.

Citrus Aurantium blossom oil, Neroli Oil, is effective in reducing anxiety during labor

The recent study sought to use aromatherapy as a means to reduce stress and induce calmness by stimulating the olfactory system. A few of C. aurantium’s benefits include the following: “stimulates the central nervous system, enhances the mood, lowers blood pressure, and has sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, and diuretic effects (2).” Because it is high in flavonoids, a natural ” tranquilizer” among other properties, it has been found to reduce anxiety effectively. (2) Lower levels of anxiety can reduce labor pain

126 women giving birth for the first time were divided into two groups, aromatherapy and control. At dilations of 3-4 and 6-8 cm, however, there was a significantly lower anxiety level in the aromatherapy group. The use of the essential oil not only reduced anxiety but also its consequences such as, increased labor pain, increased length of labor, likelihood of intervention and cesarean section, bleeding and delayed lactation. Neroli Oil has also been found to treat:

• High blood pressure
• Hemorrhoids
• Diarrhea
• Helps regenerate cells
• Antidepressant
• Fatigue
• Insomnia
How does aromatherapy work?

Essential oils absorbed through inhalation stimulate the olfactory pathways in the limbic system. Through this system, the oils stimulate the brain, interact with the central nervous system, and increase blood circulation in the brain. In this study a gauze with 4mL of Neroli oil was attached to the collar of the aromatherapy group and changed every 30 minutes while the control group was attached normal saline.

The particularly appealing fragrance of Neroli is said to have gotten its name from Italian princess of Nerola who loved the sweet and spicy scent. (3) Laboring women everywhere can use aromatherapy safely during their labor as “a simple, inexpensive, noninvasive, and effective” complementary medicine and a calming enjoyable fragrance.

Top Diet Drugs on the Market

By Jerry Shaw

Top diet drugs promise weight-reducing benefits, but generally work while people also practice a healthy diet and exercise program. Weight-loss drugs include prescription and over-the-counter varieties. They usually have the risk of side effects. People should read product warnings or talk to their doctor when taking these medications.

Here are some of the top diet drugs on the market, according to WebMD and

• Orlistat blocks the absorption of about a third of fat from foods, WebMD reported. Prescription versions are called Xenical. A non-prescription formula called Alli has about half the dose of Xenical. A low-fat diet, consuming about 30 percent of daily calories from fat, is recommended before taking the drug. Supplements might be added to boost vitamins that are harder to absorb because of orlistat.
• Phentermine curbs the appetite and is usually approved for short-term use, such as a few weeks. It is an amphetamine that can increase the risk of addiction or abuse, so it requires a special prescription for a certain amount of time.
• Belviq helps to curb the appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness, according to Diabetics can suffer side effects such as low blood sugar, headaches, fatigue, and back pain. The drug is not recommended for pregnant women or those who intend to get pregnant.
• Contrave combines naltrexone and bupropion, which are also used to treat alcohol dependence, depression and smoking cessation. Contrave increases metabolism and suppresses the appetite.
• Qsymia contains phentermine and also topiramate, a drug that helps burn calories, gives people a full feeling and makes food taste less appealing with the aim of less food intake. The two drugs are in lower doses than when prescribed alone, but they act as an appetite suppressant.
• Saxenda tricks the brain into thinking the stomach is full.

Other top diet drugs sold in non-prescription formulas include:

• Bitter orange, or citrus aurantium, has a possible modest benefit in weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. It helps burn calories and suppresses the appetite.
• Conjugated linoleic acid helps reduce body fat and also has a possible modest benefit, the Mayo Clinic noted.
• Green coffee extract reduces absorption of sugar and green tea extract decreases fat absorption. Both pills increase calorie and fat metabolism and may have a slight to modest benefit.

Pictures of Bitter Orange