Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Linda
Posted on: February 2, 2002

I would like to know what the herb Citrus aurantium is used for and is it safe to use if you’re not taking any type of medication.

Citrus aurantium is the source of the bitter orange fruits used to make marmalade and is the source of neroli oil and pettigrain used in perfumery. It is also the source of orange-blossom water used in desserts.

The leaves, stems, flowers, fruits, fruit peel and oil are all used medicinally. According to Deni Bown in her book, "Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses" (available from Richters), the herb is diuretic, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion, reduces inflammation and is antibiotic. It is used for flatulence, diarrhea, persistant coughs, colic, and shock.

Is it safe to take? We are not aware of any issues with taking bitter orange. Because it is edible and has a long usage as a food, it seems likely that it is safe.

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