Bitter Orange for Natural Health

What is Bitter Orange?

Bitter orange is an herbal medicine that is native to eastern Africa and tropical Asia. It specifically refers to any of the common orange trees that bear sour or bitter fruit. Today it is grown throughout the Mediterranean region as well as in the more tropical regions of California and Florida. Researchers have determined that the dried orange peel is the only part of the plant to have any value in herbal medicine.

Prior to its introduction to America, this herbal medicine was used by the Spanish to treat insomnia, dyspepsia and to improve digestion. The Chinese used bitter orange to ease stomach pain, indigestion and vomiting. Some holistic medicine practitioners use bitter orange to help treat headaches and even sore throat. Since the ban of Ephedra a few years ago, bitter orange has replaced the controversial herb and is now the key ingredient in many “Ephedra-free” weight loss aids on the market today.

Benefits of Bitter Orange:

The benefits from this powerful herb haven’t been completely discovered as of today. Scientists haven’t fully evaluated all of the benefits and risks from taking this herb. Some of the rewards we have discovered from taking this herb are:

  • Treat Nausea
  • Ease Constipation
  • Relieve Heartburn
  • Help Nasal Congestion
  • Aid In Weight Loss
  • Fight Fungus Infections (ex. Athlete’s Foot) When Applied To Skin Directly


Some precaution must be taken when regularly using bitter orange or supplements containing the herb. Overuse of bitter orange can lead to diarrhea. Also, science has discovered that excessive use of bitter orange can constrict the blood vessels which increase blood pressure and heart rate in the process. When bitter orange oil is applied directly to the skin to treat fungal infections it can potentially cause photosensitivity.

Individuals with heart conditions or high blood pressure should be extra cautious when taking supplements containing bitter orange. Incidents of heart attacks, fainting and stroke have been reported in people who suffer from such conditions. It is also recommended that pregnant women should stay away from taking supplements with the herb as it may cause contractions.

Where and how to buy Bitter Orange

Extracts of bitter orange can be bought all over the internet at online vitamin and herb shops. You could also find bitter orange at your local vitamin shops as it is in many weight loss supplements on the market today. If you want to make your own bitter orange not that hard at all. Simply take the orange peel and simmer it for about 15 minutes in about 3 milliliters of water. After that time, remove the remaining orange peel and drink the water.

Do not drink more than 3 cups a day though as it can essentially make the herb a natural laxative. Always consult your physician before beginning regular use of bitter orange. Remember, try and use organic bitter oranges whenever possible as it is the healthiest option possible!

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