Bitter orange: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the fruit known as "Chinese Bitter Orange," see Trifoliate orange.
Citrus aurantium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. aurantium
Binomial name
Citrus aurantium
L., 1753[1]

The name "bitter orange", also known as Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, and marmalade orange, refers to a citrus tree (Citrus aurantium) and its fruit. Many varieties of bitter oranges are used for their essential oil, which is used in perfume and as a flavoring. Bitter orange is also used in herbal medicine as a stimulant and appetite suppressant After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the herbal stimulant ephedra, manufacturers substituted bitter orange in many herbal weight-loss products,[2] despite similar concerns about potential serious side effects and lack of effectiveness.[3][4]




In cooking

The unripe fruit called "narthangai" is commonly used in Southern Indian food, especially in Tamil cuisine. The unripe fruit is pickled by cutting it into spirals and stuffing it with salt. The pickle is usually consumed with thayir sadam. The fresh fruit is also used frequently in pachadis. The juice from the ripe fruit is also used as a marinade in meat in Nicaraguan, Cuban and Dominican cooking. The peel can also become an ingredient in bitters. The Belgian Witbier (white beer) is a beer made from wheat which is spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. The Finnish and Swedish use bitter orange peel in gingerbread (Pepparkakor), also in mämmi. It's also used in the Nordic mulled wine glögg. In Greece and Cyprus the nerántzi is one of the most prized fruits used for spoon sweets, and the C. aurantium tree (nerantziá) a popular ornamental tree.

In medicine

The extract of bitter orange (and bitter orange peel) has been used in dietary supplements as an aid to fat loss and as an appetite suppressant, although in traditional Chinese medicine it is always prescribed in concert with other support herbs, not in isolation. Bitter orange contains synephrine, a substance similar to ephedrine, which acts on the α1 adrenergic receptor to constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rate.[5][6]

Following bans on the herbal stimulant ephedra in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, bitter orange has been substituted into "ephedra-free" herbal weight-loss products by dietary supplement manufacturers.[2] While bitter orange has not undergone formal safety testing, it can cause the same spectrum of adverse events as ephedra.[7] Case reports have linked bitter orange supplements to strokes,[8][9] angina,[10] and ischemic colitis.[11]

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that "there is currently little evidence that bitter orange is safer to use than ephedra."[4] There is no evidence that bitter orange is effective in promoting weight loss.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Citrus aurantium L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1999-12-17. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  2. ^ a b Duenwald, Mary (2005-10-11). "Bitter Orange Under Scrutiny as New Ephedra". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  3. ^ a b Sharpe PA, Granner ML, Conway JM, Ainsworth BE, Dobre M (December 2006). "Availability of weight-loss supplements: Results of an audit of retail outlets in a southeastern city". Journal of the American Dietetic Association 106 (12): 2045–51. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2006.09.014. PMID 17126636. 
  4. ^ a b "Bitter Orange". National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  5. ^ Bui LT, Nguyen DT, Ambrose PJ (January 2006). "Blood pressure and heart rate effects following a single dose of bitter orange". The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 40 (1): 53–7. doi:10.1345/aph.1G488. PMID 16317106. 
  6. ^ Hess AM, Sullivan DL (March 2005). "Potential for toxicity with use of bitter orange extract and guarana for weight loss". The Annals of pharmacotherapy 39 (3): 574–5. doi:10.1345/aph.1E249. PMID 15657116. 
  7. ^ Jordan S, Murty M, Pilon K (October 2004). "Products containing bitter orange or synephrine: suspected cardiovascular adverse reactions". Canadian Medical Association Journal 171 (8): 993–4. PMID 15497209. 
  8. ^ Bouchard NC, Howland MA, Greller HA, Hoffman RS, Nelson LS (April 2005). "Ischemic stroke associated with use of an ephedra-free dietary supplement containing synephrine". Mayo Clinic Proceedings 80 (4): 541–5. PMID 15819293. 
  9. ^ Holmes RO, Tavee J (July 2008). "Vasospasm and stroke attributable to ephedra-free xenadrine: case report". Military Medicine 173 (7): 708–10. PMID 18700609. 
  10. ^ Gange CA, Madias C, Felix-Getzik EM, Weintraub AR, Estes NA (April 2006). "Variant angina associated with bitter orange in a dietary supplement". Mayo Clinic Proceedings 81 (4): 545–8. PMID 16610576. 
  11. ^ Sultan S, Spector J, Mitchell RM (December 2006). "Ischemic colitis associated with use of a bitter orange-containing dietary weight-loss supplement". Mayo Clinic Proceedings 81 (12): 1630–1. PMID 17165643. 

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