Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) contains a number of compounds – the most sought-after being the neroli essential oil which is extracted from the fragrant citrus blossoms. In traditional Chinese medicine, bitter orange has been used as a remedy for constipation, indigestion and nausea. Today its uses have expanded to potentially assist with weight loss, appetite stimulation or suppression, nasal congestion, heartburn and athletic performance. There are also studies that suggest bitter orange (when combined with lavender) can improve sleep.
Native to the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, eastern Africa, and Southeast Asia, Citrus aurantium is promoted as having antimicrobial, antioxidant, cytotoxic, anxiolytic, and antidiabetic effects. Bitter orange extract is regarded as safe for human consumption and is often made into dietary supplements, fruits, juices and other citrus-based food products.
The Latin name, Citrus aurantium, is often used synonymously or alongside the English name, bitter orange. It also goes by the names sour orange, Seville orange and bigarade orange. The fruit, which has a distinctly bitter or sour taste, is used to make marmalades and liqueurs, among other products.
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