Citrus Peel

Citrus x aurantium

Bitter orange is a small tree with brown/grey bark. The evergreen oval/alternate leaves sometimes have a spine at the axil, and are glossy on the surface and pale beneath. The strongly scented white flowers curl back and have 5 petals. The fruit is spherical and rough. The peel is used fresh and dried. The oil is made from the leaves and young shoots.

Family: Rutaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Citrus peel is a key herb in Revive

Habit and cultivation: Indigenous to Eastern Africa, Arabia and Syria and cultivated in India and Europe by 1200. The flowering season is May. The largest yields are at the end of summer when the weather is warmest. Frost tolerant.

Actions (known for): Digestive aid, demulcent tonic, vascular stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anxiolytic.


Both common and official names are derived from the Sanskrit nagaranga and Arabic naranj. Originated in China and first recorded uses for its medicinal properties date from 300 B.C. The Ancient Greeks used it as an antiseptic in aromatherapy. In the mid-18th century a Spanish ship was hit by a storm and its cargo of these oranges was considered unfit for sale. They were sold to James Keiller who turned them into marmalade.

Parts used:

For marmalade – the whole fruit. Medicinally – peel and flowers.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Whole fruit: essential oil, flavones and cartotenes. Peel: alkaloid synephrine and N-methyltyramine.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A and C. Some calcium.


Boosts immunity, aids removal of toxic waste from the body, stimulates digestion, soothes headaches, calms palpitations, reduces fever and coughs, constipation, weight loss through ‘thermogenic’ (heat generation in the body). Improves energy and reduces anxiety.


As directed on individual product.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Avoid during pregnancy and lactation.

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