Bitter orange

Sour Orange (Citrus × aurantium) . Citrus tree of the Rutáceas family . Many varieties of bitter orange are used for their essential oil, for perfume and flavoring, or as medicinal. It is also known by the names of bitter orange, bigarade orange, Andalusian orange, cashier orange and puppy orange.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Synonymy
    • 3 Common name
    • 4 Varieties
  • 2 Description
    • 1 Origin
    • 2 Location
    • 3 Useful part
    • 4 Collection method
  • 3 Recognized medicinal properties
  • 4 Described dosage forms
  • 5 Route of administration
  • 6 Other attributed properties
  • 7 Warnings
  • 8 Other uses
  • 9 Components
  • 10 Crop
  • 11 Preparation and Dosage
  • 12 References
  • 13 Sources


Scientific name

  • Citrus × aurantium L. [1]


  • Linnaeus, Carl von
  • Posted in: Species Plantarum 2: 782–783. 1753. (1 May 1753 ) [2]


  • Annex: Synonymy of Citrus × aurantium [3] [4]

Common name

Sour orange, bitter orange, bigarade orange, Andalusian orange, cashier orange and puppy orange.


  • Citrus aurantiumAmara is a thorny evergreen tree in southeastern Vietnam , widely cultivated. It is widely used as a rootstock for other Citrus species . Its fruit is used for making jams , Triple sec liqueurs and Curaçao . Of these oranges, essential oil is also obtained by extraction, for neroli oil . A hydrosol is obtained from its flowers and by distillation orange blossom water .
  • Naranjo de Sevilla(or bigarade), from the Mediterranean region . Highly appreciated for jam , due to its high pectin content , giving better quality and quantity. Also in compotes , to flavor with this liqueur Canard à l’orange (duck in orange sauce).
  • Bergamot,  aurantium subsp. Bergamia cultivated in Italy to produce bergamot oil, component of many perfume and tea brands .
  • aurantium var. myrtifolia– Chinotto, native of Italy.
  • Daidai,  aurantium var. Daidai , used in traditional Chinese medicine and in celebration of the Japanese New Year .


Bitter orange

Tree of medium size, very branched and thorny. Alternate, unifoliolate leaves, broadly elliptical, with the petiole winged and narrowed towards the base. Large, aromatic, white, solitary flowers or in small groups. Fruit in hesperidium, generally between 7-9 cm in diameter, juicy.


Eastern region of India and adjacent areas in Burma and China . Currently cultivated in much of the tropical and temperate zones around the world.


Cultivated by the population, mostly in rural areas, although in recent years it is not uncommon, moreover, in urban areas.

Useful part

The peel of the fruit and the leaves.

Collection method

There are no special requirements for harvesting the leaves and fruits. The leaves should be eaten fresh. The rind of the fruit, once separated from it, must be dried in a cool place in the shade, for consumption when needed.

Recognized medicinal properties

Systems: Pharmacological action:

  • Cardio-circulatory (Protector of small vessels)
  • Digestive (Antispasmodic)
  • Genito-urinary (Diuretic)
  • Skin and Mucosa (Antifungal, Antibacterial)

Described pharmaceutical forms

Plant medicine

Administration route

Oral, Topical

Other attributed properties

(Not yet approved) Stomach tonic, carminative, aperitif, analgesic and antipyretic. Orange blossom water, made from fresh flowers, is reported as hypnotic.


Essential oil, or parts of the plant that contain it, can cause dermatitis. Do not expose the parts treated with products of this plant to the sun. Topically do not use for more than 3 weeks.

Other uses

Fruit juice to dress food (meats, boiled meats, etc.), to prepare sweets and refreshing drinks. The essential oil of the flowers and the bark of the fruits is useful in the perfumery industry. The fruits or the oil of its bark can be used to make alcoholic beverages (liquor from Curaçao). The fruits can be a source for obtaining (citric acid liquor).


Peel (fruits): 1-2 percent of an essence, hesperidic acid and others, auranciamarina and hesperidina among other components. Leaves: Essence composed of: d-linonene, linalol, linalillo acetate with geraniol, geranyl acetate. An alkaloid with a bitter taste and variable amounts of mineral salts.


It spreads easily through the seeds of a well-ripened fruit. In this way it is not possible to obtain the first fruits of the plant until after the fourth year of cultivation. Propagated by grafts it is possible to obtain fruits much earlier.

Preparation and Dosage

Cooking: Boil 5-12 g of fresh leaves or fruit rind for 5 minutes. Ingest 300-500 mL a day divided into 2-3 doses. The same decoction is applied locally to the affected parts 2-3 times a day.


Leave a Comment