Bitter Orange – Benefits & Side Effects

Fact checked by Mary Stricklin, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Bitter Orange has its origin in southeast Asia but it is cultivated in many countries of the world. The plant is used to make oil which is applied on the skin for curing skin issues caused by fungus. 

It is also very helpful for appetite control which in turn contributes in weight loss. Bitter orange is basically a medicinal herb which contributes towards maintain a healthy body by preventing the body from diseases as well as treating them. 

Chinese people use it for treating stomach problems like acidity and constipation. Apart from the medicinal causes, it is also used in cooking. I am going to discuss with you some of the major benefits derived from bitter orange:

  1. Helps in weight reduction

    People has the habit of consuming oily foods many times a day. This in turn increases the amount of fat stored in our body and contributes towards weight gain.

    Bitter orange in all these years has proved itself to be very effective in weight loss. It controls our desire for food. It makes us feel full for a longer period and we can easily avoid eating oily substance every now and then. Our craving for food diminishes which is very beneficial for people desiring to lose weight.

  1. Enhance metabolism rate

    The process of metabolism helps in converting the food we consume into energy. We are completely reliable on metabolism for activities like digestion, breathing, blood flow in the body and so on.

    Bitter orange is very effective in enhancing the rate of metabolism in our body. Better metabolism in your body means it can burn more calories. The excess fats stored in our body is converted into usable energy and thus, it eventually helps us in weight reduction too.

  1. Diabetes control

    Bitter orange is very beneficial or diabetes patients.

    It helps in lowering the level of blood sugar and maintain a healthful blood glucose level which in turn has very helpful in keeping our body energized, reduce frequent tiredness, decrease the risk of serious problems like kidney damage and also helps in enhancing our mood. It also contributes towards improving the brain health.

  1. Treat Fungal Skin Infections

    The oil made from bitter orange is very effective in treating skin infections caused by fungus. Some of the common fungal skin infections are athlete’s foot and ringworm.

    Athlete’s foot is mainly caused due to walking barefoot. People having diabetes is more likely to get infected by this. A type of fungus that resides in the dead tissues of our skin causes ringworm. Bitter orange has proved itself to be very useful in curing these skin infections.

  1. Better Healing Capacity

    Bitter orange contains Vitamin C in it. As we all know that vitamin C has wound healing properties in it, therefore, bitter orange too has the capacity to heal our wounds and cuts sooner and more efficiently.

    Apart from this benefit, Vitamin C is also responsible for strengthening our immune system, enhance our learning capacity and memory power, reduces the risk of having heart related problems, lower the blood pressure level and so on. Therefore, each intake of bitter orange helps us in these many ways.

So these were some of the most important benefits that we get from bitter orange. There are still other potential benefits which lack in proper evidence but is believed to deliver in some studies:

  1. Reduces nervousness

    Breathing in the fragrance of bitter orange flower is very effective in reducing the feeling of nervousness and unease. Especially after menstruation, women have to go through frequent mood swings. In this case, bitter orange is very helpful.
  1. Treats acidity

    Sometimes, it happens that our body cannot digest the food we consume due to several factors. This leads to the problem of indigestion which cause different problems like abdominal pain, vomiting, bad taste, a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, etc. Bitter orange combined with other natural ingredients is very useful for decreasing the effects of acidity as well as curing it.
  1. Strong mental health

    Bitter orange enhances the mental strength of the person. Generally, majority of women has to go through the stages of mood swings, depression, tiredness, excessive desire for food and short tempered before the menstruation cycle. Bitter orange helps in controlling the emotional change and improving their mental state.
  1. Other benefits

    There are many other benefits that we get from bitter orange like it helps us in having a sound sleep, protects us our skin from swelling, reduces muscular pains and pain in the joints, reduces the risk of ulcers, improves blood circulation and blood filtering, improving the heart health and functions and many others.
Bitter Orange

Some studies say it is very beneficial for the bodybuilders and athletes as it helps them in improving their physical performance during their training and workout sessions.

While another group of researchers in their studies have criticized this property of bitter orange. However, it is considered to be one of the most important ingredients for the manufacturers producing natural steroids as many expert bodybuilders and athletes have considered it to be effective in performance enhancement.

There are still many people to criticize the fact that there is lack of scientific proofs if bitter orange is truly responsible for contributing towards weight loss, helps in treating indigestion and other health benefits.

Bitter orange is considered to a safe for consumption by both minors and adults. When applied on our skin as an essential oil it does not negatively affects our skin too.

It being a herbal medicine, it does not have ill effects when we breath in the fragrance of its flowers. But as a type of medication excessive use of bitter orange may be injurious to health and we may have to face the consequences of its side effects. I am going to discuss with you some of the harmful side effects of bitter orange:

Side Effects Of Bitter Orange

  1. Stimulates heart rate

    Majority of the natural supplements developed as a performance enhancer for the bodybuilders and athletes contains both bitter orange and caffeine. These two ingredients when combined together and consumed for a long term may increase the rate of heartbeats. You may suffer from anxiety and sleeplessness.

    You will eventually become very impatient and ill-mannered. If this continues for a longer duration, it may directly hamper the functioning of your heart and cause stroke or heart failure which will lead to death.

  1. It may cause hypertension

    Apart from the fact that these supplements stimulate the heartbeat rates, it may also increase our blood pressure level. When the blood pressure level increases in our body, our health conditions start to deteriorate.

    It will damage not only our blood vessels but also vital body organs like our kidney, heart and brain. Therefore, it is advisable that you should avoid these supplements if your blood pressure is already increased to unhealthy levels.

  1. Adverse effects in diabetes patients

    It has been discussed above that bitter orange is very beneficial for diabetes patients as it contributes in reducing the level of blood sugar in our body. However, when it combined with other medicines of treating diabetes it is harmful.

    The body will its own capacity of blood glucose control. The blood glucose level may get reduced to dangerous level which leads to other problems like anxiety, fatigue, fuzzy vision and many others.

Apart from these, it may lead other problems like frequent severe headaches and shakiness.

As I have discussed that it stimulates the heart rate and increase the blood pressure to a harmful level. In this case, if you are about to undergo any kind of due to some kind of health problems, it becomes very risky and the surgeons find it very difficult to operate.

 This is indeed very harmful and therefore, if you are appointed for any kind of operation, you should avoid consuming it at least two to three weeks before the given date of the operation. Again, pregnant women and the breast feeding mothers should totally avoid the consumption of bitter orange as it may have harmful effects of both the baby and the mother.

Therefore, it should always be remembered that just because it is a natural product, it does not mean its consumption is always safe. The dosage is totally dependent on the person. 

Healthy people are less likely to face the negative consequences apart from hypertension as compared to the unhealthy people. Till now proper dosage is not scientifically declared. 

Therefore, I would recommend that you should buy only those products which have proper labels on it. You should read and follow the instructions mentioned on it very carefully. It is better if you talk with your doctor first because he or she will know more about you.

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