Where do oranges come from?Florida. That's what you're thinking, right? Correct answer, but not what we're talking about here. The orange is a fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis of the Rutaceae family. What you may not know is in fact the orange is a hybrid of the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and the mandarin (Citrus reticulata). It is also called sweet orange, so as to distinguish it from its relative, Citrus × aurantium, which is referred to as bitter orange. For humans, oranges are an ancient fruit with mention of them in Chinese literature dating back to 314BC. Orange trees are the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Worldwide, 70.9 million tons of oranges were grown in 2014 alone.
What's inside an orange?Many factors affect the chemistry of an orange. Variety, soil, climate, amount of rainfall, time of growth – all of these factors play a significant part in the chemistry of oranges. The primary components found in orange essential oil are alpha pinene, citronellal, geranial, sabinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, and neral. Oranges are of course rich in Vitamin C. It also has other important vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, potassium and folate. Oranges are low in energy value, at just 45 calories per 100 grams of orange juice. However, oranges are full of carbohydrates, most of them simple sugars, which accounts for the sweetness of an orange.
Medicinal/Homeopathic Orange BenefitsSome medicinal properties of orange include: The Chinese population of Malaysia use orange flowers medicinally. Orange flower water, made in Italy and France as a type of cologne, is quite bitter to the taste but is used as an antispasmodic and sedative. Italians use a decoction of the dried leaves and flowers as an antispasmodic, cardiac sedative, antiemetic, digestive and remedy for flatulence. The Chinese use a type of orange wine made from husked orange seeds for urinary tract ailments. Essential oil of orange can help people with either septic or fungal infections as the active ingredients in orange inhibit microbial growth and assist in disinfecting the wounds. Orange oil promotes secretions from glands including the exocrine and endocrine glands. It is frequently used to promote menstruation, lactation, digestive juices, bile, hormones, and enzymes. Oranges have an array of health benefits. A few of the specific conditions for which oranges have proven beneficial properties include:
- Immunity: This is mostly due to the high concentrations of Vitamin C in oranges. Vitamin C releases antioxidants which stop the negative effects of free radicals.
- Cardiovascular Health: Oranges are full of flavonoids, especially hesperidin, which help guard against heart disease. Some believe that oranges are beneficial for high blood pressure and also as a blood-thinning agent.
- Kidneys: Oranges are full of citric acid, considered to be especially adept at preventing kidney stones.
- Anemia: It’s not that oranges are rich in iron, a lack of which is the usual cause of anemia. Rather, it’s because the citric acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) so plentiful in oranges which help bind with iron for better absorption in the bloodstream.
- Inflammation: Inflammation is one of the leading causes of many diseases, including autoimmune diseases and many cancers. Oranges are helpful in preventing the inflammation caused by culprit foods, particularly those high in fat or sugar.
Some Quirky Facts about Oranges
- The association of oranges with China is universal. Parts of the Caribbean and Latin American call oranges naranja de China, China dulce, or simply China (pronounced ‘cheena’).
- Florida is of course famous for its oranges. The French introduced the fruit into Louisiana by and then distributed in Florida around 1872 by grafting the sweet orange onto sour orange rootstocks.
- An orange tree can grow to reach 30 feet and live for over a hundred years.
- A medium orange is equivalent to 7 cups of cornflakes in terms of fiber!
Cosmetic/Skincare Uses of Oranges
- Oranges are rich in Vitamin C which helps improve the texture and coloration of skin. This vitamin also helps in restoring collagen in your body which is responsible for skin firming and prevents premature aging of skin. We also use Vitamin C to get rid of chlorine for swimmers.
- Orange is excellent for maintaining your healthy, smooth, and glowing skin. The antioxidants present in oranges fight free radicals and thus prevent aging skin.
- Orange also helps to alleviate and assist curing acne. This is because oranges have a high content of citric acid which is effective in drying away acne.
- A paste made out of orange skin peels can also be effective in neutralizing oily skin due to its astringency, i.e. an astringent tends to shrink connective tissue and therefore should dry out oily pores.
Why We Love Oranges in Our ProductsAs a recap of its many benefits, here are some of the reasons why we at Solpri use orange essential oils in our products:
- It’s great for healthy, smooth, glowing skin
- Oranges are a natural diuretic – excellent for detoxifying the skin and body
- It’s a natural anti-inflammatory
- Oranges are full of Vitamin C and other antioxidants
“An orange has over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects.” – Medical News Today