Sweet Orange

- By: Sarah Wu

Sweet Orange

Citrus sinensis

Rutaceae

When we refer to Orange we speak to many different varieties of Citrus in the large Rutaceae family, which includes Lemons, Limes, Mandarins, and Grapefruits. In this blog, we will be referring to Citrus sinensis, or the Sweet Orange native to China, India, and Ceylon. The leaves, peel, fruit juice, seeds, and flowers are used medicinally, cosmetically, aroma-therapeutically, and as a spice.

Mentioned in the over 5,000-year-old Indian Vedic scripts, Oranges were introduced to Europe in 1 st century BCE from the Tamil Kingdom via Persia. The first Orange orchards were planted in North Africa during the 1 st century CE and from there were distributed around the Roman Empire. Oranges fell out of popularity and consumption during the Middle Ages due to the Islamic Caliphate’s shut down of the trade routes to Europe. They were not opened again until the 11 th century. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders brought Oranges from India, via the Cape of Good Hope, and then to the Americas. In 1513 CE, Oranges were first planted in Florida, which to this day, is the second most productive growing area in the world, second to Brazil. Pangea Organics Sweet Orange Essential Oil is ethically cultivated in South Africa.

Medicinally, the peel is antibacterial, antiemetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antitussive, carminative, digestive in that it stimulates the production of HLC, diaphoretic, and sedative. Orange peel contains the molecule Limonene, also found in other citruses. This unique chemical compound stimulates multiple enzymatic activities in the human body. Limonene slightly inhibits Phase I liver detoxification while inducing Phase II. Thus, it slows the production of carcinogens which are produced during the first phase, while also immediately eliminating them from the body. With this action. carcinogens cannot linger in the body. Limonene has been shown to inhibit tumor reproduction. Regular consumption of citrus fruit, specifically small amounts of organic peel in the diet, is a preventative measure for long term vitality. The high bioflavonoid content in Orange Peels and fruit supports its ability to strengthen capillaries and tissue.

In aromatherapy, the essential oil of Orange Peel is an effective mood elevating antidepressant, relieving anxiety and nervousness while also being calming and mildly sedative. The scent of Orange alters brain chemistry to lower blood pressure and help with anxiety and mood swings. A common scent in perfumery, soap making, and in your granny’s potpourri. A favorite seasonal activity is covering an Orange with Clove Buds, creating a sweet and spicy ornament for your kitchen, bathroom, and closet. Topically, it is very important to always dilute citrus oils and to make sure to avoid direct sunlight. Citrus oils are photo-responsive and can lead to sunburns.

Oranges are used as decoration in winter to celebrate the coming of the Sun at the Winter Solstice and decorations of Orange slices and whole Oranges enliven a house in the depths of winter. A longtime symbol of prosperity and good fortune in Buddhist and Taoist traditions, you will often see Oranges on the household or business altar along with sweets, nuts, and incense. Magically, Oranges attract love and prosperity.

As a culinary spice, Orange Zest invigorates and releases the flavors of bitter greens and tomato sauces. It blends wonderfully with dark chocolate and adds a unique flavor to spicy curries. The more aged the peel, the warmer it becomes, stimulating even more digestive juices, so less is required. Although I am an avid proponent of organic foods and medicinal plants, it is especially important if you are going to ingest peels and skins of fruits to always make sure they are organic and well washed.

Orange Peel infused in oil, or diluted essential oil, also makes a wonderful cleansing agent for the home and bathroom. Check out this blend that can incorporate Pangea Organics Essential Oils into your cleaning and maintenance program.

Kitchen Cleaner

This purifying kitchen cleaner saves on both money and single use plastic bottles. Why you’ll love it: Rosemary is woody, fresh, and energizing; Sweet Orange is uplifting and zesty; Lemon is astringent and lively. Blend them together and you’ll feel like you’ve transported your kitchen to the Tuscan countryside.