Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium
- English: Bitter Orange
- Also, known as: Sour Orange, Mallikanarangi, Chao Zhi Ke, Chisil, Green Orange, Kijitsu, Naranja Amarga, Orange Amère, Orange de Séville, Seville Orange, Shangzhou Zhiqiao, Sour Orange, Zhi Ke, Zhi Qiao, Zhi Shi, Bitter orange, Sour orange, Bigarade orange, and Marmalade orange
Parts Used: Flower
Citrus aurantium, is an evergreen tree growing around 9-10 meters in height and 5-6 meters wide with a smooth, greyish-brown bark and branches that spread into a regular hemisphere. The leaves are oval, alternate, evergreen, glossy, dark green on the upper side, paler beneath, 3-5 inches long, have sometimes a spine in the axil. The Bitter Orange and Edible Orange trees bear a great resemblance to each other, but their leaf-stalks show a marked difference, that of the Bitter Orange being broadened out in the shape of a heart. The fruit of the bitter orange; Citrus aurantium is very similar to the sweet orange; Citrus sinensis, but is smaller, with a diameter of only seven to eight centimeters. The sphere is slightly flattened, and the skin is thicker and more dimpled than that of the sweet orange. The fruit flesh tastes sour, while the peel and the skin surrounding the fruit segments have a strong bitter taste. The white, five-petalled flowers give off an intense fragrance are more strongly scented and the glands in the rind are concave instead of convex. The flowers are hermaphrodite; have both male and female organs and are pollinated by apomictic, insects. The plant is self-fertile. Orange blossom can be described as smelling sweeter, warmer and more floral than neroli. The difference between how neroli and orange blossom smell and why they are referred to with different names, is a result of the process of extraction that is used to obtain the oil from the blooms. Neroli is extracted by steam distillation and orange blossom is extracted via a process of enfleurage.
Many varieties of bitter orange are used for their essential oil, and are found in perfume, used as a flavoring or as a solvent. The Seville orange variety is used in the production of marmalade. Everyone is familiar with the sweet oranges without which no fruit stall is complete. But probably few people realize that this fruit is a sweet variety of the bitter orange which was already being imported to Italy from China in the 11th century, much earlier than its sweeter sister, which only arrived in Europe in the 15th century.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.