Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis & aurantium var dulce)
Sweet orange is a fruit. The peel and juice are used to make medicine. The peel of sweet orange is used to increase appetite; reduce phlegm; and treat coughs, colds, intestinal gas (flatulence), acid indigestion (dyspepsia), and cancerous breast sores. It is also used as a tonic. Sweet orange juice is used for treating kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) and high cholesterol; and preventing high blood pressure and stroke, as well as prostate cancer.
The fruit and rind contain large amounts of vitamin C. Some researchers believe it might help asthma because of the antioxidant activity of vitamin C. It provides large amounts of potassium. There is evidence that potassium may help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. The fruit and juice are used to prevent kidney stones because they contain large amounts of a compound called citrate. Citrate tends to bind with calcium before it can form kidney stones.
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Known Benefits of Sweet Orange
Antimicrobial. Compounds found within the sweet orange peel have shown to be highly resistant to infection. Not only protecting the fruit from invasion but also when used internally or externally the compounds provide the same physical benefits to humans and animals, especially dogs and cats.
Antidepressant. Sweet Orange is commonly known for its wonderful uplifting and calming scent. When diffused, it can help with nervous tension, sadness, and can also improve the aroma of a stale room. It can also help support normal function of the immune system.
High cholesterol. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help improve cholesterol levels. In large amounts (750 mL, or about three 8-oz glasses, per day for four weeks), sweet orange juice seems to increase “good” high-density lipoprotein and reduce the ratio of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to HDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
High blood pressure. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of high blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Stroke. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of stroke.
Historical Uses of Sweet Orange
Asthma. There is some evidence that sweet orange and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C might improve lung function in people with asthma. But not all studies agree.
Common cold. Some research shows that drinking 180 mL (about 6 ounces) of sweet orange juice daily might help prevent symptoms of the common cold.
Depression. Early research suggests that using sweet orange on the skin during massage, or in the air as aromatherapy, reduces depression in older adults.
Insomnia. Early research shows that inhaling sweet orange as aromatherapy might help people who are going through hemodialysis to sleep better and feel less tired.
Kidney stones. Some research reports that drinking 400 mL of sweet orange juice (about 13 ounces) increases the amount of citrate in the urine. This might help to prevent kidney stones that are made of calcium.
Obesity. Early research shows that drinking sweet orange juice does not reduce body weight in overweight adults. Other research shows that taking a specific product containing sweet orange, blood orange, and grapefruit extracts seems to decrease body weight and body fat in overweight people. But it is not clear if this is from the sweet orange or from the other ingredients.
Stress. Early research shows that smelling sweet orange essential oil during a stressful task might reduce anxiety and tension.
Using Sweet Orange as a Medicine
For high cholesterol: 750 mL sweet orange juice per day.
For high blood pressure and stroke prevention: Sweet orange juice products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are permitted by the FDA to make labeling claims that they might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke.
Side Effects & Safety WebMD.com
When taken by mouth: Sweet orange juice and fruit is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine.
When inhaled: Sweet orange essential oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in aromatherapy.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sweet orange is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if sweet orange is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: In children, sweet orange juice or fruit is LIKELY SAFE when used in normal food amounts. But taking large amounts of sweet orange peel is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause colic, convulsions, or death.
Medication Interactions When Using Sweet Orange as a Medicine
Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Sweet orange might change how these pumps work and decrease how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This could make these medications less effective. To avoid this interaction, separate taking these medications from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours. Some of these medications that are moved by pumps in cells include bosentan (Tracleer), celiprolol (Celicard, others), etoposide (VePesid), fexofenadine (Allegra), fluoroquinolone antibiotics, glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta), irinotecan (Camptosar), methotrexate, paclitaxel (Taxol), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), rifampin, statins, talinolol, torsemide (Demadex), troglitazone, and valsartan (Diovan).
Pravastatin (Pravachol)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination. Drinking sweet orange juice might increase how much pravastatin (Pravachol) the body absorbs. Taking pravastatin (Pravachol) with sweet orange juice might increase drug levels in the body and possibly increase the chance of drug side effects.
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Calcium-fortified sweet orange juice can reduce the amount of some antibiotics the body absorbs. Reduced absorption of antibiotics can reduce their ability to fight infection. Sweet orange juice without calcium is unlikely to affect quinolone antibiotics. Some quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).
Fexofenadine (Allegra)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider. Sweet orange might decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra). To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours.