The name bitter orange is more commonly used to refer to sour orange, Seville orange,
marmalade orange and bigarade orange which belong to the citrus group with the scientific
name Citrus aurantium and its fruits.
For centuries, bitter orange has been a favorite in herbal medicine among the Chinese
and peoples in the Amazon rainforests not only to treat indigestion, nausea, constipation
and other digestive ailments. Its flowers are widely used in folk medicines to treat
belly ailments and other health problems like insomnia, nervousness, sore throat,
poor appetite and obesity.
It is used today as an active ingredient that replaced the banned drug Ephedra as
a weight loss ingredient in a number of naturally formulated diet supplements. But
while Ephedra suppresses appetite, bitter orange has been used in folk medicine to
How Bitter Orange Works For Weight Loss?
Bitter orange, particularly its peel extracts figure prominently as a weight loss
food supplement that has gained popularity as a substitute to the banned FDA-bannedEphedra. Its promised medicinal values actually comes from its flowers and fruit
peels which contain flavones and carotenoids as well as N-methyltyramine that are
believed to stimulate metabolic rates that increase the body’s ability to burn calories.
Hence, you can lose weight from it. Its antioxidant carotenoids can help increase
stamina to take on a more rigorous exercise regimen that can aid in weight loss.
But there are not enough scientific tests or clinical trials on humans to independently
verify its promise as having weight loss efficacy or to any of its promised health
Is Bitter Orange Safe?
In Chinese herbal medicine, bitter orange is often blended with other herbs to achieve
its appetite suppressing effects and never on its own. This may account for the many
reported side effects of bitter orange in weight loss supplements which contain bitter
orange as its sole active ingredient.
• It contains synephrine similar to the chemical that acts like ephedrine in the
banned drug Ephedra to stimulate adrenergic receptors to restrict blood flow to raise
blood pressure linked to strokes and heart attacks. It is therefore not recommend
for people suffering hypertension or any heart disease.
• Reported cases of Ephedra-like side effects that include strokes, ischemic colitis
and angina have been linked to bitter orange supplements consumption. It is important
to remember that no clinical trials on the substance exist to independently confirm
its safety in the current doses in effecting appetite suppression.
• There is also no evidence to indicate that bitter orange is safer than Ephedra.
To be safe and sure, it’s prudent for prospective users to consult with their doctors
before taking this or any over-the-counter medication or supplement.
This becomes imperative if you are pregnant or nursing, have any history of allergies
to artificial or natural substances, suffer any chronic health problem, or are receiving
any prescriptive medication that could potentially cause complications.