Pomeranian (bitter orange) is an unusual fruit in that it is practically not eaten, but is actively used in perfumery, cosmetology, medicine and cooking. Its main wealth is essential oils, which give the flowers an exquisite aroma, and the zest – a rich taste. The plant helps to lose weight, opens up positive Chi energy and relieves depression.
The bitter orange tree is not very large, reaching no more than 10 m in height. When grown at home, its growth is limited to 1-2 m. The peculiarity of the trunk and branches is the abundance of thin small thorns. Bitter orange leaves are elongated, light green, streaked with essential oils.
Of particular note are the flowers of the plant called bitter orange blossom. Its snow-white, large, fleshy and dense petals, as well as an elegant stamen, look refined and tender. Thanks to this, bitter orange flowers have long been an indispensable decoration for the bride’s wedding image.
They were woven into wreaths and used to create bouquets, as a symbol of innocence and purity. It is believed that the fashion for bitter orange blossom, along with a white wedding dress, was introduced by Queen Victoria, who chose the plant to decorate her own wedding ceremony.
Bitter Orange fruits resemble oranges: bright orange color and 6-8 cm diameter contribute to this. The shape of the fruit is slightly flattened at the poles, and the rind is looser. It is easily separated from the pulp, and when squeezed, it abundantly releases aromatic essential oils.
The taste of bitter orange is simultaneously bitter and sour, there are sweeter varieties, for example, Pavlovsky. Due to the specific taste and abundance of essential oils in their natural form, the fruits are practically not consumed. This can lead to receptor damage and discomfort.
Since the bitter orange was introduced to Europe at the same time as the bitter orange, its unusual name is directly related to this fact. In Italy, the exquisite fruit was called pommo d’arancia, which means “orange apple”. During the integration of the fruit into German culture, its name was distorted and turned into pommeranz. And already it, in turn, migrated into the Russian language. In addition, the bitter orange is called bitter, sour and Seville orange, bigaradia, kinotto or chinotto.
Caloric content and nutritional value
Bitter Orange is classified as a medium-calorie fruit: energy value is 53 kcal per 100 grams of product. The alkaloid synephrine was found in the composition, which promotes weight loss, therefore it is actively used in medicines for weight loss.
The fruit is 80% water, rich in carbohydrates, pectin, aldehydes, organic acids, flavonoids, glycosides. Anthranilic acid is of particular importance for the perfumery industry. The methyl ester obtained from it has an extraordinary aroma and serves as the basis for many perfume compositions.
- 0.81 g protein
- 0.31 g fat
- 11.54 g carbohydrates
The use of bitter orange
In oriental medicine, bitter orange peel is used to treat lung diseases, as an anticoagulant and as a lymphatic drainage agent. Essential oils are used in spiritual practices to release Chi energy. In European countries, the fruit is used in a similar way: rubbed zest is applied to the temples to eliminate migraines, treat depression, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and normalize blood pressure.
The antiseptic and antifungal properties of bitter orange are widely known: essential oil, fresh zest or infusion from the peel are used to treat skin diseases and disinfect. Compresses help cell regeneration and promote wound healing.
Regular but moderate consumption of the fruit normalizes the digestive system. Metabolism improves, constipation, spasms and hernias disappear. The fruits can be used as a choleretic agent. Another unusual effect of orange is the reduction of withdrawal symptoms.
The main contraindication for the use of bitter orange is individual intolerance, which threatens the appearance of allergies. The fruit is not recommended for women during pregnancy and lactation, for children under three years of age. Besides:
With caution, bitter orange should be used for people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, for example, gastritis, ulcers, reflux, pancreatitis, gallbladder problems. The acid-laden fruit can irritate and cause an attack.
For the same reason, you need to limit the use of bitter orange in order to avoid damage to the tooth enamel.
People who do not have health problems should not eat fruit on an empty stomach, as acids and essential oils cause heartburn and negatively affect the non-stomach walls.
It is recommended to reduce the amount of bitter orange in the presence of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension.
How to choose
You can find bitter orange in European supermarkets at any time of the year, although the fruit is not as common as oranges or lemons. In appearance, the orange resembles some varieties of tangerines. A distinctive feature of the fruit is a bright citrus scent that appears when the peel is squeezed.
When choosing a fruit, attention should be focused on its skin. It should be dry, shiny, even, dense, elastic, with a lot of pores. If the skin is dry, withered, with dark spots, dents or rot, the fruit is spoiled. Ripeness can be determined by weight: the fruit should be slightly heavier than it looks.
Bitter Oranges are light or deep orange in color and have a traditional bitter taste. Light blotches of red are allowed on their skin. The juiciest and tastiest bitter oranges come from Jamaica: their skin has a bluish-gray color.
Bitter Orange leaves, flowers, seeds and rind are rich in essential oils. At home, they can be obtained from the fruit rind by holding it under pressure. In moderation, the oil can be added to shampoos and balms to get rid of dandruff, cleansing and toning face masks. It is effective in the fight against cellulite: if you mix it with a body cream and use it twice a day, after a month there is a visible effect of reducing the “orange peel”.
A hint of bitter orange is a traditional component of exquisite floral fragrances. Neroli oil extracted from the flowers of the plant is used to create perfumes. Its fresh and mild scent is reminiscent of a combination of jasmine, citrus and honey.
It is believed that the name of the bitter orange blossom oil was given by Anna Maria of the Orsini clan, Princess of Nerola. It was not that she introduced it into fashion, spreading it among the ladies of noble houses of Europe. It was believed that the aroma of neroli has magical properties and is an aphrodisiac. The oil was used to make love potions and potions for women who wanted to get pregnant.
The proven effect of the aroma of bitter orange is also known. The unobtrusive refreshing scent soothes, helps in the fight against depression, improves mood, drives away anxiety, eliminates migraines and headaches.
Slimming with bitter orange
Due to the content of synephrine in bitter orange, the fruit is used for weight loss. The plant extract is often found in dietary supplements to replace the banned ephedra. The active substance is a fat burner: by increasing the heart rate and increasing blood pressure, the lipid breakdown process is activated.
There is no mono-diet using bitter orange because it is not consumed naturally. Most often, dried peel, zest or juice of fresh fruit is added to water, teas or fruit drinks: such drinks help reduce appetite. Dried skins can be added to any dietary meals, such as cottage cheese, cereals or vegetables.