Alternative Names: Extract of Bitter Orange, Seville Orange, Sour Orange, Bigarade Orange, Marmalade Orange
The extract of bitter orange peel (and bitter orange) has been used in dietary supplements to alleviate heartburn, aid fat loss, and suppress appetite.
Orange peel extract is found in many facial and skin cleansing products. The extract oil works to dry out oily skin, which might prevent acne breakouts and problems. Orange extract typically blends well with other cleanser ingredients and oils such as lavender, clary sage and clove.
Bitter Orange extract is also used in herbal medicine as a stimulant and appetite suppressant. After the U.S. FDA banned the herbal stimulant ephedra, manufacturers substituted bitter orange in many herbal weight-loss products.
Heartburn is a symptom of acid-reflux disease, which, in its most severe form is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Orange peel extract treats the symptoms, and not the disease. In other words it provides relief, which may be all that is needed in milder cases of acid reflux disease. However, it does not treat the disease, and is not a cure. Severe or chronic cases of acid reflux disease or GERD should be professionally treated.
In a 2010 article by the publication Consumer Reports, it was reported that use of bitter orange may be associated with "fainting, heart-rhythm disorders, heart attack, stroke, death."
Products conaining orange peel extract deliver relief from occasional heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach. They will not reduce mineral absorption or inhibit protein digestion, and do not shut down acid production nor adversely affect acid-producing cells, as many antacids do.
Orange peel extract should be standardized to contain a minimum of 98% of d-limonene. Upon first experiencing symptoms, take one softgel capsule (1,000mg) every other day for 20 days, and one softgel capsule as needed for ocassional relief thereafter.
Almost 90% of participants reported resolution of heartburn symptoms 2 weeks after starting orange peel extract. Almost one-third experienced resolution of heartburn symptoms as early as day 2 of the study. In addition, even though participants stopped taking the orange peel extract, they still reported symptom resolution on days 21, 28 and 35. In other words, orange peel extract remained effective against heartburn for 2 weeks after they stopped taking it. Occasionally, after completing the 20-day treatment period, some people may experience mild heartburn after eating foods they had previously avoided. The study scientists concluded these individuals overindulged on these "forbidden" foods. Taking a single orange peel extract capsule as needed usually solves this problem.
Use of orange peel extract is not recommended during prenancy or while nursing.