Uses and Benefits of Bitter Orange

Accompanied by a balanced diet and physical activity, bitter orange can be a great complement to help you lose weight, because it activates the metabolism.
Uses and Benefits of Bitter Orange
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 15 December, 2023

The uses and benefits of bitter orange have been documented for several decades. It’s a citrus fruit of the species Citrus aurantium, which in turn is a cross between the grapefruit (Citrus maxima) and the mandarin (Citrus reticulata).

It’s native to East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, and Southeast Asia. However, it’s now widely cultivated in the Mediterranean region and parts of North America. It’s also known as “Seville orange” or “sour orange” and is often used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

In particular, it’s a basic ingredient in the popular British marmalade, as its pectin content allows it to thicken the recipe. In addition, because of its bitter taste, it is used in various savory dishes. Would you like to know more about its uses and benefits? Below, we share them in detail.

Benefits of bitter orange to help you lose weight

Bitter orange.
The natural presence of citric acid in certain fruits, such as oranges or lemons, was one of the reasons for its study.

However, this fruit provides benefits that can favor our health. One of its properties is its ability to help us control our weight. This is confirmed by research such as that published in 2012 by the International Journal of Medical Sciences.

Apparently, both the bitter orange itself and one of its components, p-synephrine, could be beneficial in weight control. This means that it could help us stay within a healthy range, depending on our body mass index.

Research has shown that bitter orange has properties that play an important role in metabolism. In fact, it could help you lose weight.

Research results show that bitter orange extract, as well as p-synephrine, increase metabolism and energy expenditure in the body.

How can bitter orange be consumed?

One of the ways to take advantage of the benefits of bitter orange can be through the preparation of a delicious and aromatic tea.

An infusion of bitter orange.


  • 4 sour oranges cut in halves.
  • 1 liter of water.


  • First, cut the sour oranges. It can be in halves (with its peel) or in slices (with its peel). The second option is usually the most chosen.
  • Pour a liter of water into a pot and heat it.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the bitter oranges.
  • Leave them in the pot to cook for about 10 minutes. For the first 5 minutes, the pot should be without its lid and the other 5 with a lid.
  • Once this time has passed, uncover the pot, turn off the heat and let it cool down a little.
  • Strain carefully.
  • Serve and drink this liquid several times a day, in moderation and preferably with the three main meals.
  • You can also use this drink as a natural refreshment to drink between meals with or without a snack.
  • It isn’t recommended that you add sugar or sweeteners. If you’re going to consume it before going to the gym, going running, or doing any other physical activity, you could add a touch of honey, which is a food rich in calories and, therefore, energizing.

Other uses…

Bitter orange can also be used as a condiment, and in the preparation of jams and liqueurs. It brings benefits no matter how it’s consumed. However, in relation to its ability to help you lose weight, the most recommended way is by taking an infusion.

Is it possible to lose weight with bitter orange alone?

Orange infusion.

Like many other products, bitter orange should only be used as a supplement to help you lose weight. There are no miracle products, nor fat burners as such.

This fruit can help you burn fat through the activation of your metabolism, the elimination of retained fluids, and better digestion. However, for it to work with favorable results, it’s important to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and foods with fiber. In addition, the consumption of junk food should be avoided and daily physical activity should be increased.

Side effects of bitter orange

The consumption of this citrus fruit should be moderate. Due to its stimulants, it can increase blood pressure or raise the heart rate. Therefore, it’s contraindicated for people with cardiovascular problems.

In addition, its consumption isn’t recommended if you’re taking medication, as it may have negative reactions. Therefore, it’s recommended that you consult a specialist before deciding to consume bitter orange.

Where can you get it?

The fame of bitter orange has made it a product that can be found more frequently on the market, either in fruit, essence, or capsule form.

In some places, you can find it dried and ready to prepare in infusions. In supermarkets, it’s not as common to find it, although many now do offer it. If you’re interested in acquiring it, you’ll probably find it more easily in a health food or herbalist’s store.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.