Of the orange tree we know above all the fruit, fragrant and juicy, with antioxidant and anticancer properties. But in fact this is such an interesting and generous plant that we can use everything from it, even the leaves, flowers and rind of the fruit for our well-being.
As the famous herbalist Messeguè indicates in his book My Herbarium, orange leaves, especially those of bitter orange, are rich in active ingredients that give them calming and antispasmodic properties. In fact, the leaves contain substances, such as limonene and linalyl acetate, with a proven relaxing action (Igarashi et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2013).
Therefore, the orange leaves are excellent in case of stress, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness but also asthma and headache, if caused by tension and stiffness. Orange leaves also help the stomach and improve its functions. The orange leaves can be harvested, if you are lucky enough to have this plant in your garden, and then they must be dried, preferably in the shade.
Alternatively, orange leaves can be found in herbalist's shops. You can make a calming herbal tea with orange leaves. Bring a liter of water to a boil, remove from heat and add a dozen orange leaves. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink.
Orange blossoms are characterized by a strong relaxing power, they contain linalool, with an anti-inflammatory and calming action (Pereira et al, Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces, 2018). Also in this case, the bitter orange flowers show higher properties than those of the sweet orange. You can pick the orange blossoms yourself, when they are about to open, and then leave them to dry, or you can find them in a herbalist's shop. You can add two generous handfuls of flowers to the bath water and immerse yourself. You can also make a calming herbal tea to drink in the evening, before going to sleep. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add a teaspoon of dried flowers, steep for ten minutes, then filter and drink.
Alternatively, you can also apply this same herbal tea on the face with a cotton pad, it will help relax the face, illuminate and renew the skin thanks to the antioxidants present (Degirmenci et al, Journal of Infection and Public Health, 2020). Orange blossom water is also an excellent floral water that you can buy in specialized stores and use as a tonic, spraying morning and / or evening before applying the face cream.
The orange peel protects the stomach, is carminative and tonic. Not only that, it is also a rich source of antioxidants, such as flavones and carotenoids, which perform an antitumor, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective action against brain degeneration (Mannucci et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2018 - Koolaji et al, Curr Dev Nutr, 2020). When it is season, after consuming the fruit, you can keep some peel aside and add it, without exaggerating, to the yogurt or fruit salads.
Alternatively, you can dry the peels or buy them already dried in specialized shops. With the dried peels you can in fact prepare a beneficial remedy for the stomach and digestive tract, as suggested by the herbalist Messeguè. Get half a liter of spirit and add 100 grams of orange peel. Leave to macerate for a week, then filter. The preparation is taken in the dose of one teaspoon before meals.