December 29, 2003 |
Native to tropical regions in Asia, the bitter orange tree is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean. Oil extracted from the tree's flowers is used to flavor foods and liqueurs; other products are made from the dried peel of the plant's fruits. Both flower and peel contain flavonoids, potentially health-promoting compounds that give the plant its vibrant color, and synephrine, a stimulant. Uses: Some naturopaths recommend bitter orange oil for upset stomachs, sore throats and insomnia.