Citrus aurantium – better known as bitter orange – is most commonly used to make orange marmalade, a product you tend to only find in farmers’ markets nowadays. Which is a great shame, because the citrus fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and phenolic compounds, and comes with some serious health benefits. And not just the edible parts either – the leaf and rind are distilled to make bitter orange oil, which capably counteracts the effects of fungal skin infections.
As you’ve probably guessed from its alternative title, citrus aurantium is very sour-tasting and bitter – eating a normal orange is much more pleasant. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits associated with its cousin. A staple of Chinese medicine for centuries, the ingredient frequently appears in health supplements including those geared towards athletic performance.
Improves athletic performance
The benefits related to physical performance are said to derive mostly from p-synephrine, a mild stimulant in citrus aurantium. In one study, weight-lifting athletes who supplemented with p-synephrine for just three days felt an instant impact, seeing their total repetitions and volume load increase by approximately 10%. Meanwhile, consumption of caffeine alongside p-synephrine, increased the velocity of squat performance which probably explains why citrus aurantium is often combined with caffeine in sports nutrition supplements.
Incidentally, both clementines and mandarine oranges contain a decent amount of p-synephrine – so supplementation isn’t your only option.
Helps with weight loss
A comprehensive review of published studies involving citrus aurantium and p-synephrine supports its usage for weight loss. Researchers noted that “p-synephrine alone as well as in combination products were shown to increase resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, and modest increases in weight loss were observed with bitter orange extract/p-synephrine-containing products when given for six to 12 weeks.”
An entirely separate study, meanwhile, found that subjects who supplemented with bitter orange were better able to control their calories – probably because their appetite was mildly suppressed. And a third showed that for people exercising at low-to-moderate intensity, p-synephrine increased the rate of fat oxidation while reducing the rate of carbohydrate oxidation. Needless to say, citrus aurantium shouldn’t be viewed as a magic bullet; but in tandem with exercise and a healthy meal plan, it will certainly help.
Treats skin infections
Applying bitter orange oil appears to help treat fungal skin infections. In a famous Egyptian study, bitter orange essential oil, when applied three times a day, managed to clear up not one but three separate skin conditions – namely ringworm, athlete’s foot and jock itch. What’s more, the effect was quick, with all symptoms vanishing in one to three weeks. As well as treating specific conditions, bitter orange oil can help to cleanse and rejuvenate dirty or oily skin, which is why you’ll see it listed as an ingredient in many cosmetic formulas.
You’ll also find it in Thermoblaze, our thermogenic fat burner that additionally contains green tea extract, guarana seed extract, caffeine anhydrous, white kidney bean extract and L-Tyrosine. Formulated to help you get an edge – both mentally and physically – Thermoblaze is all-natural and supported by many positive reviews.