According to Chinese herbal medicine, Bitter Orange helps to relieve flatulence, abdominal bloating and to treat indigestion and constipation.

It relieves headaches, calms palpitations, and lowers fevers. It also helps the body eliminate waste products. In Western medicine, it is used to encourage sleep and to soothe the digestive tract. It is antispasmodic and sedative and it is also useful for scarlet fever. It makes a cooling expectorant for coughs, especially where the phlegm is thick and yellow. It is also used as a nasal decongestant. Being rich in vitamin C, it helps the immune system ward off infection.

The flavonoids contain in Bitter Orange have several useful properties, being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. It also contains “Cirantin”, which reputedly is a contraceptive and “Synephrine”, which properties are similar to Ephedrine (Ephedra).

Researchers considered Bitter Orange to be one of the most effective natural weight loss agents available, with a total absence of side effects. It increases lipolysis (breaking down fat stores to be used as fuel), stimulates weight loss by enhancing thermogenesis (burning of fat), increases fuels available for physical performance and helps to spare and maintain lean muscle mass.

Common Names: Seville Orange, Zhi Shi, Chongcao.
Parts Used: Dried outer peel.


Should be avoid during pregnancy or if pregnancy is desired.

Side effects

If taken to excess, however, its acid content can exacerbate arthritis.


10 to 40 drops or more at each meal and before bedtime.

References: HOWARD, Dr. A. B., Herbal Extracts Supplement, 8th Edition, The Blue Goose Press, Michigan, 2001.