Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is a plant. The peel, flower, leaf, fruit, and fruit juice are used to make medicine. Bitter orange oil is made from the peel. Bitter orange peel is also used to improve appetite, and it is also used for weight loss.
Other uses for the fruit and peel are upset stomach, nasal congestion, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Some research suggests that a combination of bitter orange, caffeine, and St. John’s wort might help for weight reduction when used with a low calorie diet and exercise.
Bitter orange is frequently used in “ephedra-free” products since the FDA banned ephedra in 2004 for serious side effects on the heart.
In order to stimulate the nervous system, bitter orange is combined successfully with caffeine, as both stimulants show synergistic properties.
Bitter orange and caffeine, a frequent combination in weight loss and bodybuilding products, can cause high blood pressure and increased heart rate in healthy adults with otherwise normal blood pressure.
There is no evidence to suggest that bitter orange is any safer than ephedra.
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