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Orange fruit is a member of the citrus family and is a rich source of vitamin C, thereby having several benefits for your health. But, what about orange peel? Is it any useful? Well, yes. Other than giving a fresh taste to your dishes and desserts, orange peel has some real benefits for your health, which will be put forward in this article. These benefits are possible due to the rich antioxidant content of orange peels and the presence of flavonoids. Thus, it caters to protect your body from the risk of several chronic conditions, which will be discussed ahead.

  1. Health benefits of orange peel
  2. How to make and use orange peel powder
  3. Side effects of orange peel

The stippled peel of orange has several benefits for your health, which is why its use has been recommended as nutraceutical and functional food, that is, foods which have pharmaceutical properties. Following are the benefits of orange peels for your health:

  1. Orange peel as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant
  2. Orange peel powder for the skin
  3. Orange peel for gastric ulcers
  4. Orange peel against cancer
  5. Orange peel for the heart
  6. Dried orange peel for the brain

Orange peel as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant

Due to the presence of several bioactive compounds, orange peel functions as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, as proven by lab studies.

Oral administration of orange peel extracts yielded anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, studies have suggested its role in the management of inflammation of the skin. The use of essential oil derived from orange peel can also be useful in the management of joint pain and muscle pain arising due to inflammation.

Its antioxidant effects have been proven by its activity against superoxide and DPPH free radicals due to its scavenging actions. It thus aided in the prevention of a number of chronic disorders, which will be discussed ahead.

Orange peel powder for the skin

Orange peel is a common ingredient of face masks and scrubs and is also a favourite among beauty bloggers. Ever guessed why? Well, this again is due to the antioxidant effects of orange peel, which warrants its use for the skin. Antioxidant compounds help in maintaining the cellular structure of the skin and assist in the prevention of wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of ageing.

This is true for orange peel, extensive studies on which have divulged its use in anti-ageing creams. According to these studies, methanolic extract of these peels is responsible for these actions, which has an effect on the enzymes present in the skin. What’s more is that orange peel extracts can also be useful against acne and other skin infections, as suggested by clinical studies.

To make use of this amazing benefit of orange peels for your skin, you can make use of orange peel cream formulations for your face or can form one at home by using some dried orange peel powder and adding it to your skin care creams.

If you are allergic or your skin is sensitive or extremely dry, it is recommended to be cautious before use.

(Read more: Allergy symptoms)

Orange peel for gastric ulcers

Gastric ulcers occur due to the damage of the inner lining of the stomach, most commonly, due to an H. pylori infection. This condition is discomforting and upper abdominal pain is quite common with it.

Researchers suggest that the condition can be managed by the use of orange peel extracts. This has been attributed to the presence of flavonoids and various other active compounds present in the peel.

Since gastric ulcers occur due to an imbalance between protective actions of the lining of the stomach and due to the aggressive activity of stressors like free radicals acting on the site, the mechanism of action by which orange peel helps can be ascertained.

While the pharmacological use of orange peel and its dosage is being determined for this action, it may be helpful to drizzle some orange zest over your food items if you often suffer from these ulcers.

Orange peel against cancer

Cancer refers to the uninhibited growth of atypical cells in the body, which have the potential to spread to distant and nearby areas of the body. Uncontrolled free radical activity is one of the most significant factors contributing to this disease, which suggests how orange peel extracts can be helpful.

Researchers have established a positive relationship in favour of the use of citrus peel extracts. The effect of citrus peel extracts was found to be more effective against cancerous activity than the consumption of citrus fruits or the intake of juices. Further, a dose-dependent relationship was determined, which implies that more the use of orange peel, lesser is the risk of cancer.

A protective effect in case of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin has been ascertained. Also, an inhibitory potential against gastric cancer has been found. This can be attributed to its role in the management of gastric ulcers, which are a major risk factor for gastric cancer.

(Read more: Melanoma management)

Orange peel for the heart

Citrus fruits offer a cardioprotective effect, which is also presented by orange peel extracts. Studies have found that orange peel helped to improve the lipid profile and vascular function and thereby had a cardioprotective effect, especially in chemotherapy. 

Orange essential oil extracted from its peel is also effective in lowering blood pressure, which suggests its role in the prevention of cardiovascular disorders.

(Read more: High blood pressure treatment)

Dried orange peel for the brain

Since orange peel is rich in antioxidants, it is also suggested to have a neuroprotective effect, that is, it helps to protect your brain from damage. This can aid in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.

Other than this, the use of orange peel in the form of essential oils has several benefits for your mental health. It has been suggested to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. It is thereby effective in mood elevation and relaxation as it promotes the feeling of calmness, relaxation and a peaceful state of the mind. You can use orange essential oil by sniffing it in its diluted form.

Orange peel powder can be made by grinding some dried orange peels with the help of a blender. You must sieve it before use and can also store it for future use.

Orange peel powder can be used in the form of dressing for desserts. It can also be used as a food supplement.

For using essential oil, you are required to sufficiently dilute it by pouring a few drops in a glass of water and then stirring the solution. Dilution is an important aspect while using orange peel powder.

Despite its benefits, orange peel can have some side effects if used non-cautiously, which can be:

  • Topical use of orange peel in individuals with a sensitive skin type can lead to irritation of the skin.
  • With the use of essential oil, side effects include redness and inflammation of the skin, which would resolve after some time. However, it is important that you be careful while using essential oil as their use in a concentrated form can have ill-impacts for your skin including irritation and burns.
  • In order to avoid any side effects from orange peel, it is important that you perform a patch skin test before use.
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References

  1. Jae-Hee Park, Minhee Lee, and Eunju Park. Antioxidant Activity of Orange Flesh and Peel Extracted with Various Solvents. 2014 Dec; 19(4): 291–298. PMID: 25580393
  2. Manthey JA, Bendele P. Anti-inflammatory activity of an orange peel polymethoxylated flavone, 3',4',3,5,6,7,8-heptamethoxyflavone, in the rat carrageenan/paw edema and mouse lipopolysaccharide-challenge assays.. 2008 Oct 22;56(20):9399-403. PMID: 18816060
  3. Vinita D. Apraj and Nancy S. Pandita. Evaluation of Skin Anti-aging Potential of Citrus reticulata Blanco Peel. 2016 Jul-Sep; 8(3): 160–168. PMID: 27365982
  4. Slimen Selmi, Kais Rtibi, Dhekra Grami, Hichem Sebai, and Lamjed Marzouki. Protective effects of orange (Citrus sinensis L.) peel aqueous extract and hesperidin on oxidative stress and peptic ulcer induced by alcohol in rat. 2017; 16: 152. PMID: 28806973
  5. Hakim IA, Harris RB, Ritenbaugh C. Citrus peel use is associated with reduced risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.. 2000;37(2):161-8. PMID: 11142088
  6. Lv X, Zhao S, Ning Z, Zeng H, Shu Y, Tao O, Xiao C, Lu C, Liu Y. Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health. 2015 Dec 24;9:68. PMID: 26705419
  7. Noura S. Dosoky and William N. Setzer. Biological Activities and Safety of Citrus spp. Essential Oils. 2018 Jul; 19(7): 1966. PMID: 29976894
  8. Chen XM, Tait AR2, Kitts DD3. Flavonoid composition of orange peel and its association with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.. 2017 Mar 1;218:15-21. PMID: 27719891
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