Sweet Orange

Around the world, people eat Oranges, which is a very nutritious fruit packed with vitamins A, B and C. Orange juice is probably the most consumed fruit juice in the world. Sweet Orange Oil has many medicinal and aromatherapy properties and is used for its fragrance in soaps, detergents, shampoos, other cosmetics and perfumes. It is one of the original ingredients in the world-famous Eau de Cologne. It is also useful in all areas of the food and drink industry, to flavour pharmaceuticals and as the starting material for the isolation of natural limonene. Citrus sinensis, commonly known as the sweet Orange, is called “sweet” to distinguish it from the Citrus aurantium, the bitter Orange. The Orange tree is a hybrid, a cross-species between the Pomelo (Citrus maxima) and Mandarin trees (Citrus reticulata). It is an evergreen that can grow up to 10 m tall with a smooth trunk and branches. Its mildly fragrant white flowers are surrounded by pointed, dark green oval glossy leaves. The oil is of a yellowy-orange or a darker orange color, and it holds a sweet, fresh, fruity scent, similar to the smell of the Orange peel itself, from which it is pressed from. Sweet Orange, as well as all other citrus fruits, stores its essential oil in its peel. The oil is obtained by cold expression of the fresh, ripe or almost ripe peel, which yields about 0.3-0.5% of oil. The oil’s main chemical components are limonene (around 90%), bergapten, auraptenol, monoterpenes and other trace materials. Sweet Orange Essential Oil is known to have antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal and carminative properties. It also serves as a choleretic, digestive, fungicidal, hypotensive, sedative (nervous), stimulant (digestive, lymphatic), stomachic and tonic.

History

The Orange is a citrus fruit similar to Grapefruits, Mandarins, Tangerines, Lemons and Limes. Orange trees are native to Southeast Asia, more specifically to Southern China and North-eastern India. Seven thousand years ago Aryan people, in the preparation of traditional dishes and desserts, used this fruit. It was also used to flavour rice and season vegetable dishes. Historians and archaeologists believe that by the year 1000 BC, Chinese farmers already had orchards of Oranges, Apples, Figs and other fruit. The Oranges were particularly popular with the nobility. This resulted in the farmers always competing against each other in growing sweeter, larger and better-tasting Oranges. Oranges made their way into Europe around the 1st century BC. The Romans were the first Europeans to taste this juicy fruit, which they obtained from Persian and Ethiopian traders who had trade relations in India. Since the Oranges were a luxury item and expensive, the Romans quickly became popular amongst the noble and military classes who could afford them. By the 1st century AD Oranges were being cultivated in North Africa from Libya to Morocco, all land that was at the time, part of the Roman Empire. Much of that Oranges made their way across the Mediterranean, though the wealthy classes in Rome still received their Oranges from India. After the collapse of the Roman Empire the lands of Northern Africa came under the control of the Islamic Caliphate. By the 7th century AD, the Islamic Caliphate had closed all the trade routes to Mediterranean countries, and focused them towards the Middle East. As a result, the Oranges temporarily disappeared from Europe but made their way into the Middle East. During the golden years of the Islamic Caliphate, which now expanded into Southern Spain and Portugal, Oranges once again made their way into Europe. They were planted in orchards on the South of the Iberian Peninsula. These Oranges became known as the Seville Oranges which are excellent for making marmalades, compotes, and liquors and for the production of the essential oil. Sweet Oranges weren’t known in Europe. They were discovered in the early 1500’s after Vasco da Gama had discovered a direct trading route with India by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. Oranges quickly spread into orchards all over the Southern European countries, from Portugal to Georgia. There is no record as to who was the first to bring the sweet Orange into Europe. Very shortly after its arrival in Europe, the Sweet Orange was quickly introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers and conquistadors. It was brought into orchards in Hispaniola, which already contained Lemons and other fruits since 1493. Juan Ponce de Leon brought Oranges up into the State of Florida, which at the time, he had discovered and named “La Florida”. From Florida, Oranges made their way into California, where there are still grown extensively today. There are historical records that talk about protecting future sailors and conquistadors from scurvy in 1513. It wasn’t until the 16th century that Oranges arrived in South America after Portuguese explorers planted them in the orchards near San Paulo. To date, these orchards are the world’s biggest producer of Oranges.

Geography

Today Oranges are grown all around the world. Brazil produces more than 50% of all the Oranges in the world, making it the greatest supplier and producer of Oranges. Other countries that produce Oranges include the United States (Florida and California), India, China, Mexico and Spain.

Skin & Body Care

Sweet orange essential oil is a known remedy for dull and oily skin complextions.