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Orange tree (Citrus sinensis)

Orange tree (Citrus sinensis)Orange tree (Citrus sinensis)

The evergreen orange trees grow up to 10 meters high with a short trunk and compact crown. They produce flowers and fruits at the same time - the combination of the dark green foliage, the small white flowers, which are fragrant for a long way, and the bright orange fruits is particularly attractive. The green fruits turn vivid orange only when night temperatures drop below 17 °C.

Origin and cultivation.

The name orange, commonly used in northern Germany, indicates the origin of the orange: it means "apple from China". There it probably originated from a cross between grapefruit and tangerine. Around 1500, the Portuguese brought the sweet oranges from the Orient for the first time. Today it is grown worldwide in countries with subtropical climates; because it does not tolerate drought, a good water supply is crucial. The main producers are Brazil, California, Florida and China; in Europe, Spain and Italy are the leaders. The bulk of the harvest is processed into orange juice.


During juice production, orange peels accumulate in large quantities. The essential oil is cold-pressed from them and purified by subsequent distillation. With over 15,000 tons per year, the thin-bodied and yellow-orange orange oil is by far the most common essential oil. It is used as an additive to cosmetic products and for flavoring foodstuffs. It lends a pleasant fragrance to cleaning agents, where its fat-dissolving properties also come into play. Orange oil consists of over 90 percent limonene, which is responsible for the orange scent and also has an insecticidal effect.

Use of the orange oil.

Orange oilOrange oil
  • The scent of orange oil is perceived by many people as very pleasant; some swear by its mood-lifting effect. Therefore, it is also used in perfumery, for example, it is a component of cologne (eau de cologne)
  • Orange oil has a mild anti-inflammatory and disinfectant effect.
  • Because orange oil has a strong degreasing effect, it must never be applied undiluted to the skin (and also not used internally). As a bath additive, it should be used extremely sparingly by people with sensitive skin.
Here's what you should keep in mind when using orange oil.
  • Orange oil is produced in enormous quantities. Orange blossom oil, also called neroli, on the other hand, is much rarer. It is not obtained from blossoms of oranges, but from bitter orange blossoms
  • Orange oils oxidize easily and then increasingly show a skin-irritating and photosensitizing effect. After one year at the latest, the contents of opened bottles should only be used as an additive for cleaning water.

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