Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange
Bitter Orange


A small number of studies have investigated the usefulness of bitter orange for health purposes in people.

Applying the oil to the skin may help with ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot infections.

There’s not enough scientific evidence to show whether it is helpful for other health purposes, such as weight loss, anxiety, and premenstrual syndrome.

Side Effects Of Bitter Orange

Bitter orange is likely safe when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods.

There is one case report of a woman having a faster-than-normal heart rate at rest after taking a dietary supplement that contained only bitter orange. There are other case reports of healthy people experiencing fainting, angina, heart attack, and stroke after taking bitter orange as part of multi-component products. However, because these products contained multiple ingredients, it is difficult to know the role that it played.

Evidence regarding the effects of bitter orange (alone or combined with other substances, such as caffeine and green tea) on the heart and cardiovascular system is inconclusive. Some studies showed that it raised blood pressure and heart rate, but other studies showed that it didn’t have this effect at commonly used doses.

Some sources list it as a stimulant whereas other sources say that it’s not a stimulant at commonly used doses.

Little is known about whether it’s safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.


Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.