Orange

Orange

Citrus sinensis

Oranges contain Vitamin C. Oranges are also anti-inflammatory.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Fruit
  • Side Effects:
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About Orange

Every winter has its spring!

And that spring is obscured in the segments of sweet orange. The fruit plays it cool by growing on the hearty trees that can stretch between 32 to 50 feet in height. The oval-shaped leaves of this mighty plant are arranged in an alternate fashion and possess crenulate margins.

Orange belongs to the citrus family Rutaceae and is an important plant from an economical, agricultural, health, and medicinal point of view. Orange flowers have their own importance and are utilized for totally different purposes. They are employed in perfume industries for their distinguished soapy and citrusy note. The water extract of orange flowers is used to mask the off notes of hard water and complement various Middle Eastern and French cuisines. Also, the orange flowers are brought into play in the apiculture to yield honey that tastes and smells like orange.

The orange fruit is high in Vitamin C so it is hailed as one the topnotch immune booster in herbalism. With a healthy immune system comes healthy skin that speaks of a person’s remarkable health. Orange not only keeps blood sugar level under firm control but also lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. Orange is also known to protect the consumer from the onset of cancer and inhibits cell proliferation in the cancer patient.

Growing

Orange plant can be started both indoors and outdoors. For outdoor plantation, orange seeds can be sown year-round whereas, for an indoor containerized plant, it should be started in spring when the temperature ranges from 60 to 80oF.

Growing an orange plant is easy but to say that the plant will readily produce fruits is difficult. Sometimes, it takes seven to fifteen years for an orange plant to produce fruits so the gardener has to work with a great deal of patience.

The pointed edges of the seeds are clipped off and they are sown ½ inch deep in a rich, moist but well-drained soil. It is recommended to lightly cover the seeds to let the sunlight reach them and kick start their germination. The soil is advised to be kept moist with water, without the help of compost or mulch, until the seeds sprout.

If kept warm and given at least four hours of sunlight, the orange seeds can germinate within 7 to 10 days. With special care that includes protection from winter, the seedlings can further jump from being naïve to smart shrill roots and shoots.

For 2 to 3 years, the orange plant just grows without producing any fruits. When it becomes around 5 to 7 years old, it embarks on its reproductive cycle and begins to achieve successful pollinations that result in fruit formation. An orange tree stays fertile for around 30 years and produces fertile fruits that in turn bear seed-brimmed fruit that promise the perpetuation of its species.

Harvesting

Orange fruit can be harvested any time between March and October. On the other hand, orange flowers are harvested in January and February.

The orange fruit and blossoms are handpicked by the gardeners or farm labor.

Oranges are supposed to be kept in the fridge to keep the content of Vitamin C intact. However, to keep their essence alive year-round, the oranges are sliced and splayed on the baking sheet. The slices are dried for 2 to 3 hours. In the meantime, the slices are flipped over to avoid burned treat.

The slices can then be stored in an airtight glass jar for teas and syrups.

Usage

With orange in hand comes an open field for experiments. They are an appreciable approach to boost the weakened immune system and revitalize the dull skin. From peel to the rind, zest to the pulp, orange is spreading the spring and smiles by plunging in a wide array of medicinal preparations.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped orange peel in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Concentrated orange juice is combined with instant tea and hot water to form orange tea.
  • Decoction - Orange peel is simmered in hot water for 20 minutes. To rub some spark, ginger can be added while simmering.
  • Salve - Orange essential oil is added to the mixture of melted beeswax, lavender essential oil, Vitamin E oil to form a salve.
  • Syrup - Freshly squeezed orange juice is mixed with granulated sugar and water on low flame to form an orange syrup.
  • Infused oil - Orange peel is blended with olive oil and allowed to sit in a warm spot for an hour or so. The oil is then filtered twice to obtain orange peel-infused oil.