Oranges and Lemons, the bells of St. Clements

I used to be known as the Lemon Queen. My Da planted 500 lemon trees and because of the incredibly fertile soil on the plot that we lived on, the trees grew like wildfire and produced the juiciest lemons all year round. I, having a love of all things tart, used to quite happily scrunch my way through a lemon with barely a lemon faced expression to be seen.

Later on, my fondness for lemons was as an accompaniment to tequila – for a while I was known as the Tequila Queen – which rather unfortunately came back to haunt me as drinking compatriots from then who I had not seen for many a year had spread stories of my tequila drinking prowess far and wide. This often resulted in meeting up with acquaintances of said compatriots only to be challenged to tequila drinking bouts.  Nobody, except me, seemed to have received the voicemail that I probably hadn’t seen tequila, never mind drunk it, for a good 10 years or so and had happily relinquished my title.

I digress though. The actual topic of this blog is this:

Did you know the peels of some fruits hold some of the most powerful nutrients in the world? There are many uses, both medicinal and practical, for orange and banana peels. So, next time you think about throwing away one of these peels, you may want to remember this information.

* Orange Peel – Medicinal Properties of Orange Peels
As per Ayurveda, orange peel is tikta (bitter) and it improves digestion and can speed up your metabolism. It helps to naturally beat gas, heartburn, vomiting and acidic eructation. It’s also great to perk up your appetite and relieve nausea.

Due to its pacifying properties, orange peel powder helps dissolve phlegm in respiratory systems, alleviate coughs, and asthma.

Most of the beneficiary aspects of orange peels come from their essential oils, which have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Essential oil “d-limonene” has the ability to defuse stomach acids and maintain normal intestinal movements. It also promotes normal liver function.

Studies have shown that orange peel can dissolve cholesterol and triglyceride. That means consumption of an orange peel can benefit obese people who have high cholesterol levels. It has a flavonoid known as hesperidine, which is said to be effective against colon cancer and osteoporosis.

Essential oils from orange peels are sedative in nature so it makes them great for calming nerves and inducing sleep. Use orange peels in baths or simmer in a pot to uplifting your mood or to beat insomnia naturally.

You can also slice orange slices into water with ice and let that infuse for 2 hours or so in the fridge (or use water from your water cooler) – but that’s a story for another blog in the all things veggies and fruit series.

Happy orange peeling!

*excerpts from an article at Natural Cures Not Medicine