Today we have a large number of medicines that allow us to fight against different diseases and ailments.
These are products made and synthesized by humans, but their properties and the active ingredients on which they are based often come from or are based on the properties of different elements found in nature, such as animals and plants.
In this sense and since the most ancient antiquity, we can highlight the use of different types of plants or vegetables, due to the medicinal and positive properties for our health that many of them have. But it’s not something that belongs to the past or that only serves as inspiration.
In fact, some plant species have such beneficial effects and / or are so nutritious that they are still commonly eaten today. Examples of this are lime, valerian, lavender … or orange. The latter may not be as well known as the rest of the above, but it is nonetheless a highly prized product for its interesting properties. And that’s who we’ll be talking about throughout this article.
What is orange?
We know it popularly as orange a herbaceous plant or herb, scientifically named Melissa officinalis, highly valued for its medicinal properties, Mainly to relieve digestive problems and / or induce relaxation and relief from anxiety and nervousness.
Also called lemon balm, this herb comes from lands washed by the Mediterranean and can reach a height of one meter. It is a robust and perennial plant, which blooms during the summer and that it can be easily identified due to its lemon scent (which has given rise to other names by which it is commonly known to be lemon or lemon leaf).
Orange can be used in many ways. It can be ingested, leaves dried or even made into infusions with it, which is generally linked to rather medicinal use, although it is also used to make oils associated with cosmetic uses, to perfume or flavor or to create mosquito repellent or toothpaste. .
It is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs, especially in Latin America.
Beneficial properties of this plant
Orange has a number of beneficial properties for health and for the treatment of certain ailments, which come from its chemical composition (it is rich in eugenol, caryophyllene or germacrete as well as in citral or lemongrass. The best known uses are listed below.
1. Soothing and sedative
One of the most important properties of orange is its sedative and relaxing effect, helping to reduce mood swings or restlessness, such as depression or anxiety. also helps promote sleep, something useful in cases of insomnia.
Orange can also have an interesting anesthetic effect, reducing and blocking signs of discomfort that would normally pass through our nervous system quickly.
It is often used to decrease the headaches or migraines, digestive problems, or even muscle pain.
Another useful property of orange is its ability to lower blood pressure, which can be helpful in anxiety and in people with hypertension.
4. Relieves gastrointestinal problems
Orange is generally used to treat the discomfort of intestinal problems because it helps reduce gas levels and prevent situations like colic. It also promotes liver protection and bile secretion (promoting).
It has been observed that taking orange juice, especially in infusion, helps calm, relieve, and reduce levels of coughing and throat irritation.
Orange is a natural product with many positive properties, but it should be borne in mind that in some people it may suffer from side effects or pose a certain risk to the well-being of those who use them.
First special care should be taken in pregnancy, Since high amounts can lead to miscarriages. It is also contraindicated in patients with thyroid problems (especially hypothyroidism). Excessive consumption can lead to pain, allergies, nausea and vomiting. It should also be noted that the essential oil can be dangerous if ingested.
- Sánchez Govín, I., Fernández, ML, Figueredo, DC, Hechevarría, I. and Pi, J. (2010). Pharmacological characterization of Melissa officinallis L. Rev Cubana Plant Med v.15 n.4 Havana City.
- Pardo-Aldave K, Díaz-Pizan ME, Villegas-Vilchez LF, Bernabé-Ortiz E. (2009). Effect of the ethanolic extract of Melissa officinalis (orange) on the modification of the behavior of the anxious child during the dental consultation. Rev Heromatian Stomatol. 2009; 19 (2): 91 to 95.