1.1 What is a Trifoliate orange?
Trifoliate orange (botanical name: Citrus trifoliata or Poncirus trifoliata, also known as Japanese bitter-orange, hardy orange or Chinese bitter orange; Chinese Pinyin: Zhi, Simplified Chinese: 枳), is a species of deciduous, flowering, fruit-bearing, large shrub or small tree in genus Citrus in the rue family, Rutaceae. The term Trifoliate orange can refer to the plant as well as the fruit of the plant. The flowers are white, with pink stamens, 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) in diameter. The edible fruit (though it is too bitter to serve as fruit to most people) is an oblate sphere or nearly spherical, small in size between 3-4 cm in diameter with green to yellow skin. The plant can grow up to 5 m tall. Native to northern China and Korea, the plant is usually found from between 0 to 2,300 meters in elevation. Characteristics of Trifoliate orange include tolerance for shade, cold, heat and adaptations to different growth conditions.
Other simplified Chinese names for Trifoliate orange include: 枳实, 铁篱寨, 臭橘, 枸橘李, 枸橘, 臭杞, 橘红, 沉蛋, 蜜止矩, 蜜屈律, 木蜜, 木饧, 木珊瑚, 鸡距子, 鸡爪子, 木名白石木, 交加枝.
1.2 How does Trifoliate orange taste?
Ripe Trifoliate orange has juicy and firmed texture with a flavor that is extremely bitter, tart, vibrant and astringent.
1.3 How do I tell if my Trifoliate oranges are ripe?
Trifoliate oranges start to ripen when its skin turn yellow and orange. Most ripe Trifoliate oranges are found in November, depending on the weather conditions. As for herbal usage, the fruits are harvested unripe, usually in July or August.
1.4 How is Trifoliate orange used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The dried immature Trifoliate oranges are considered to have bitter, pungent, sour, warm properties and to be associated with the spleen, stomach and large intestine meridians. It is used as digestion aid, aperitive and analgesic in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as vaginal prolapse.
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Trifoliate Orange & Medical Formulas
2.1 Treatment of Emergencies
Trifoliate oranges contain synephrine which is an alkaloid used in pharmaceutical. In particular, m-synephrine is used as a sympathomimetic (i.e. for its hypertensive and vasoconstrictor properties), mostly by injection for the treatment of emergencies such as shock, and rarely orally for the treatment of bronchial problems associated with asthma and hay-fever.
2.2 Slow Skin Aging And Beautify Skin
A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving 4,025 women aged 40-74 suggests that a high level of vitamin C intake is linked with a lower chance of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance (webmd.com 2017). The finding is in line with our knowledge that vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen in the skin. Trifoliate orange as a type of bitter orange serve as an excellent food source of vitamin C that helps hold off various skin problems.
[CTM Formula] Pills made with Cannabis sativa seed, peony root, Mangnolia officinalis, rheum officinale, Trifoliate orange, almond and honey is taken orally to treat constipation.
2.4 Relieve Migraine
[CTM Formula] A decoction of Sambucus javanica, root of Angelica pubescens, gypsum, Trifoliate orange and wine is taken orally to treat migraine accompanied with dizziness.
2.5 Reduce Abdominal Edema
[CTM Formula] Prescribed with Lysimachia christinae, rheum officinale and Trifoliate orange, Lobelia chinensis can help to treat abdominal edema.
2.6 Rectal Prolapse
[CTM Formula] A processed Trifoliate orange is heated and used externally to treat rectal prolapse.
3. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions
Administration with caution for pregnant women and people experiencing vital energy (qi) deficiency.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.
List of reference
webmd.com 2017 The Benefits of Vitamin C [online] Retrieved 21 August 2017. Link: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#1