It seems that Bitter Orange(Citrus aurantium aka sour orange, bigarade orange and Seville orange) is the “other” ephedra, and as such has similar side effects. Natural remedies for losing weight that have Bitter Orange in them are marketed as Ephedra Free when in reality their chemical make up is almost a mirror image of the ephedrine in Ephedra. This is just one reason why you need to be carefully reading labels and researching ingredients on any product you are considering for your weight loss journey.
Bitter Orange contains synephrine and octopamine, chemicals that may cause high blood pressure, and heart disturbances. This herbal can also inhibit the metabolism of many drugs meaning it would increase the amount of the drug in your body and the risk of adverse side effects. You have to stop and ask yourself if risking your health if worth it under these circumstances when you can lose weight by merely changing your diet and exercising.
Bitter orange as well as bitter orange peel is not recommended for use in isolation – for instance, in traditional Chinese medicine, it is prescribed in support with other herbs by experienced herbalists. The flower of the bitter orange is used for poor appetite, chest and stomach pain, and vomiting. Homeopathic practitioners use the peel and flower for headaches and pain. Only the peel has proven medicinal value, mainly for digestive problems.
It does appear that the several compounds in Bitter Orange will stimulate metabolic rates, but no clinical trials have actually proven this. It may be that Bitter Orange is effect when combined with St. John’s Wort and Caffeine. However, this means three stimulants all at once. Even in the best of circumstances, taking three known stimulants in one preparation is not a good idea. Most natural remedies for losing weight that use Bitter Orange made from concentrated extract of the peel contain anywhere from 1 to 6 per cent synephine. Unfortunately, this could vary up to amounts of about 30 per cent or more depending or what part of the plant was used and how it was processed.
Bottom line? Use extreme caution when taking any herbal remedies that contain so many stimulants. Always ask your Doctor or an experienced herbalist about these preparations before taking them.
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