Citrus aurantium L.

Last updated: 07 April 2016

Scientific Name

Citrus aurantium L.


Citrus amara Link, Citrus aurantium L. subsp. amara (L.) Engl., Citrus aurantium L. subsp. aurantium,Citrus aurantium L. var. amara Engl., Citrus bigarradia Loisel., Citrus florida Salisb., Citrus vulgaris Risso. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Jeruk manis [1], limau samar [2]
English Oranger à fruit amer [1], bigarade , bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, bergamot orange, [1][2], marmalade orange [2]
China Cheng, dai dai hua (as C. amara) [1][2], suan cheng [1][2], jin qiu; lai mu (Taiwan) [1], zhi shi [2]
India Airavata, airavatah, amritphal, batavinarinja, battavinarinja, beddacini, camiranam, cerunarakam, conakanarakam, dantaharshana, daniakarshana,dantashatha, edapandu, elumiccai,gajanimma, gandhadhya, gandhapatra, haerali, herali kaayi, herula, ida, ile, jadyari, jambha, jambhaka, kahi, kanchi, kahisanthra, laramj, limbe, limeh, madhura-naranna, madhuranaragam, madhuranarakam, naarangamu, naarathai, nadeyi, pandil, pattaviya, pattaviyamaram, qumlanebu, rewatavakrashodhi, rochanaka, sadagali, sakkarekanci, sakkarekanji, tantacatam, tiaaranji, tipanaringa, vaktravasa, varishtha, yogaranga [2]
Indonesia Assam kelele, lemon itam [2]
Thailand Som kliang [1], som [1][2]
Philippines Alsem, cabuso, cajel, dalanghita, daranghita, kahel, ransas, talamisan, tamisan [2]
Cambodia Krôôch loving [2]
Vietnam Cam chua, cam dăng, chanh dăng, toan dăng [1]
Japan Bitaa orenji, sawaa orenji [1], daidai, inukunibu, ka-busu, ka-ibusu [1][2]
Saudi Arabia Butuqâl, burtuqual, burtuqân, kabbâd, naffâsh, nâring [1], arendj, narendj [2]
Nigeria Lemo tsame
West Africa Gan-in gan-in, jaganyin, jagbure, oro oyibo, orombo, orombo didun, orombo efin, orombo igun, orombo jaganyin, orombo lakuegbe, orombo mumu, osan mumu, osan nla, osan oyinbo (Yoruba) [2]
Spain Naranja ácida, naranja agria, naranja amarga, naranjo de fruta agria, naranja mateca [1]
France Orange amère, oranger amer, oranger à fruits amers [1]
Germany Bitter orangen, bittere orange, bitter orange, pomeranze, pomeranzenbaum [1]
Portugal Laranja-azeda, laranjeira azêda [1]
Russia Pomeranets [1]
Central America Naranja ácida, naranja agria, naranja amarga, naranja de Seville [2]
Haiti Zorange si [2]
Madagascar Voanginitrimo [2].

Geographical Distributions

Citrus aurantium is originated from South-East Asia. [3]

Botanical Description

C. aurantium is a member of the Rutaceae family. It is a thorny tree up to 10 m tall and armed with 5-8 cm long spines. [3]

The leaves are alternate, evergreen, minutely toothed oval to oblong up to 13.75 cm long, with broadly wingled petioles. Leaves are aromatic and covered with small oil glands. [3]

The flowers are fragrant, white in colour and exist in a large size. [3]

The fruits are subglobose berry, 7-8 cm in diameter, rough-surfaced, bright reddish-orange, with 10-12 segments. [3]

The essential oil of C. aurantium is a clear to pale yellow in colour and oxidises readily when exposed to the air. It is thin in consistency, has a sweet citrus aroma and top note but is unstable under normal conditions. [4]


C. aurantium is widely cultivated in South-East Asia and in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world. [3]

Chemical Constituent

Neroli oil of C. aurantium has been reported to contain α-pinene, ß-pinene, limonene, linalool, linalool oxides (furanoid), linalyl acetate, terpinene-4-ol, α-terpineol, and (E)-nerolidol. [5][6]

Plant Part Used

Flowers (neroli oil). [7][8]

Traditional Use

C. aurantium has been traditionally used to treat colds, fevers, hepatic disorders, gall bladder problems, rheumatism, epilepsy, emotional shock, bruising internally and externally, skin blemishes, and digestive disorder. [9]

Neroli oil of C. aurantium is found in some foods and beverages, but its primary use in industry is in the fragrance industry where it is found in floral and citrus blends. [7]

Preclinical Data


Anxiolytic activity

The essential oil of C. aurantium has been demonstrated to exhibit anxiolytic activity in mice when administrated orally for 30 min route (single dose) or once a day for 15 days (repeated doses). The result indicated that single and repeated treatments with essential oil were able to suppress marble-burying behaviour whereas for light-dark box test, no significant results were obtained. [10]

Antimicrobial activity

Essential oil of C. aurantium has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity. The results indicated that neroli oil showed positive spasmolytic activity in Guinea-pig ileum in vitro. The neroli oil also observed to stimulated brain activity and motor activity. [11]

Sedative activity

The neroli oil of C. aurantium has been demonstrated to exhibit sedative activity in female mice. The result indicated that the mortality of female mice was decreased from arbitrarily graded 100% for untreated animals to 34.73% by neroli oil. [12]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Wound healing activity

The aromatherapy using essential oil of neroli, lavender, myrrh, rose, grapefruit, mandarin, orange, and roman chamomile has been demonstrated a wound healing activity in postpartum mothers who delivered vaginally with an episiotomy. The result suggested that the used of aromatherapy in perineal healing was significantly low in the experimental group of postpartum 5th and 7th days (P=.009, P=.003), respectively. Most were observed ‘few’ (5-10 bacteria per field) bacteria in the smears of episiotomy wound. [13]

Mood change activity

The ambient odor of lavender, neroli or placebo has been suggested to effect a mood changes (relaxing, stimulating or none) of 90 undregraduate women. The result indicated that a relaxing odors yielded decreases in heart rate and skin conductance, while stimulating odors yielding the reverse effects under equivalent conditions. [14]


No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. Porcher Micheal et al. Sorting Citrus Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. No date [cited 2016 April 07]. Available from
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p.281
  3. Jansen PCM, Jukema J, Oyen LPA, van Lingen TG. Citrus aurantium L. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible Fruits and Nuts. Wageningen, The Netherland: Pudoc, 1991;p.325-326
  4. Braverman JBS. Citrus Products: Chemical Composition and Chemical Technology. MI: Interscience; 1949
  5. Mosandi A, Juchelka D. Advances in The Authenticity Assessment of Citrus Oils. J Essent Oil Res. 1997;9:5-12
  6. Bayer M, Mosandl A. [Improved Gas Chromatographic Stereo Differentiation of Chiral Main Constituents from Different Essential Oils Using a Mixture of Chiral Stationary Phases]. Flav Frag J. 2004;19(6):515-517
  7. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006
  8. Braverman JBS. Citrus Products: Chemical Composition and Chemical TechnologyMI: Interscience; 1949
  9. Paul Alexander, Cox PA. An Ethnobotanical Survey of The Uses for Citrus aurantium (Rutaceae) in Haiti. Econ Bot. 1995;49(3):249-256
  10. Piltrinin AM, Galindo LA, Costa M. Effects of The Essential Oil from Citrus aurantium L. in Experimental Anxiety Model in Mice. Life Sci. 2006;78(15):1720-1725
  11. Lis-Balchin M, Hart S, Deans SG, Eaglesham E. Comparison of The Pharmacological and Antimicrobial Action of Commercial Plant Essential Oils. J Herbs Spices Med Plants. 1996;4(2):69-86
  12. Jager W, Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L, Dietrich H, Plank Ch. Evidence of The Sedative Effect of Neroli Oil, Citronellal and Phenylethyl Acetate on Mice. J Essen Oil Res. 1992;4(4):387-394
  13. Hur MH, Han SH. [Clinical Trial of Aromatherapy on Postpartum Mother’s Perineal Healing]. Teahan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2004;34(1):53-62
  14. Campenni CE, Crawley EJ, Meire ME. Role of Suggestion in Odor-Induced Mood Change. Psychol Rep. 2004;94(3 Pt 2):1127-1136