12 Surprising Benefits of Orange Peels

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

The orange otherwise known as citrus sinensis in science, is a fantastic fruit, full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for the consumer. The orange is closely related to the lemon and grapefruit. Although the orange fruit season begins in October, lasting until the next February, the fruit is widely available in stores and markets all year round.

The orange grows on a semitropical evergreen, small flowering tree. This small flowering tree that produces oranges grows to anywhere between 5 and 8 meters tall, providing one of two varieties of orange -the sweet type or the bitter type. Sweet varieties of orange, which are most commonly used to eat and can be bought in shops, are the Navel, the Persian variety, Valencia and blood oranges.

The orange is surrounded in a tough leathery rind which has numerous uses in itself, containing many volatile oil glands in the pits. These orange peels can be grated and are most commonly used as zest in cooking to add that extra flavour as well as texture. There are so many other lesser known uses and benefits for orange peels which you may not know about. So, here goes our list of 12 Surprising Benefits of Orange Peels.

12 Benefits of Orange Peels You’ll Be Amazed to Hear About:

Benefits of Orange Peels

Help to start a fire.

Dried orange peel can actually help to start a fire. Using the peel as kindling, alongside your normal sticks and logs, can help the fire burn brighter and even longer. Or alternatively, you can use in your log burner at home to make the room smell beautifully fragrant with that lovely citrus smell.

 

Make orange peel candy.

Candied orange peels are great for a small sweet treat or garnish for puddings. Make by simply boiling the peels once they have dried in sugary water, for around an hour. Then either serve as they are or slather in chocolate for an even naughtier treat and sweeter taste -rolling in melted chocolate is actually my personal favourite thing to do to the peels.

 

Orange flavoured tea.

By drying out a few orange peels after enjoying the fruit as a tasty healthy snack, you can create a similar tasting citrus tea. Place the peels in hot water and voila, you’re done! Add honey for a sweeter taste or simply drink as is. Orange peel tea can also help to relieve congestion, cure sore throats and warm, as well as wake, you up perfectly on a winter’s morning.

 

Orange and Earl Grey iced tea recipe.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Cup of loose Earl Grey tea.
  • Peel of 1 medium to large sized orange.
  • 4 Cups of boiling water.
  • ¾ Cup of orange juice.
  • 4 Cups of cold water.
  • Ice cubes

Optional;

  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 mint sprig

How to make:

Steep the loose tea and orange peel in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain the mixture and pour into a large pitcher.

Add either honey or sugar to taste if you choose.

Then stir in the orange juice, adding the cold water afterwards.

Refrigerate until chilled, this can be anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.

Serve over ice with a sprig of mint if you desire.

Note: This mixture will last for up to a week in the fridge, so consume quickly (within a few days) or on the same day for the best possible taste.

 

Act as a deodorizer.

It’s no secret that oranges has a fresh, potent smell to them when peeled. To use this smell to your advantage, place the orange peels around the room (perhaps hanging from a string) for a constant citrus burst. Replace the peels every 2-3 days after they have lost their strong smell.

You can also place the orange peels at the bottom of your bin, to act in combatting the foul smell they usually give off. Meaning opening your bin each time won’t be such a cause of bad smells in your home.

Likewise, placing peels down the garbage disposal (if you have one) will also rid any poor smells originating from down there whilst hopefully clearing the disposal out.

If your fridge smells a little funky, save the peels of the next orange you eat and place them in the fridge. This should freshen the fridge right up!

Lastly, you can boil orange peels in hot water to freshen the kitchen’s smell. Even placing the mixture in another room, and leaving to cool, to carry the scent throughout the house.

 

Use as a citrus cleaner.

You can create your own citrus cleaner by infusing vinegar with the orange peels, adding a small amount of boiling water to the mix too. This cleaner is brilliant for bathrooms and kitchens, cleaning away dirt and grime whilst leaving a fresh smell behind.

 

Create an aromatherapy orange peel candle.

You can create orange peel candles at home that when lit will give off a beautiful scent. This scent acts as a aromatherapeutic and calms the body whilst freshening the smells in your household.

To make an orange peel candle you will need:

  • A knife
  • An orange
  • Olive oil
  • 1 to 2 drop of orange essential oil

To make:

Use the knife to cut the orange in half and cut away the fruit from the peel, this should leave you will a hollow bowl shape.

Cut away at the skin of the rind and create a wick, making sure not to make a hole in the bottom of the rind bowl.

Fill with olive oil and 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, leaving to soak for a few hours -two is usually just fine.

Light the wick!

Note: It may take a few attempts to light the orange peel wick, however be persistent and you will do it!

 

Use as a body scrubber or in a scrub mix.

By wrapping orange peels in gauze pads you can fashion your own body scrubber. Rub them on your skin while you are showering to exfoliate, leaving you with silky smooth (and lovely smelling) skin.

Or, you can create your own body scrub mix. To make an orange peel body scrub mix you will need:

  • ⅓ Cup of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 10-20 drops of orange essential oil
  • The zest of one orange (grated orange peel)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

How to make:

Melt the coconut oil on the hob in a saucepan over a low heat.

Add the orange essential oil to the mix once the coconut oil is melted.

While this mixture is beginning to cool then mix the salt, orange zest and cinnamon together.

Once these ingredients are mixed together, add them to the coconut oil and orange oil blend.

Place in a container of your choice and use when in the shower or bath -it’s that easy!

 

Makes great bath oil and powders.

Makes great bath oil and powders

Extract the oil from the peels by grinding them up and fermenting with vodka or another strong alcohol for 3 days. Strain the oil away and simply then add a few drops to your bath. Orange oil is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory effects, while improving the look and feel of the skin when used frequently. Your bath should also smell gorgeous when using orange oil.

Alternatively, you can completely dry out the orange peels and grind them into a paste. Do this until the peels form a fine powder and then sprinkle a small amount into your bath and mix in with your hand.

 

Lowers the blood pressure and prevents strokes.

Orange rinds can be used to lower your blood pressure. Sweet orange products with 300 mg of potassium per serving are allowed to make such claims on their labels according to the FDA. They can also impact upon lowering your chances of suffering a stroke.

For this purpose the Chinese have used them in herbal medicines for many years.

 

Suppresses depression and anxiety.

Orange oil can be used naturally to relieve anxiety and depression. Do so by infusing into your bath water (as previously mentioned) or rubbing the oil from the rinds into your temple and forehead areas. The smell and properties within the oil should help to calm, relax and destress helping conditions like depression and anxiety.

 

Can be used as mosquito, slug, ant and even cat repellents.

To repel mosquitos rub the orange peels (fresh ones) all over your skin, especially areas in which you most frequently get bitten. The citrusy smell should repel the mosquitoes from attacking you.

For slugs, if you have an issue in your garden, try spreading the peels/ rinds on top of the soil and around the plants they usually go for.

In the case of repelling ants, place the orange rinds in the areas of your house, patio, walkways and garden where you are experiencing the problem. Orange oil can also be used here instead of the peels, just be careful not to make a mess in your house!

Lastly, to keep cats away (we know they can make a mess of your gardens!) place the peels outside all over the garden. Inside the house, if you yourself own a cat, you can use the orange peels to prevent your pet from reaching areas they shouldn’t such as your bed, the food cupboards or bathroom.

 

Helps to soften brown sugar.

Add your orange peels to the brown sugar to draw the moisture out, keeping the sweet treat from solidifying and becoming unusable. The oils in the rinds will also soften the sugar, making it less lumpy and easy to use before baking.

 

Orange fun facts.

Oranges are a common fruit, found in many households across the globe. As a favourite of many, including myself, these healthy fruits have many interesting qualities, uses and a rich history behind them. From originating in Southeast Asia, to actually -technically- being berries there’s a lot you don’t know about this fantastic fruit!

These fun facts are sourced from the websites Science Kids, bestpictureblog and OhFact! And are composed for your reading and educational pleasure, so here you go:

  • The orange is a citrus fruit, and is actually a hybrid of the pomelo and the mandarin.
  • Oranges are thought to originate in Southeast Asia.
  • About 85% of all oranges produced are used for or in fruit juices.
  • Marmalade is a type of orange jam.
  • Oranges have fantastic amounts of vitamin C in them.
  • With California and Florida being the largest producers of oranges in the United States.
  • Oranges are a domesticated fruit so it is unlikely, or rare, to find them growing in the wild.
  • Since 2010, Brazil actually grows ⅓ of all the world’s oranges.
  • As oranges do not spoil easily, sailors used to plant orange trees along the world’s trade routes for them to eat in order to prevent scurvy. The high vitamin C content of the fruit made this a fantastic prevention, as scurvy develops from a deficiency in this vitamin.
  • There are over 600 varieties of oranges across the globe.
  • Orange peel can be used by gardeners to repel any unwanted animals or pests from ruining their plants.
  • The orange flower is the state flower of Florida due to their high production in the fruit. Orange is also the state fruit.
  • Orange is a brilliant source of antioxidants that fights against inflammation, infections and can help to cure burns.
  • Orange peel can also help reduce the signs of ageing when used in both a mask or consumed in foods.
  • Orange peel also positively affects the body’s blood sugar levels.
  • Helping with many conditions such as bad breath, bad body odour, constipation and dark patches on the skin oranges have many medicinal properties.
  • Other names for the orange include: bioflavonoid complex, blood orange, bioflavonoid concentrate, citri sinensis, orange de jaffa, wild orange, orange douce, navel orange, citrus and citrus bioflavones.
  • In California, it is (surprisingly, we know!) illegal to eat an orange in the tub.
  • In tropical climates oranges are actually green, whereas in temperate climates oranges are orange.
  • Marvel invented the super hero, Captain Citrus, to sell more orange juice.
  • After chocolate, orange is known as the world’s fave flavour!
  • Technically, the fruit of the orange tree is a berry.
  • Oranges are the 4th most popular fruit, with orange juice being the most popular juice in America.
  • For some, oranges and orange blossoms are, in fact, a symbol of love and romance.
  • In Spain there are over 35,000,000 orange trees.
  • Mechanics have been known to use oranges to clean away car greases and oils.

 

Any side effects?

Orange is safe for most adults to consume on a regular basis, unless they are allergic. It is extremely uncommon for an individual to be allergic to fruits such as the orange however.

However, in children high proportions of orange peel can result in convulsions, colic or even death in extreme cases. If you think your child is suffering ring an ambulance immediately.

Although when pregnant, or breastfeeding, orange is also safe when taken in usual food amounts.

 

Final thoughts:

Oranges are one of my favourite fruits, personally I could eat them all day long! So it’s great to know there are also uses as well as benefits for the orange’s rind, so instead of chucking it in the bin it can now be repurposed in a variety of different ways. From bath powder to slug repellent to lowering our body’s blood pressure, the orange peel is just as great as the inside! So from now on, with the help of our 12 fantastic benefits, you’ll never waste the peel again due to being perfectly educated on many of it’s beneficial uses.

Always remember to check on the orange peels placed around your house or inside your fridge, as to not let them go mouldy and potentially causing a worse smell than there was in the first place. Orange peels can usually be left anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge, although will last slightly less when placed around the house due to the warmth. Be careful as to not leave them out for an extended amount of time, and watch to ensure your pets (maybe your dog?) are not eating them!

We here at Balance Me Beautiful love hearing from our readers, so feel free to comment below telling us about your specific uses and benefits for orange peels. Or perhaps you especially enjoyed one of our ideas and would like to let us know! Alternatively, if you have a query or question about the website, or perhaps would like to submit your own article idea visit the Contact page.

As always, thanks for reading guys!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.