We are all familiar with the nutritional value of oranges and wait for winter to bring in the tangy flavored fruit. Though, ironic as it may sound, while the inner fruit is a healthy sweet and sour treat, most of the benefits are in the orange skin itself which we discard without a second thought. It’s time to acquaint yourself with the benefits and uses of orange peel so that instead of dumping it in the garbage you can actually benefit from it.
An abundant source of vitamins
Orange peel is a valuable source of calcium, vitamin A, C, B5 and B6. It also contains many other minerals such as potassium, iron, etc. The peel can be consumed in a number of ways: eat it raw, grate or grind into powder form, boil in water for a drink, cook it with sugar for toppings in cakes or simply use the grated peel for garnishing.
A natural skin treatment
Orange peel can act as a highly effective natural scrubbing agent and bleach for the skin. The peel extract when mixed with milk or curd and applied to the face brightens the skin, cleanses the pores and protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Orange peel or orange peel powder can also be applied directly on the skin to prevent acne and premature aging.
- To control excessive oil and to tone oily skin, mix two teaspoons of orange peel powder with one teaspoon of milk and one teaspoon of coconut milk to form a paste. Apply to the face and rinse off after 15 minutes.
- To help remove skin blemishes, mix two teaspoons orange peel powder with one teaspoon honey and one teaspoon yogurt to make a thick paste. Apply on the face and leave it till it dries out and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
- To get rid of pimples, apply a mixture of two teaspoons orange peel powder, one teaspoon oatmeal and one teaspoon baking soda. Leave it for 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water.
A natural treatment for dandruff
Apply on your hair a mixture of ground orange peel and water and leave overnight. It not only reduces dandruff, but also conditions and cleanses the hair.
Acts as an air freshener
For a nice tangy smell in your house, boil a handful of dried orange peel with cinnamon and cardamom in water. The light fragrance also helps in reducing headache, anxiety and depression.
A means to weight loss: Orange peel is high in fiber content. The use of orange peel tea helps reduce metabolism rate which in turn helps burn body fat.
Studies have shown that consuming orange peel on a regular basis can help lower the chances of skin or lung cancer. It also helps control the growth of cancer cells.
Treats bad breath
Chewing small pieces of orange peel is an effective means of controlling bad breath. It also helps fight cavities and ensures fresh breath for a long time.
If you need a shot of energy to relieve you from insomnia or stress, boil some orange peels in water for about 15-20 minutes and drink it like tea. While it will give you a good intake of natural vitamins and minerals, it will lift your mood and give your body a stimulating boost.
Helps in digestion
Orange peel has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in digestion by reducing chances of constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and acidity.
Reduces blood pressure
Orange peel stimulates blood circulation which in turn helps in lowering cholesterol level in the body and controlling blood pressure.
Fights flu and cold
Loaded with Vitamin A and C, orange peel strengthens the immune system and helps fights germs and viruses.
Orange peel is an effective insect repellent so drop a few pieces of orange peels in your garden to get rid of ants and mosquitoes.
Dried orange peels are great fire-starters for bonfires or camping. They not only help in kindling a fire, but also give off a nice pleasing fragrance.
So till the orange season lasts, savor the taste of the fruit, while storing the peels in ground or dried form to reap its valuable benefits.