Fact Checked

What is Orange Peel Extract?

Kerrie Main
Kerrie Main

Orange peel extract is the essential oils from an orange that are removed through one of many extraction processes. These processes include expression, cold press, maceration, absorption, and distillation. After the essential oil has been extracted from the orange peel, it has many beneficial health properties. It is known to help with gastrointestinal ailments, depression, insomnia, weight loss and skin problems. The extract typically comes in two forms: a vitamin-like pill supplement or essential oil form.

The main component in an orange peel is d-limonene. This ingredient is known to help food pass through the stomach quickly, which lessens the production of stomach acid. This property makes the extract a common treatment for the symptoms associated with heartburn and acid reflux. It works to prevent the backing up of stomach acid into a person’s esophagus, which is one of the main causes of heartburn. The extract also is used to soothe stomachaches, including those caused by nervousness, as well as indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea.

Orange peel.
Orange peel.

The citrus scent of orange peel extract essential oil may also help with emotional issues and their physical symptoms. In many homeopathic cultures, this extract is used to treat poor appetite, sadness, and anxiety. The scent is soothing and is believed to lift a person’s spirits. Some holistic practitioners even use bitter orange for chest pain, high blood pressure, and as a sedative for insomnia.

Dried orange peel.
Dried orange peel.

Other chemicals found in the orange peel include N-methyltyramine, flavones, synephrine, carotenoids and octaopamine. It has not been proven in clinical studies, but some alternative health practitioners believe that some of these chemicals can contribute to weight loss. The theory behind it is that the chemical compounds can stimulate a person’s metabolism, which might increase the rate of calorie burning.

Orange peel extract is found in many facial products, including cleansers and creams.
Orange peel extract is found in many facial products, including cleansers and creams.

Orange peel extract is found in many facial and skin cleansing products. It works to dry out oily skin, which might prevent acne breakouts and problems. Orange extract typically blends well with other cleanser ingredients and oils such as lavender, clary sage, and clove.

Although this extract can soothe many painful symptoms, it does not treat the root of a person’s health problem. People considering incorporating it into their daily diet or health regimens should discuss it with a medical professional first. In some tests on pregnant animals, the extract caused birth defects in infants, but the same clinical trials were not conducted on humans.

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Discussion Comments


Orange peel extract might work for some mild stomach and mood issues, but it doesn't work for more serious ones in my opinion.

I have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and I recently tried orange peel extract after it was recommended to me by a friend. I did not see any benefits whatsoever.

I'm not saying that it doesn't work for anyone but I don't think it's a strong enough remedy to work for more serious conditions. The only things which have helped my GERD has been proton pump inhibiting medication and enzymatic therapy.


@ankara-- I think it will because it's an acid reflux remedy and some nausea is caused by stomach acidity.

I also find the scent of orange peels really helpful when I'm feeling nauseated. There is just something about that scent that is very refreshing and soothing to me.

But the scent will only help if you use the extract in essential oil form rather than a supplement. If you use the supplements, obviously, you won't benefit from the scent.


Will orange peel extract help with nausea?


I've heard that you can make your own orange peel extract using just orange zest, water, and vodka. You put all three ingredients in a sealed container for three days, and then it is ready to use.

It sounds easy, so I'm going to try it. I use orange extract in a lot of my recipes, and making my own would save me money.


@shell4life – Orange peel extract is one of the best natural cures for acid reflux, according to my best friend. It helped her when nothing else would.

I have found another use for it. When I get really down and depressed during the cold, dreary winter months, I burn the oil to lift my mood. It's amazing what a profound effect scent can have on my state of mind.

It's a bit subliminal at first, but once the scent becomes strong in the room, I notice that I feel perkier and more energized. I find myself suddenly in a better mood than I had been before.

I don't understand how orange peel extract could help insomnia, because it makes me feel alive and awake. Maybe if I burned it earlier in the day, it would make me use up more energy and get tired by bedtime.


I think it's so strange that orange peel extract prevents heartburn. Normally, when I eat something as acidic as an orange, I get more heartburn problems than I can handle!

I guess the magic is in the peel. Since I don't plan to start munching away on bitter orange peels anytime soon, I guess I should look into getting some of the extract.

I've tried regular heartburn medications, but they don't seem to be working very well. Perhaps orange peel extract could prevent the problem before it starts. I'm all for natural remedies, if they are successful.


@FernValley – Does the actual fruit of the orange contain limonene? I thought it was just in the peel.

My dad got gastrointestinal relief by taking orange peel extract capsules. He never ate oranges, so I don't know if the fruit itself would have helped ease his discomfort or not. The extract definitely worked, though.


How do I know the extract from orange peel is not contaminated with pesticides?


I suffer at times from irritable bowel syndrome, and have found that when my probiotic pills are not enough, eating several oranges can have a positive effect. It must be the limonene in them.


Limonene is also an ingredient in many cleaning products and can even be used as a mild pesticide. It's not surprising that orange peel extract and its ingredients are so useful, considering orange peel's nutrition value is very high as well, though eaten raw it might make you sick.

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      Orange peel.
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      Dried orange peel.
    • Orange peel extract is found in many facial products, including cleansers and creams.
      By: L_amica
      Orange peel extract is found in many facial products, including cleansers and creams.
    • Orange peel extract can help with heartburn symptoms.
      By: nebari
      Orange peel extract can help with heartburn symptoms.
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    • Orange peel extract may help treat insomnia.
      By: bramgino
      Orange peel extract may help treat insomnia.