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Health Research

4 Health Benefits of Citrus Peel [Infographic]

Citrus Peel
Citrus peel has been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in many herbal remedies. Evidence from modern research points to its potential benefits on bone health, memory function, and heart health. It may also lower LDL cholesterol and treat organ injuries resulting from high cholesterol. Citrus peel is a versatile, balancing herb that can be added to almost any tea blend.
Citrus Peel Infographic
What is citrus peel?
Citrus peel, commonly used to flavor food and beverages, is prepared by scraping or cutting the outer leathery rinds of the orange or tangerine fruit. The peel contains substantially more enzymes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients than the fruit. It also contains a broad range of potent, potentially therapeutic compounds and has been studied for its anti-cancer properties. Dried, often aged, citrus peels have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat indigestion, diarrhea, and vomiting, and is an ingredient in many herbal formulations. Today, citrus peel is used as an appetite stimulant and a general tonic.
Botanical name: Citrus sinensis
Other names: Orange peel, tangerine peel, chen pi, orange zest
Description: An evergreen, flowering tree that grows to over 30 feet with spherical yellow-orange fruits
Habitat: Native to the tropical regions of Asia
Properties*: Anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic
The health benefits of citrus peel according to research
1. Bone & Joint Health
Citrus peel contains bioactive compounds that may have potential benefits on bone quality. Research studies have shown these compounds help preserve bone calcium concentration and increase antioxidant status.
In a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, citrus peel extract, particularly flavonoids which have antioxidant activity, may return glutathione (GSH) levels to normal in stress conditions. (GSH is a potent antioxidant that is essential to the body’s natural defense system.) The study also found evidence of reduced damage to DNA induced by chemotherapy in bone marrow cells. Another study conducted in Japan also found citrus flavonoids have beneficial effects on bone and lipids.
2. Energy & Brain Support
Citrus peel may help prevent memory impairment and protect against neurodegeneration, with potential therapeutic value in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Research conducted in Japan in 2015 indicated that nobiletin, a compound extracted from citrus peel, has potential for preventing dementia.
3. Heart and Circulatory Health
Citrus peel appears to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. In a 2013 article published in the academic journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, citrus peel was found to modulate liver and heart function in animal studies, and showed potential therapeutic value for treating organ injuries resulting from high cholesterol. Citrus peel also seems to help lower the risk of high blood pressure and strokes due to high concentrations of potassium. Citrus peel in hot water has been confirmed by scientists to be efficient in extracting its beneficial compounds, such as phenols, minerals, and flavonoids.
4. Immunity and Overall Health
Citrus peel is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer), antioxidant, and cardioprotective properties. According to research studies, the anti-inflammatory properties of citrus peel may come from its flavonoid constituents naringin and nobiletin. Its antioxidant properties may be the result of Vitamin C and other fruit constituents.
According to human studies, consumption of citrus peel and black tea may help reduce the risk of squamous cell cancer, the second most common type of skin cancer. The results indicated that both citrus peel and black tea had protective effects together and independently.


* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.


Alessandra Bocco, Marie-Elisabeth Cuvelier, Hubert Richard, and Claudette Berset. “Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Composition of Citrus Peel and Seed Extracts.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 1998;46(6):2123–2129.
Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Natural Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. June 26, 2016.
Guihua Xu, Xingqian Ye, Jianchu Chen, and Donghong Liu. “Effect of Heat Treatment on the Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity of Citrus Peel Extract.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2007;55(2):330–335.
I A Hakim, R B Harris. “Joint effects of citrus peel use and black tea intake on the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.” BMC Dermatol. 2001;1:3. Epub August 1, 2001.
I A Hakim, R B Harris, C Ritenbaugh. “Citrus peel use is associated with reduced risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.” Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(2):1618.
Kranthi Mandadi, Marilee Ramirez, Guddadarangavvanahally K Jayaprakasha, Bahram Faraji, Makuba Lihono, Farzad Deyhim, Bhimanagouda S Patil. “Citrus bioactive compounds improve bone quality and plasma antioxidant activity in orchidectomized rats.” Phytomedicine. June 2009;16(67): 51320. Epub October 18, 2008.
Liwen Wang, Jinhan Wang, Lianying Fang, Zuliang Zheng, Dexian Zhi, Suying Wang, Shiming Li, Chi-Tang Ho, Hui Zhao. “Anticancer Activities of Citrus Peel Polymethoxyflavones Related to Angiogenesis and Others.” Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:453972. Epub August 28, 2014.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016.
Seyed Jalal Hosseinimehr, Mohmmad Karami. “Citrus extract modulates genotoxicity induced by cyclophosphamide in mice bone marrow cells.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. April 2005;57(4):505-509.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). November 28, 2015, Web. June 26, 2016.
Yasushi Ohizumi. “A new strategy for preventive and functional therapeutic methods for dementia-approach using natural products.” Yakugaku Zasshi. 2015;135(3):44964.
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