Spring is simply amazing, the bounty of health and well being it coaxes forth astounding!
I am inspired to this blog by the simple beauty of the orange tree in our backyard. This tree must be 50 years old. It just keeps making oranges! Hundreds of them! We pick them, it grows more. But now, in April? It is awash in thousands of ultra-fragrant BLOOMS! Deliciously decadent!
Do we all know the reasons by now of why we need citrus? Well, yes, Vitamin C, of course. But there is oh so much more to them that that.
First lets do the C thing:
“The vitamin C content found in oranges provides antioxidant protection against cancer-causing free radicals and helps to boost immune system function. Vitamin C can also reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritisand asthma. The vitamin C in oranges can also reduce the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.” So, they keep you healthy because they enhance your natural immunity to sickness. And they can help keep you from suddenly dying on the spot. So that’s good.
Oranges also contain flavanoids & phytonutrients:
“A single orange contains more than 60 flavanois and 170 different phytonutrients which possess blood clot inhibiting abilities, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor qualities.” Did you say anti-tumor qualities? Well that’s awesome! Yummy for my tummy in more ways than one.
And then there is their polyphenol gallic acid?
yep, a bit more obscure, but sooOOOooo good for you too!:
“Oranges also contain the polyphenol gallic acid which provides anti-allergy, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and researchers have began to study the role the fruit could play in brain functioning.” (oooh, I like that because guess what is making me sneeze??? you got it, the beautiful blossoms. boo!) Antihistamine? So, wait, if I eat the fruit of the blossom, I will sneeze less from the blossom? Anti-allergy? so when the bees hovering around the tree accidentally sting ya, it’s not as gnarly? kinda like built in homeopathy! Cool.
But wait, there’s more! You also get…limonoids to fight cancer (related to the anti-tumor part?):
“Oranges contain substances called limonoids which are proven to fight cancer of the skin, mouth, lungs, breast, colon and stomach. Because limonoid is so readily available and ever-present, oranges act as a natural antioxidant by helping prevent free radicals from damaging the DNA of cells and causing cancer. In a research study, 16 volunteer subjects received one dose of limonin glucoside in a glass of orange juice. Upon conclusion of the study, researchers determined the limonin in oranges lasted for a longer time period than the phenols in chocolate and green tea, which means the fruit, is one of the best sources of cancer protection available.”
I like that because this is the time of year when we start to spend A LOT of time in the sun (at least I do! – gotta love that Vitamin D!). So, help with fighting skin-cancer is convenient!
In my house we have made some of these and more:
Sunny Southern Preserved Oranges, Orange Marmalade, Orange Custard, Orange Tart, Orange Cream Pie, Orangecello, Orange Juice, Mimosas, Margaritas, Salsa Naranja, Oranges in the Orange Jello, Orange Balsalmic Vinagrette, Orange-Cranberry-Pineapple Salad, Citrus Pork Tenderloin, Orange-Strawberry-Banana Smoothies, Citrus Shrimp, Mulled Cider, Orange Popciscles, or just eating them plain! Wow, we really use them!
But it is the blossoms that got me started:
They too offer up soooOOOOooo much goodness! Called Neroli in aromatherapy, the oil of the blooms is next to godlike. Some of the healing effects of Orange Blossom Oil on the Mind/Body are:
- The aroma of orange blossom oil refreshes the brain, thus increasing inspiration & creative ability.
- It is used for the treatment of insomnia or sleeplessness and helps promote calm, deep sleep.
- This essential oil is very useful in treating hysteria.
- It is used to minimize and prevent depression, stress. and tension.
- When applied on the skin, it helps in regenerating skin cells.
- It is used for toning aged, dry, wrinkled, and sensitive skin.
- It is also used to treat acne or blemished skins.
- Orange blossom oil can be used to normalize the enlarged pores of the skin.
- It is also very effective in treating the symptoms associated with menopause.
- It increases blood circulation to the veins of the body and helps in healing the thread vein scars.
- Orange blossom oil can also be used as a medicine to treat high blood pressure.
- It also helps in relaxing the nervous system.
- Due to its sebum balancing effect, it is used to normalize dry or oily skin conditions.
- It is used in bathing soaps as it opens and cleanses the pores of the skin.
- It can be used to treat infectious and inflammatory conditions of the skin.
- Orange blossom oil is also helpful in treat sunburn.
Geez, no wonder it is dizzying to be near the tree. The wafting scent alone must be healing my very being!
All those many many bees abuzz in the tree busy making orange blossom honey! The hummingbirds nesting in the boughs! It is the very essence of being.