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Sweet orange is a fruit. The peel and juice are used to make medicine.
The peel of sweet orange is used to increase appetite; reduce phlegm; and treat coughs, colds, intestinal gas (flatulence), acid indigestion (dyspepsia), and cancerous breast sores. It is also used as a tonic.
How does it work?
Sweet orange fruit and sweet orange juice are used to prevent kidney stones because they contain large amounts of a chemical called citrate. Citrate tends to bind with calcium before it can form kidney stones.
Possibly Effective for...
- Preventing high blood pressure and stroke. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke.
- Treating high cholesterol. Drinking sweet orange juice helps improve cholesterol levels. In large amounts (750 mL, or about three 8-oz glasses, per day for four weeks), orange juice seems to increase “good” high-density lipoprotein and reduce the ratio of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to HDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Preventing prostate cancer.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Asthma. There is some evidence that sweet orange and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C might improve lung function in people with asthma. But not all studies agree.
- Colds. Some research shows that drinking 180 mL (about 6 ounces) of sweet orange juice daily might help prevent symptoms of the common cold.
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). Some research reports that drinking 400 mL of sweet orange juice (about 13 ounces) increases the amount of citrate in the urine. This might help to prevent kidney stones that are made of calcium.
- Eating disorders.
- Cancerous breast sores.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Sweet orange seems to be safe for most adults.
In children, taking large amounts of sweet orange peel is UNSAFE. It can cause colic, convulsions, or death.
Celiprolol (Celicard)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Consuming large amounts of sweet orange juice might decrease how much celiprolol (Celicard) the body absorbs. This might decrease how well celiprolol (Celicard) works. To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours.
IvermectinInteraction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Drinking sweet orange juice might decrease how much ivermectin the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with ivermectin might decrease the effectiveness of ivermectin.
Medications moved by pumps in cells (Organic anion-transporting polypeptide substrates)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Sweet orange might change how these pumps work and decrease how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This could make these medications less effective. To avoid this interaction, separate taking these medications from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours.
Some of these medications that are moved by pumps in cells include bosentan (Tracleer), celiprolol (Celicard, others), etoposide (VePesid), fexofenadine (Allegra), fluoroquinolone antibiotics, glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta), irinotecan (Camptosar), methotrexate, paclitaxel (Taxol), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), rifampin, statins, talinolol, torsemide (Demadex), troglitazone, and valsartan (Diovan).
Pravastatin (Pravachol)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.
Drinking sweet orange juice might increase how much pravastatin (Pravachol) the body absorbs. Taking pravastatin (Pravachol) with sweet orange juice might increase drug levels in the body and possibly increase the chance of drug side effects.
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Calcium-fortified sweet orange juice can reduce the amount of some antibiotics the body absorbs. Reduced absorption of antibiotics can reduce their ability to fight infection. Sweet orange juice without calcium is unlikely to affect quinolone antibiotics.
Some quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).
Fexofenadine (Allegra)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Sweet orange might decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra). To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours.
Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Sweet orange might change how these pumps work and change how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. There is not enough information to know how important this interaction might be. Until more is known, sweet orange juice should be used cautiously with medications moved by these pumps.
Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For high cholesterol: 750 mL sweet orange juice per day.
- For high blood pressure and stroke prevention: Sweet orange juice products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are permitted by the FDA to make labeling claims that they might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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