What can you use orange peel for?

If you’re going to consume an orange, don’t be too quick to discard the peel.

Many of the main nutrients of this fruit are concentrated in it, so it can be used for medicinal as well as gastronomic purposes. Here we tell you how and what to use orange peel for.

The orange is a citrus fruit that is obtained from the sweet orange tree (Citrus × sinensis), from the bitter orange tree (Citrus × aurantium) and orange trees of other varieties or hybrids. Its shell is composed of:

  • Flavedo: the colorful outer layer of the fruit. Its zest is used to obtain the flavor and aroma of the orange.
  • albedo: the thin white pith below the shell. This is bitter and is often used in some gastronomic recipes.

As with other citrus fruits, strips of orange peel as zest are easy to obtain.

For the first ones you only need a vegetable peeler. After washing and drying the orange well, carefully pass it over the surface while applying pressure (this way you avoid getting only the zest).

If you’re looking for orange zest, rub a vegetable grater over the entire layer, applying progressive pressure until you start to see the albedo.

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  • Oranges, healthy reasons to eat them daily

Even if you’re only using a pinch or small portion of either, it’s a good idea to grate or peel the orange completely and store the excess in airtight bags in the freezer. This way they will be available when you need them.

orange peel nutrients

Like the orange, its peel is rich in vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber. It also stands out for having a higher concentration of phytochemicals than the pulp, such as:

  • Flavonoids: associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects.
  • limonoids: associated with antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer effects.

These are the uses and benefits of orange peel:


Due to its antioxidant compounds and the important presence of vitamin C, orange peel can help promote the elimination of toxins from the body.

It has also been linked to anti-inflammatory properties, reduction of abdominal swelling and a reduction in flatulence, due to the presence of flavonoids.

Orange peel is rich in fiber, a substance that fulfills a double function in the body, since on the one hand it helps to optimize digestion, improving the absorption of nutrients, while on the other, it prevents overeating.

Traditional medicine recommends drinking orange peel infusion on an empty stomach to take advantage of these benefits. To prepare it, you only have to boil the peels of three oranges in a liter of water for a few minutes, let them rest and then strain.

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Skin care

Orange peel contains phytochemicals that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

These are especially useful for reducing the damage suffered by the skin over time and by the action of free radicals, unstable molecules that affect healthy cell structures.

To take advantage of these benefits, you can prepare an infusion as detailed in the previous point, but instead of drinking it, use it on the affected skin, with the help of a cloth or cotton.

Orange peel zest can also be used to prepare homemade scrubs, to whiten nails, and even mixed into shampoos.

orange peel for odors

Thanks to its active ingredients, strong and pleasant aroma, and antimicrobial nature, orange peel can also be used to:

  • Aromatize environments: thanks to its powerful and pleasant aroma, orange peel can be used to eliminate bad odors in the home. There are many ways to use it, for example, you can boil it together with cinnamon sticks or lavender flowers, strain, and use the preparation in a spray. You can also place it chopped and mixed with salt on a plate in the fridge, for one to two weeks it will absorb bad odors.
  • Light a fire: You can use dried orange peels to replace the paper.
  • Clean ceramics: Like other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons or limes, oranges have compounds with solvent properties, ideal for removing traces of grease or dirt. You can enhance this effect by mixing it with vinegar and baking soda to clean bathroom or kitchen surfaces.
  • repel insects: this use can also be used with the peel of other citrus fruits, since they contain limonene, a natural insect repellent, especially mosquitoes, flies and ants.
  • To remind:

    Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.

    Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, talk to your doctor first about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.

    Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.

    Sources consulted: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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