We all know that oranges are good for our health, mainly due to their high vitamin C content. They are also packed with vitamins A and B, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, soluble fiber and other nutrients.
After enjoying this tangy fruit, most of us throw away the peels. But in doing so, we’re missing out on many benefits, as the peels have unique health, beauty and other uses. You can even include shredded orange peels and zests in your regular cooking.
Fruit acids and vitamin C are present in abundance just beneath the skin peels. The peels even have more phytonutrients and flavonoids than the inner pulp.
So, take advantage of the nutritional benefits of orange peels through countless ways, as you do with the fruit.
Here are the top 10 uses of orange peels.
1. Improves Skin Tone
Skin blemishes and dark spots can be reduced with orange peels. They work as a natural bleacher that helps improve your skin tone.
Furthermore, their vitamin C content maintains your skin’s suppleness, prevents dullness and adds a healthy glow. It even protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays.
- Make a paste by mixing together 2 teaspoons each of orange peel powder and plain yogurt along with 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Apply this face mask on your face and neck, and gently massage in a circular motion.
- Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Use this face mask 2 or 3 times a week.
To prepare orange peel powder, dry the peels in the sun for about 3 days.
2. Fights Aging Signs
The powerful antioxidants in orange peels fight off free radicals. These free radicals damage healthy skin cells, which accelerates skin aging and promotes wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin.
Furthermore, the peels work as a great skin toner, thanks to their astringent properties.
- Mix 1 tablespoon each of orange peel powder and oatmeal powder with enough honey to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on your face and neck area.
- Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Use this anti-aging face mask once a week for best results.
3. Removes Blackheads and Whiteheads
Being slightly abrasive in nature, orange peel powder works as a natural exfoliating agent that can remove dirt and dead skin cells from your skin. This helps prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. It even reduces the occurrence of acne.
- Prepare a paste with equal amounts of orange peel powder and plain yogurt.
- Apply it on your face and neck area, using gentle circular motions.
- Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- With wet hands, gently rub off the paste.
- Use this remedy every other day to reduce blackheads and whiteheads. Then, repeat once a week as a preventive measure.
4. Whitens Teeth
Fresh orange peels can also reduce the yellow tinge accumulated on your teeth. The peel contains a compound known as d-limonene that helps reduce teeth staining, especially smoking stains.
- Simply rub the inside of an orange peel (the white portion) over your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse your mouth and teeth with lukewarm water. Do this twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.
- Alternatively, mix some orange peel powder and a little water to make a paste. You can also add dried leaves in it. Put this paste on your toothbrush and use it to brush your teeth. Repeat twice daily for a few weeks.
5. Aids Weight Loss
Orange peels can help you lose weight. Many nutritional components of oranges are present in the peel, especially vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin helps burn fat.
In your weight-loss diet, include orange peel tea instead of coffee and sodas. To make this tea:
- Dry the peels from a few oranges in a cool, dry place.
- Put 1 tablespoon of the dried peels in 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove the peels and add a little raw honey.
- Drink 2 cups of this herbal tea daily.
Note: Make sure you use the peels from organic oranges and wash them thoroughly before drying.
6. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Orange peels can even help reduce the low-density lipoproteins (LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol) in the body that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and heart attacks.
The rich pectin, a natural soluble fiber, in the peels helps reduce cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that polymethoxylated flavones in orange peels have cholesterol-lowering properties without the side effects of mainstream cholesterol drugs.
- Drink orange peel tea twice daily.
- You can even add flavorful orange zest to foods and beverages.
7. Regulates Bowel Movements
Orange peels even improve digestion. The high dietary fiber in them helps regulate bowel movements, which prevents constipation.
They also help treat various digestive disorders, including indigestion, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and heartburn.
Plus, the pectin in orange peels is beneficial for the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine.
After eating a meal, drink a cup of orange peel tea to improve digestion.
8. Works as a Natural Air Freshener
The sweet, lemony aroma of orange peels works as a great air freshener. You can use them to mask unpleasant odors in different areas of your home or office, including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms.
- Put a handful of fresh orange peels, a little lemon juice and a few cinnamon sticks in 2 cups of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain, allow it to cool and then transfer the liquid into a spray bottle. Use it as needed.
- Put some orange peel powder in small sachets and place them in different areas around the house to mask bad odors.
- Place some dried orange peels at the bottom of your trash can to keep odors at bay.
9. Repels Mosquitoes and Ants
The citrus smell of orange peels deters ants and also works to repel mosquitoes, flies, and even cats. Insects do not like the limonene (which contributes to the citrus smell), found in abundance in orange and other citrus fruit peels.
- Grind some orange peels and place the powder in areas where ants, flies and other pests are prone to congregate.
- To prevent mosquito bites, rub fresh orange peels all over your skin.
- Put orange peels around your windowsills, doors and other entry points to keep stray cats away.
10. Makes Good Compost for Gardening
Orange peels make a great addition to the compost pile. Being rich in nitrogen, they make the soil more fertile to support healthy cultivation of fruits and vegetables.
They will even make the compost pile smell fresh and deter cats and dogs from digging in or using your garden as a litter box.
- Thoroughly wash the peels of a few oranges and other citrus fruits under running water to remove pesticides and harmful chemicals.
- Chop them into pieces for faster degradation.
- Mix them into your compost pile.
- Once the compost is ready, use it for gardening.
- Wash the peels under cold water to remove as much of the pesticides as possible before drying them in the sun.
- Always dry the peels thoroughly before grinding them to make a powder.
- Store the dried powder in an airtight container.
- Do not store fresh peels in the refrigerator.