Oranges (Fructus Citri Junos) are the fruit of the fragrant citrus from the family Rutaceae.
Chinese Name: Cheng Zi.
Nature and Flavour: Sweet and sour in flavour, cool in nature.
Channels Entered: Lung, Liver, Spleen and Stomach.
Properties and Functions: Tonifies Yin, circulates Qi and benefits the Spleen and Liver to promote digestion.
From a TCM perspective, oranges are beneficial for clearing Phlegm from the chest or throat, along with tangerines, clementines and satsumas. As they promote the circulation of Qi and harmonise Stomach-Yin, they can aid digestion, improve appetite and help to relieve nausea and vomiting. They can also relieve abdominal distension. Oranges can also slow the blood circulation which may be good for insomnia, night sweats or palpitations. However high cholesterol, high blood pressure or poor circulation will be made worse.
From a Western medicine perspective, they are good at boosting the immune system, which helps in the prevention of colds and flu, due to their high levels of vitamin C. However, once a cold as set in, they should be avoided. They can be substituted with tangerines.
Directions: To be eaten raw after removing the skin, or can be juiced, and taken as a drink containing the pulp.
Cautions and Contra-Indications: As oranges are Damp in nature, they should be avoided in cases of excess Phlegm or Damp due to Cold, and also in skin or immune system disorders due to excess Heat and Dampness.