Last update July 16, 2017

Bitter Orange


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Fruit, flowers, leaves and seeds of the tree are used.
It contains essential oil (limonene), flavonoids (naringin), citric acid and various sympathomimetic agents (synephrine, tyramine and methyl octopamine) that behave as adrenergic agonists. They are similar to the pseudoefedrina (see specific info) which can decrease milk production.
Attributed properties without clinical evidence are: orexigenic (appetite stimulant), digestive, sedative and to lose weight.

Since some products are sold with slimming purposes due to its content of synephrine, moderate use is recommended overall and during lactation because they have caused serious adverse cardiovascular effects. Avoid consumption of products that provide more than 30 mg of synephrine as well as mixtures with caffeine (like some for colds) and other medications that would contain derivatives of pseudoephedrine.

Ascorbic acid contained in citrus products passes through breast milk and would increase the levels of ascorbic acid in breast milk, especially in women deficient in ascorbic acid.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Pseudoephedrine (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)


We do not have alternatives for Bitter Orange since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Bitter Orange is also known as

Bitter Orange in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Bitter Orange in its composition:

  • Agua del Carmen™. Contains other elements than Bitter Orange in its composition
  • Bittner™. Contains other elements than Bitter Orange in its composition
  • Lipomin (Липомин)™. Contains other elements than Bitter Orange in its composition
  • Pervivo™. Contains other elements than Bitter Orange in its composition
  • Sedonat™. Contains other elements than Bitter Orange in its composition


  1. Shara M, Stohs SJ, Mukattash TL. Cardiovascular Safety of Oral p-Synephrine (Bitter Orange) in Healthy Subjects: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Cross-over Clinical Trial. Phytother Res. 2016 Abstract
  2. Smith TB, Staub BA, Natarajan GM, Lasorda DM, Poornima IG. Acute myocardial infarction associated with dietary supplements containing 1,3-dimethylamylamine and Citrus aurantium. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Abstract
  3. Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. The safety of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine. Phytother Res. 2011 Abstract
  4. Health Canada Guidelines for the use of Synephrine in Natural Health products 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Thomas JE, Munir JA, McIntyre PZ, Ferguson MA. STEMI in a 24-year-old man after use of a synephrine-containing dietary supplement: a case report and review of the literature. Tex Heart Inst J. 2009 Abstract
  6. Sharpe PA, Granner ML, Conway JM, Ainsworth BE, Dobre M. Availability of weight-loss supplements: Results of an audit of retail outlets in a southeastern city. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Abstract
  7. Gange CA, Madias C, Felix-Getzik EM, Weintraub AR, Estes NA 3rd. Variant angina associated with bitter orange in a dietary supplement. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Abstract
  8. Klontz KC, Timbo BB, Street D. Consumption of dietary supplements containing Citrus aurantium (bitter orange)--2004 California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Abstract
  9. Sultan S, Spector J, Mitchell RM. Ischemic colitis associated with use of a bitter orange-containing dietary weight-loss supplement. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Abstract
  10. Daneel-Otterbech S, Davidsson L, Hurrell R. Ascorbic acid supplementation and regular consumption of fresh orange juice increase the ascorbic acid content of human milk: studies in European and African lactating women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 May;81(5):1088-93. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. [No authors listed] Management of insomnia: a place for traditional herbal remedies. Prescrire Int. 2005 Abstract
  12. Fugh-Berman A, Myers A. Citrus aurantium, an ingredient of dietary supplements marketed for weight loss: current status of clinical and basic research. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Abstract
  13. Nykamp DL, Fackih MN, Compton AL. Possible association of acute lateral-wall myocardial infarction and bitter orange supplement. Ann Pharmacother. 2004 Abstract

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