Mandarin Orange, Mandarine

Citrus reticulata (Rutaceae)

Characteristics

Tree up to 8m tall. Tree trunk and major branches have thorns. Leaves shiny and green, rather small. Fruits orange, 4-8 cm, edible. Citrus species are usually self-fertile (a bee moves pollen within the same flower) or parthenocarpic (no need of pollination for fruit development, therefore seedless, like the cultivated forms of banana). The Mandarine is easily damaged by cold.

Distribution

Native to Vietnam, South China and Japan. Today, widespread in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Natural Medical Properties

Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people.

Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of antioxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics.

The fruit is antiemetic, aphrodisiac, astringent, laxative and tonic

The flowers are stimulant

The pericarp is analgesic, anti-asthmatic, anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antitussive, carminative, expectorant, stomachic.

It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal distension, cough with profuse phlegm, hiccup and vomiting.

The endocarp is carminative and expectorant.

It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal distension, coughs and profuse phlegm.

The unripe green exocarp is carminative and stomachic.

It is used in the treatment of pain in the chest and hypochondrium, gastro-intestinal distension, swelling of the liver and spleen and cirrhosis of the liver.

The seed is analgesic and carminative.

It is used in the treatment of hernia, lumbago, mastitis and pain or swellings of the testes

Did you know?

The “Common orange” (Citrus x sinensis) is a hybrid between “Mandarine” (Citrus reticulata) and “Pomelo” (Cirtus maxima). Due to its thin skin, Mandarine is much easier to peel than other Citrus fruits

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species