Aurantii Flores.—Orange Flowers.
Preparations: Orange Flower Water - Stronger Orange Flower Water - Oil of Orange Flowers - Syrup of Orange Flowers
Related entries: Aurantii Amari Cortex (U. S. P.)—Bitter Orange Peel - Aurantii Dulcis Cortex (U. S. P.)—Sweet Orange Peel - Limon.—Lemon - Oleum Bergamottae (U. S. P.)—Oil of Bergamot - Oleum Aurantii Corticis (U. S. P.)—Oil of Orange Peel
The fresh flowers, partially expanded, of Citrus Aurantium, Linné, and Citrus vulgaris, Risso.
Description.—Orange flowers are composed of a small, cotyloid, 5-parted calyx and 5 white, fleshy, oblong, obtuse petals, which are dotted here and there with glands. They are about 1/2 inch in length. The filaments of the stamens, which are about 20 in number, are united below into bundles (3, sometimes more) The ovary, which is globular, rests on a disk, and is surmounted with a round style, capped with a globe-like stigma. The odor of orange flowers is exceedingly and pleasantly fragrant, the bitter variety possessing this quality more than the sweet orange. They have an aromatic, bitterish taste. When dried the petals are of a pale, brown-white color. The flowers may be preserved for some time by adding to them half their quantity (by weight) of common salt, and pressing them into a jar, which should then be securely closed and kept in a cool, dark situation.
Chemical Composition.—Orange flowers contain an essential oil (see Oleum Aurantii Florum), acetic acid, gum, salts, and bitter extractive (Boullay, 1828); the bitterness of the latter is thought to be due to hesperidin (see Aurantii Amari Cortex).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Orange flowers are used in the preparation of orange-flower water, which may be employed as a vehicle for the administration of medicines. It is slightly stimulant to the nervous apparatus, and is said to have proved beneficial, in doses of 1 or 2 fluid ounces, in chorea, hysteria, epilepsy, and many other nervous disorders.