The Orange-tree is divided into several varieties, of which the most esteemed are those of China and Seville: it is seldom raised in Britain, excepting in the hot-houses of the curious ; and, its culture being the same as that of the Citron, we refer the reader to that article.
The flowers of the orange-tree are highly esteemed, on account of their odoriferous perfume : they are of a slightly pungent, bitter taste, and communicate their flavour, by infusion, to rectified spirit 5 and also, by distillation, both to spirit and water. Formerly they were in great repute, on account of their supposed efficacy in convulsive and epileptic cases, though later experience has not confirmed these advantages :—similar virtues have been attributed to the leaves, which hate likewise beet found ineffectual in those complaints.
The juice of oranges is a pleasant sub-acid liquor, which has often proved of service in inflammatory or febrile disorders ; by diminish-heat, allaying thirst, and promoting the sadutary discharges. It is likewise eminently useful in the scurvy, and has, therefore, been introduced into the Navy, as part of the stores of ships destined for long voyages.
Nor is the outer rind less valuable, as it forms the basis of an excellent conserve ; and, when preserved with sugar, is deservedly esteemed in desserts, being a grateful aromatic bitter, and one of the best stomachics.—There is also an oil expressed from the orange-peel, which is sold under the name of Bergamot.
From the flowers of this tree, an essential oil is prepared in Portugal- and Italy, termed Essentia Neroli: this perfume is said to possess a more delicate and agreeable fragrance than even the Ottar of Roses ; but it is with difficulty procured in Britain.
Lastly, the Seville, or Bitter Orange, is seldom employed in-medicine at present ; the China orange being generally substituted,