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Plant Parts Used :Root, Flowers, Fruit, Juice Seed
Shrubs or trees are perennial. Leaflets 7.5 - 15 cm. long,oblong, glabrous. Petiole short marginated. Flowers numerous,raceme white or often tinged with pink frequently uni-sexual.Fruit, large oblong or obovoid and rind usually whorled and thick, known as hesperidium.
Characteristics and Constituents :
The peel contains citroflavonoids consisting of a mixture of hesperidoside (rhamnoglucoside of hesperetol), naringoside and ecryodietyoside (flavonones). Essential oils and Vitamin C are also found. Glucosides hesperidin (Vitamin P) and rutin are also present. Some varieties contain the flavonoid naringin.The triterpenoids e.g. limonin gives the intensely bitter taste to some citrus species.
Actions and Uses :
Citroflavonoids control the permeability of the capillaries by decreasing the porosity of the walls and thus enhancing the exchange of liquids and the diffusion of proteins. The mechanism for this phenomenon is complex,and includes the protective action of diphenols on catecholamines participating in vascular integrity. When capillary resistance is lessened citroflavonoids can prevent bleeding in hypertensive or diabetic patients (diabetic retinopathy) or in purpura, and where there is tendency to haematoma. The citroflavonoids also have an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and diuretic action and can cause dilatation of the coronaries. Due to their effect on capillary permeability they are used in modern medical practice in diseases where permeability is increased (varicose veins, haemorrhoids, capillaritis) and in oedema, and ascitis in cirrhosis. They also prevent excessive bleeding. In ayurvedic practice, the dried rind or citrus juice is used in kapha and vata diseases, as a vermifuge, for asthma and digestive disorders, as an anti-scorbutic.