TANGERINE

 

The most appealing element of the tangerine tree is obviously the sweet and juicy, easy to peel fruit. This hardy member of the citrus family of trees is now grown worldwide for these tasty treats. It performs better than most other citrus trees due to its tolerance for both drought and freezing conditions.

In Hawaii, certain varieties of tangerine trees often reach a height of close to 25 feet. Tangerine trees are smaller than their orange tree cousins but they do share a delightful habit. They excel at perfuming the air with their ultra-fragrant blossoms. Small, dark green glossy leaves provide a backdrop for the bright white flowers. The deep orange fruit that follows the blooms adds to the beauty of the picture.

Tangerines grow to 3 inches in diameter and boast a dozen or so juicy pulp-filled segments. They’re famous for being easy to peel which is another reason for their immense popularity.

FOOD USES

Traditionally eaten fresh, tangerines are also processed for their sweet juice. They are a popular fruit for jams, jellies, and preserves as well as in baked goods. Fresh tangerine sections are added to salads for an extra burst of juicy sweetness. The peels (or fruit segments) are often candied or used to flavor alcohol and other beverages.

MEDICINAL USES

As with other citrus, tangerines are full of vitamins, fiber, calcium, and potassium. The dried peel and other parts of the fruit have been used in traditional medicine of both China and India for centuries. Conditions often treated with tangerines include gastric issues like constipation. The prevention or reduction of inflammation and arthritis relief are also addressed. Skin and wound care applications are common as tangerines boast antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Tangerine essential oil has been shown to have both antispasmodic and sedative properties. It can help ease anxiety and is also used as a blood-purifying agent or depurative. Used in this manner it may help aid the body of excess salt, impurities, and toxins. It also helps break down iron and allows your body to absorb and utilize it more efficiently.

There are more than just medicinal benefits derived from the use of tangerines and tangerine essential oil. The large amounts of Vitamins A and C help ease and delay the signs of aging in hair and skin. Used internally and topically, the benefits are visible in clearer skin and shinier hair.