Tangerine: Properties and Benefits


Even tangerine like other citrus fruits is rich in compounds with antioxidant properties, especially vitamin C. Its regular intake brings various health benefits. Let’s see which ones

The tangerine plant, scientific name Citrus Reticulata, is a citrus fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family. The name is used both to identify the tree and the fruit.

Tangerine: properties and benefits
Tangerine: properties and benefits

The tangerine, native of China, is a fruit typical autumn with fragrant peel and orange. Its properties are similar to those of the orange from which it differs mainly in size and sweetest flesh.


The tangerine, or rather, its essential oil, has antimicrobial properties. According to studies published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, this compound has shown positive effects in the reduction of microbes in food. The tests were conducted on green beans to assess the effects against Listeria innocua. ( 1 )

There are many varieties of this citrus fruit and their collection takes place in the months from December to March. In Italy the most cultivated variety is that of the common tangerine which is also called with the name Havana.

According to official medicine, tangerine is a laxative, aphrodisiac, astringent, tonic and relieves vomiting. The peel of the fruit is traditionally used as a tonic, digestive, astringent, carminative and anti-scurvy.

The citrus peel was considered a by-product of the citrus industry but it was reported that it contains several active components with a much higher concentration than the pulp. ( 2 )

The genus Citrus is one of the oldest, most commercialized and most popular crops. The first news on its cultivation dates back to 2100 BC. ( 3 )

Chemical Composition

Chemical composition for 100 gr of tangerine
Water g 85,2
Protein g 0,8
Carbohydrates g 13,3
Fibers g 1,8
Sugars g 10,6
Fat g 0,3
Calcium mg 37
Iron mg 0,2
Magnesium mg 12
Phosphorus mg 20
Potassium mg 166
Sodium mg 2
Zinc mg 0,1
Copper mg 0
Manganese mg 0
Selenium mcg 0,1
Vitamin A IU 681
B1 mg 0,1
B2 mg 0
B3 mg 0,4
B5 mg 0,2
B6 mg 0,1
Vitamin C mg 26,7
Vitamin E mg 0,2
Vitamin J mg 10,2
Beta Carotene mcg 35
Lutein Zeaxantina mcg 170
Folate mcg 16

Source: Nutritiondata

The sugars present are divided into dextrose, fructose and sucrose.

Amino acids: aspartic and glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, serine, phenylalanine,histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine and threonine.


100 g of tangerine have a caloric intake equal to 53 kcal.

Tangerine: Properties and Benefits

It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals from which our body can certainly benefit for its health.

Relieves Pain

Studies show that oils extracted from plants such as tangerine can provide benefits in counteracting pain, anxiety and nausea. ( 4 )

In a 2016 study it was discovered that the terpenes present in this citrus fruit can be used for the preparation of analgesics in pain therapy. ( 5 )

Immune System

Thanks to the good presence of vitamin C, like all citrus fruits, it is excellent for strengthening the immune system.

Lowers Cholesterol

It contains soluble fiber which has the property, if present in the right percentage in our diet, of reducing cholesterol levels. The fibers are made up in particular of pectin and hemicellulose. Thus there are benefits for the health of our cardiovascular system.

According to studies, fibers such as pectin and hemicellulose, in addition to preventing obesity, prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. ( 6 )

It is Good for Skin

The most important role of the skin for the human being is to create a barrier between the internal and external environment of the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is a very sensitive organ and can easily suffer damage from infection and disease. ( 7 )

One of the biggest skin problems in the world today is premature aging. The free radicals formed due to oxidative stress, play a major role in skin aging. The main reason why the skin starts to sag and wrinkle is the breakdown of elastin and collagen

According to a study published in 2006 in the  Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, tangerines  outperform other citrus fruits for hesperidin content. This compound is a flavonoid with several properties. It works in synergy with vitamin C for the production of collagen , a substance very important for the structural support of the skin.

The vitamin C also, according to studies, as well as protecting the skin from aging, also provide protection against the risk of certain cancers. ( 8 )

Free Radicals

The peel contains a high percentage of limonene, a substance which, according to recent studies, seems to have antioxidant properties. This is why it would be recommended to also use the tangerine peel (obviously when you are sure that this has not been treated with chemicals).

Hesperine is also a good antioxidant and has an active role in counteracting the activity of free radicals.

Tangerines: properties and benefits

In addition, citrus fruits are known to have a good content of vitamin C. This, together with the carotenoids and flavonoids, provides the amount of antioxidants necessary for the body to counteract the activity of free radicals. ( 9 )


The pectin is also a substance with beneficial properties for the intestines and digestion. According to experts, a good amount of fiber promotes bowel movement with general health benefits.

These properties of tangerine are confirmed by a study of 2012. ( 10 )


Tangerine oil is known for its antibacterial properties and antifungal broad spectrum. Inhibits the growth of numerous bacteria including Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. ( 11 )

Essential oil protects the wounds from viral infections from bacteria and fungi. Forms a protective layer on wounds that prevents pathogens from intruding by killing fungi and bacteria.

Acne, Stretch Marks and Scars

Tangerine essential oil can be used to decrease the aesthetic impact of scars and stretch marks. Used as a carrier oil and mixed with other essential oils it can be applied directly on the scars to decrease their visibility.

Its properties have the ability to help prevent the infection of the irritated skin taking away bacteria and fungi. ( 12 )

Blood Circulation

The essential oil improves circulation and improves the appearance of the skin which appears more lively and rejuvenated.

Healthy Arteries

These citrus fruits contain a powerful flavonoid known as nobiletine. A 2011 study showed that this compound is able to reduce hardening of the arteries, especially in diabetics. ( 13 )


The tangerines contain a compound natural phytochemical that is called tangeretina. This substance is particularly concentrated in the peel and, in smaller quantities, it is also present in the juice.

According to some in vitro studies, tangeretin would be able to prevent certain types of cancer. For example, it has been shown to inhibit the growth of leukemic cells through apoptosis, or the programmed death of diseased cells. ( 14 )

This speech is valid from a preventive point of view but has no effect on people already suffering from cancer. Furthermore, it seems that this substance present in tangerine interferes with some drugs.

A study conducted at the University of Kyoto suggests that the high content of vitamin A and carotenoids are useful for preventing liver cancer. The limonene present in the citrus fruit instead has useful properties to prevent breast cancer. ( 15 )

A 2007 study showed that both tangeretin and  nobiletine have properties useful in preventing breast cancer. The study used a tangerine peel extract to analyze its anticancer properties. ( 16 )

2014 study conducted at the Arizona Cancer Center suggests that the compounds in the peel help prevent skin cancer.

Tangerine Essential Oil

Mandarin essential oil 10 ml 100% natural and organic

Amazon key

The essential oil  is obtained from the cold pressing of the peel of  tangerines which is widely used in the cosmetic field for the preparation of skin care products. Essential oil of tangerine in fact effects benefits on the skin, is used to purify it, to make it softer and hydrate.

It is particularly suitable for massaging the areas of the body most prone to cellulite. The essential oil facilitates the reabsorption of liquids at the epidermal level thus counteracting the imperfections of cellulite.

Essential oil has other therapeutic properties: it is recommended in cases of stress and nervous tension, constipation, anxiety, water retention, colic and asthma. It is also useful for overcoming moments of sadness and depression with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

For the use and the doses of tangerine essential oil, contact your doctor.


Mandarino in vaso

It contains small quantities of folic acid, a substance very useful for pregnant women to prevent the appearance of spina bifida.

The tangerine, along with cedar and the pomelo  is the third original citrus from which all other citrus fruits.

In America the most cultivated variety of tangerine is Satsuma which was imported in late 1800 from Japan.

The peel, thanks to its characteristic aroma due to limonene, is used to flavor liqueurs, perfumes and syrups, the Sicilian Mannarinu liqueur from Sicily is an example.

A warm bath made with drops of tangerine essential oil has relaxing properties for the muscles.

Maybe not Everyone Knows That

Hybrid fruits are obtained from the crossing with other citrus fruits. Clementine is obtained by crossing the tangerine with the bitter orange, while the tangerine crossed with the grapefruit gives rise to the mapo.

The tangerine plant can reach a height of 6 meters.

Used together with eucalyptus honey, it is useful to soothe breathing problems.

Other varieties of tangerines  are CleopatraKingTangorChinese tangerine and a rare protected variety that is grown in the province of Palermo. This variety is called Ciaculli late tangerine.

The tangerine orange is grown in the US, Africa and Mediterranean countries. In Italy the cultivation of tangerines is mainly developed in the southern regions, especially in Sicily and Calabria.

Tangerine: Properties and Benefits

Italian language version


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