Move Over, Apples: It's a Mandarin a Day Now

Satsumas provide natural antihistamine for colds and allergies
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 20, 2008 11:44 AM CST
The mandarin has six times as much synephrine as ordinary oranges.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Satsuma mandarin oranges from northern California’s Placer County aren’t in the medicine aisle, but the citrus packs a potent dose of a natural antihistamine that can relieve cold and allergy symptoms, the Sacramento Bee reports. A study found that a glassful of the fruit’s juice has six times as much synephrine as orange juice, and just as much as a decongestant pill.

The study focused exclusively on Placer County, but there’s nothing to suggest the healing properties are exclusive to the area’s satsumas. Still, growers there say the national attention has driven sales “way up,” catching them by surprise. They’re starting to process mandarin juice in hopes of adding to the crop’s value, which was just $1.2 million last year.