The clementine or Citrus reticulata is the fruit of the clementine tree, and it offers many health benefits and has a high therapeutic value.
It belongs to the Rutaceae or Rue family.
Clementine is a hybrid between the mandarin orange and bitter orange. Clementine trees don’t grow in the wild. This citrus is often only savored during winter.
Several clementine cultivars coexist: gourmet ones, like the Corsican clementine, Oroval which is larger, and Nules which is slightly flat and seedless.
- Read also: how to grow clementine trees
Clementine, a short story
The clementine is native to Oran in Algeria (North Africa), and is a recent discovery dating back to the XXth century by Father Clement, after whom the fruit was named.
In 1925, it crossed the Mediterranean and started being cultivated in Corsica. Today, Spain and Morocco are the main clementine suppliers of European countries.
Clementine health benefits and therapeutic value
- Clementine and the immune system
It contains high levels of vitamin C: 18.7 mg / 3.5 oz (100 g). Vitamin C plays a major part in reinforcing immune defense mechanisms. This is most important in winter, when we are most vulnerable: it protects our bodies from viral attacks.
- Clementine and eye health
It contains beta-carotene, which is a pigment that is involved in vision and which prevents macular degeneration (portion of the retina where those photoreceptors are gathered that are crucial to distinguishing different colors).
- Clementine and bone reinforcement
Carotenoids (pigments) fortify, protect and stimulate bone production. Carotenoid deficits can lead to osteoporosis. It is recommended for elderly persons.
- Clementine and the heart
Flavonoids are plant substances that appear in clementines, and lower bad cholesterol levels. Thus, clementines help prevent the appearance of cardiovascular diseases and ensure proper vascular deployment in the heart.
- Clementine, a powerful antioxidant
This citrus is rich in antioxidants; vitamin C of course but also vitamin E, which protects skin from ageing. It stimulates cellular multiplication and reinforces the skin’s plasticity.
Its antioxidants also help control anarchic proliferation of cancerous cells.
- Clementine, a source of potassium
Potassium is available in high amounts: 154 mg / 3.5 oz (100 g) and combats cramps and hypertension.
With high levels of mineral trace elements: calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, clementines re-mineralize the body.
It also has high water content, 87%, and is thus refreshing.
- Clementine and intestinal transit
It is an excellent laxative, effective to treat digestive disorders.
Clementine essential oil is extremely relaxing. It is prescribed in case of insomnia, stress or anxiety.
It is antispasmodic and is also a very good analgesic against hepatic and gastric pain.
How to prepare and use clementine for health
Stomach pain, troubled digestion: 2 to 3 drops essential oil with a table spoon of honey, or on a sugar cube after meals.
To relax: a few drops essential oil in your bath water, relaxation guaranteed!
For athletes: When used for massage, it soothes muscle pain and cramps.
When mixed with citrus, some medicines may react and generate drug interactions.
Clementine essential oil is not recommended for pregnant women.
Cooking with clementine
Nutritional content of clementine
Calories: 48.5 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g)
Carbohydrates : 9.20 g / 3.5 oz (100 g)
Clementines are perfect to close a meal, either peeled and nibbled directly or added to fruit salad with raisins and cinnamon.
Zests from its skin will match many of your desserts: cakes, puddings, chocolate mousse.
And why not try to prepare clementine jam?
For those who like sweet & sour, clementine zests will spice up your dishes (duck, beef bourguignon and fish).
Clementine beauty tips
Clementine essential oil has properties that are used in cosmetology. It has been shown to be effective against warts, stretch marks, pimples and cellulite.
Acne – apply essential oil on a cotton bud and tap on the pimples.
Cellulite – massage skin surface with clementine essential oil.
It also hydrates skin – add a couple drops of essential oil to your shower gel.
For oily hair – add a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo.
Natural clementine deodorant – blend clementine skin zests. This natural, healthy paste can be applied directly to your armpits. Keep in the refrigerator.
(This works with any citrus).
More benefits and uses of Clementines
Fun with kids – Clementine candle
Cut the clementine in half, horizontally. Empty the hat or top half, leaving the center stem. Pour olive oil in the saucer thus formed. Also add a drop of olive oil to the fibrous part that extends where the stem connects.
Set aflame and stay nearby.
Perfume the inside of your house
Spike cloves along the entire skin of the clementine. Place this studded clementine on a radiator or air-conditioner, it will spread a pleasant fruity fragrance.
Ideal in winter when eating creamy, cheesy meals or frying dried fish!
Smart tip about clementines
Keeping clementines: at room temperature, they only keep for about 6 days. And they keep about 10 days in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator.