Sweet and Bitter Orange. The orange, (Citrus), was unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Arabs, (Gallesio, 255), are accepted as having introduced it into Europe, first through Africa, Arabia, and Syria, from its original home in Northern India. In that country a wild orange still grows, supposedly the parent of the cultivated fruit, be it sweet or bitter. The first specimen to find its way into Europe was the bitter orange, cultivated in Rome in A. D. 1200, the sweet orange not being introduced until the fifteenth century, when it was imported by the Portuguese. The first oranges brought into England, seven in number, were imported by a Spanish ship in 1290. An Arabian physician of the twelfth century, Avicenna (30), employed the juice of the bitter orange in medicine.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.