Bitter orange is used in a wide variety of traditions. In Mexico and South America the leaf is used as a tonic, laxative, sedative for insomnia and to calm frazzled nerves. Bitter orange has a complex chemical makeup, though it is perhaps known best for the volatile oil in the peel.
The juice of bitter orange is also used in many local food dishes of the Yucatan region of Mexico. I recently had this salsa, a flavorful mixture of the following ingredients.
We ate it on fresh corn tortillas with black beans. Outstanding flavor!
1 red onion, minced
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
10 radishes, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 bitter orange, juiced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
salt to taste