Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruits (Citrus paradisi) are a hybrid fruit derived from the citrus plant family Rutaceae, and are a cross between oranges and pomelos.3 While its exact origins remain unknown, it’s commonly accepted that the fruit was originally grown in Barbados after being first documented in the mid-1700s by a Welsh pastor.
Grapefruits are often touted as a superfood, due to their high vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidant content. In the body, antioxidants help fight potentially harmful free radicals. The oil from the peel has also been noted to contain antibacterial and stimulating properties, traditionally used for various therapeutic purposes.3,1
High quality grapefruit essential oils should be extracted through a cold-press method that ensures the oil still retains most of its valuable vitamins and antioxidants.
Grapefruit Essential Oil Uses
Grapefruit is a versatile essential oil that can be incorporated into a variety of everyday uses. Whether you use it on its own, or as a part of a homemade remedy, read below for some of the most popular uses for grapefruit essential oil.
In the Bath
Add 2-3 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your next bath to help perk up your mind. The oil can be used alone or in combination with other essential oils, such as lavender, clove, or eucalyptus essential oil.
Give your home or office a citrus fragrance by adding a few drops of grapefruit essential oil into a diffuser. Its uplifting, citrus fragrance works well for kitchens, bathrooms, and utilitarian spaces.
Alternatively, you can make your own natural fragrance home spray using grapefruit essential oil. Add 5 drops of the oil into a spray bottle and fill with water. Shake, and mist around your home.
Due to its antibacterial properties, diluted grapefruit essential oil may be used as an alternative wound ointment. Add 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil into 2 cups of water. Place a clean, dry towel into the mixture, allowing it to soak up the oil and water. Ring out and apply to the effected area.
Grapefruit essential oil is often used to help improve the appears of oily skin. Add 1 drop of the oil into an unscented moisturizer and apply over the skin.
To help relieve symptoms of a headache, add 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil, and 2 drops of rosemary essential oil to a diffuser and inhale the aroma.
Stomach Ache Relief
Add 1-2 drops of grapefruit essential oil to a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba. Massaging this mixture over the abdomen can help relieve symptoms of digestive trouble.
Make your own lip balm by heating the base ingredients of beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. Once melted, pour the contents into a jar and add several drops of grapefruit oil. Once cooled, the concoction can be applied topically for preventing chapped lips.
Grapefruit Essential Oil Benefits
From cosmetics to aromatherapy, grapefruit essential oil is used around the world for treating a number of ailments. It recent years, independent clinical research has investigated this popular essential oil to answer the question ‘what is grapefruit essential oil good for?’
Promote Weight Loss
The scent of grapefruit oil may serve as an effective weight loss aid by keeping your appetite and cravings in check. A 2005 study showed that 15-minutes of exposure through inhalation, 3 times a week, significantly reduced hunger and food intake in animal subjects.1
Grapefruit oil may also aid in weight loss directly by reducing adipose tissue, the part of the body that stores body fat. In one study, animal subjects that inhaled grapefruit and lemon essential oil saw a reduction in adipose tissue.2
Grapefruit oil has been shown in studies to contain antibacterial properties.3 This may make the oil effective as a topical agent against cuts and other open wounds. The ability to combat harmful bacteria also makes the oil a popular remedy for treating toenail fungus.
Grapefruit oil’s reputation as a superfood is partly due to its anti-cancer properties. The oil contains limonene, an active compound which has been shown in one study to help reduce cancer cell proliferation when ingested orally. Patients did not consume grapefruit essential oil directly, and were under direct supervision.4
While promising data is emerging, grapefruit essential oil still has a long way to go before it can be introduced as a complimentary treatment. It is not recommended to ingest grapefruit essential oil or use it as a replacement for cancer treatment.
Aromatherapists have long claimed that essential oils are effective as a mood enhancer and treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD often includes low-energy and fatigue, which is believed to be caused by low dopamine levels.
Inhalation of grapefruit essential oil may positively affect neurological function, as receptor sites in the nasal cavity are believed to be linked to the brain.5
Essential oils have been traditionally used as natural insect repellants, but in recent years, researchers have examined this common practice. Grapefruit contains a particular compound known as nootkatone, which has been shown in studies to be effective for repelling insects, particularly termites. 6
Side Effects of Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit essential oil is generally regarded as safe, and there does not appear to be any major side effects associated with the inhalation or diluted application of the oil. Grapefruit essential oil should never be ingested unless under the direct supervision of a professional.
Grapefruit essential oil has been known to cause photosensitivity. To avoid this, do not go into direct sunlight immediately after applying the oil to your skin.
A health care practitioner should be consulted before grapefruit essential oil is used on children or pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always make sure to read and follow the label on the specific product you have purchased.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Shin J., Niijima A., Tanida M., Horii Y., Maeda K., Nagai K. (2005). Olfactory Stimulation with Scent of Grapefruit Oil Affects Autonomic Nerves, Lipolysis, and Appetite in Rats. Neurosci Lett. 380(3), 289-94. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15862904
- Niijima A., & Nagai K. (2003). Effect of Olfactory Stimulation with Flavor of Grapefruit Oil and Lemon Oil on the Activity of Sympathetic Branch in the White Adipose Tissue of the Epididymis. Exp Biol Med, 228(10), 1190-2. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14610259
- Wahab O., Olajumoke O., Lukman A., & Eniola M. (2013). Essential Oil of Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) Peels and Its Antimicorbial Activities. Scientific Research. 4(7B). Retrieved from http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=34556#.U5VFjnKSz_E
- Miller J., Lang J., Ley M., Nagle R., Hsu C., & Thompson P. (2013). Human Breast Tissue Disposition and Bioactivity of Limonene in Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Cancer Prevention Research. 1158, 1940-6207. http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/6/6/577.short
- Liu Z., Zhang H., & Tzeng C. (2013). Aromatherapy and the Central Nerve System (CNS): Therapeutic Mechanisms and Its Associated Genes. Curr Drug Targets. 14(8):872-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531112
- Zhu B., Henderson G., Chen F., Maistrello L., & Laine R. (2001). Nootkatone Is a Repellent for Formosan Subterranean Termite. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 27(3). DOI: 10.1023/A:1010301308649