Grapefruit Oil: Mood Improver & Stress Reducer
The history and origin of grapefruit is shrouded in mystery. However, some accounts show that the fruit was first bred in Jamaica. It was later on given the name “grapefruit” because it looked like clusters of grapes hanging on trees.
Grapefruit oil is commonly used in aromatherapy. It is extracted from the peel of the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), not its pulp or flesh. Like other citrus oils, grapefruit essential oil is obtained through compression and possesses similar therapeutic properties.
Uses of Grapefruit Oil
Grapefruit oil is popularly known as a detoxification agent, as it helps activate your lymphatic system. It is often used to clear toxins, remove excess fluids, and help burn fat. Others specific uses of this citrus essential oil include:
- Aromatherapy oil – When inhaled, grapefruit oil can help curb hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue, and depression.
- Ingredient in skin and hair care products – Grapefruit oil is often added to creams and lotions to help treat acne and prevent oily skin. It is also known to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. In hair products, this oil also helps address oily hair.
- Appetite suppressant – Grapefruit oil can suppress your appetite. The effects can be intensified when it’s mixed with patchouli essential oil.
- Air freshener and deodorizer – Its fragrance is similar to citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. It can eliminate unpleasant odors in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Massage oil – When used as a massage oil, it can help relieve muscle and joint pain, menstrual cramps, and headaches.
Benefits of Grapefruit Oil
One of the most recognized benefits of grapefruit essential oil and other citrus oils is their positive effect on the lymphatic system, which plays a role in your body’s detoxification mechanism. Using these oils can help boost the activity of lymph glands. This can prevent problems like poor circulation, allergies, cellulite, and fluid retention.
Grapefruit essential oil is also known for its antimicrobial effects. One study reports that this oil is effective against strains of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella thyphimurium, Serratia marcescens, and Proteus vulgaris.
Another study shows the same result, and renders the citrus oil also effective against other bacterial strains like Kleibsellia pneumonia, Pseudococcus species, Shigella flexneri, as well as fungal strains like Aspergillus niger, Candida albican, and Penicillum chrysogenum.
With vitamin C and its antioxidants, grapefruit essential oil can support your immune system and helps fight free radicals. As a result, this essential oil can help prevent oxidation-related damage, such as premature aging, vision problems like macular degeneration, poor hearing, nervous system problems, and many others.
- Because of its antimicrobial properties, grapefruit oil can help treat and prevent infections in wounds and cuts. It may also help eliminate microbes that develop in your gut, kidneys, and excretory system.
- It supports your endocrine function, particularly the proper secretion of hormones and enzymes.
- It promotes the production of gastric juices and bile, which assists your digestive function.
- Like other citrus oils, grapefruit oil has antidepressant properties that provide a relaxing and uplifting feeling. It also has stimulating effects on your brain, making you more alert.
How Does Grapefruit Oil Work?
Grapefruit oil can be inhaled through a diffuser, applied topically, or used as a massage oil. It can also be added to your drinking water or smoothies. It is approved as a food additive by the US Food and Drug Administration and has a “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) rating.
- Use two to three drops as a massage oil to relieve menstrual cramps. This can also work in relieving headache, muscle pain, and arthritis.
- Relieve symptoms of depression by using two to three drops in a diffuser. You may also apply two to three drops on a cloth and inhale.
- Mix one to two drops with carrier oil and massage unto cellulite in a kneading pattern.
- Stimulate lymph nodes by applying a few drops onto your skin.
- Add a few drops to your water or smoothies to support liver and kidney health.
Is Grapefruit Oil Safe?
While grapefruit oil has a GRAS status, it should not be taken internally without the advice or supervision of an experienced practitioner or health professional. The citrus oil may also cause allergic reaction when applied topically. To be sure, have a skin patch test before use – apply a drop to a small area and observe if a reaction appears.
Grapefruit oil, as well as other citrus essential oils, should be used with great caution as they may increase your photosensitivity or sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. This may make you more prone to skin problems like skin discolorations, brown spots, and freckles. Avoid using this oil before sun exposure.
Pregnant and nursing women should first consult their physician before use. Children of all ages should avoid the use of essential oils because of their sensitive skin. Using this essential oil is safe around pets, except for cats. Grapefruit oil is toxic to cats.