All About Grapefruit Essential Oils



Grapefruit oil is a popular herbal product due to its powerful, citrusy scent. After a quick whiff of the fragrant aroma, you’re likely to feel revitalized and ready to take on the day. Since grapefruit has a distinct, strong smell, keep in mind a little goes a long way. The essential oils of the citrus fruit are derived directly from the peel and many formulations will include a blend of ingredients such as citronella, neryl acetate, and limonene. Although homemade versions are possible, most people find it easier to buy all natural formulations. Check ingredient labels to review all inclusions.

Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber. These nutrients are important for dietary health and may lower your risk for certain forms of cancer. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, grapefruit is a cancer-fighting food that convincingly lowers the risk of colon-rectal cancers. The agency also states the majority of scientific literature supports that grapefruit most likely lowers the risk of other cancers such as larynx, lung, and mouth.

Research is starting to demonstrate grapefruit essential oils as a tool to help manage your weight. The oil can decrease appetite and has been shown to block the formation of fat in the body. During a 2005 study published in “Neuroscience Letters,” researchers found rats exposed to the scent of grapefruit oil displayed reduced appetites. The scent also stimulated the nerves surrounding fatty cells.

Grapefruit was at the center of a weight loss study done in 2006 and published in the “Journal of Medicinal Food.” During a period of 12 weeks, 91 obese patients were given fresh grapefruit, a grapefruit supplement, or a placebo. At the conclusion, the groups exposed to some form of grapefruit lost significantly more weight than those who consumed the placebo. Researchers on the trial attributed the weight loss effects to grapefruit having “insulin resistant” attributes.

The oils derived from grapefruit can be an effective ingredient to combat infections. The International Journal of Food Science and Technology found oils extracted from the peels of the grapefruit had a wide spectrum of anti-microbial properties. Particularly, grapefruit oil was found effective against staph infections, certain strains of pneumonia, and some forms of fungal infections.

Consumers often turn to grapefruit essential oil because they are looking for a natural mood enhancer. They're looking for a way to combat anxiety and depression without the reliance on medications. Citrus oils, including grapefruit and bergamot, have been studied for their mood boosting qualities. The American College of Healthcare Sciences listed grapefruit oil in their collective list of herbal remedies to improve overall mood. After applying the oil topically, you’ll feel an instantaneous rush. It can be particularly helpful if you’re feeling tired or sluggish.

Oil Usage Tips

Grapefruit oil is versatile enough to be used in several different ways. Your particular health goals will affect how you use the essential oil. Due to the high levels of citric acid found in the fruit, always ere on the side of caution. You may develop a skin reaction, especially if you overuse the product.

Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

To expose yourself to the fresh, clean scent of grapefruit essential oil add the extract to any diffuser you may have in your home. Depending on the formulation, three to four drop of the oil is sufficient to allow the scent to travel through any room. Breathing in the scent of grapefruit can prove helpful for those looking to use the product for weight loss benefits and mood enhancement. If you don’t have a diffuser, you may choose to add a couple of drops to your bath before a nice, relaxing soak.

Topical Usage: Grapefruit oil can be used topically to promote clear skin, improve mood, and ease sore muscles. Never apply grapefruit essential oil directly to the skin without diluting first. The oil requires mixture with a carrier oil like coconut. In most cases, use a 1 to 1 ratio when blending the oil for topical use. Use only a fingertip amount on the skin to start to gauge if any skin reactions are likely to occur.

Warnings and Considerations

Not everyone can safely orally ingest grapefruit essential oil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about mixing grapefruit juice and prescription medications. In some cases, grapefruit has the ability to increase drug absorption. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of grapefruit oil if you’re taking any medications.

Don’t go out into the sun if you use grapefruit oil topically. Sun exposure is likely to cause skin breakouts and irritations. Avoid the sun for at least 12 hours after application.

Since not enough is known about the effects on a baby, physicians recommend you avoid taking grapefruit supplements while nursing or during pregnancy.

There has also been some concern with a link between grapefruit and breast cancer. However, the research conducted examined the link of consuming excessive amounts of grapefruit juice and the increased risk of breast cancer. Those at an increased risk of breast cancer were limited to postmenopausal women who drank a quart or more of grapefruit juice daily.

Overall, grapefruit oil is a safe and effective essential oil. With very few reports of side effects, you will feel an improvement in both your emotional and physical health. Start off with a routine of using the oil once a day. If no adverse effects are seen, increase usage to twice a day. If planning to go out into the sun, try to use the oil at night before bed. Speak to your physician if you have any medical conditions or are taking medications that could react with the supplement.

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