Bittersweet, juicy, colourful – grapefruits’ appearance comes in a variety of colours. Even its pulp is colourful, ranging from yellow or pink to deep red – the darker the colour of the flesh, the sweeter its taste. Reddish spots on the thick skin reveal the fruits that have dark red flesh. This exotic fruit owes its beautiful shades to the colouring agents carotene and lycopene. The bitter taste is due to naringin.
The wonderfully fresh, yet pungent and bittersweet aroma of grapefruit refreshes the mind, providing an uplifting feeling and positive attitude. Research showed a surprising side effect: influenced by the scent of grapefruit, a woman will appear up to six years younger, in the perception of men.
Grapefruit Origin & Characteristics
Grapefruit (Citrus x paradise) is a hybrid that was initially grown in Barbados. It is a cross between sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and pomelo/shaddock (Citrus maxima). It got its name from the way they grow in clusters on the trees – resembling a bunch of large grapes. While grapefruit is already a pleasure to eat, it is also a definite health freak! Its taste and aroma are merely a fraction of the healthy benefits that this fruit has to offer, which immediately reveals the obvious secret of the essential oil extracted from this super fruit. Grapefruit essential oil nourishes the body and revives the skin and hair. It is packed with antioxidants and is therefore beneficial as a remedy for a variety of conditions.
The composition of grapefruit oil, as identified in several studies, consists of terpenes, sesquiterpenes and aldehydes. Limonene is the most abundant component in this oil. The combination of these ingredients exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Grapefruit oil has a fresh, citrusy scent, which when inhaled gives off a burst of freshness. The scent calms body and mind, and has therefore earned its spurs in aromatherapy. It is used (also combined with other essential oils) to relieve mental stress and depression, in the treatment of postpartum illness after intense trauma or after childbirth, and during severe treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Grapefruit Oil & Benefits
Let’s just dive right into it!!
Stimulates the Immune System
Grapefruit oil is abundant in antioxidants, making it one of the best immune system boosters. It cleanses the body of toxins and free radicals and ensures the lymphatic system runs smoothly. It can prevent premature ageing, memory loss, and loss of eyesight.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial
The potent antibacterial and antimicrobial effects of grapefruit essential oil displayed (in test-tube studies) antimicrobial properties against potentially harmful bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, enterococcus faecalis, and e-coli. Compared to other essential oils, grapefruit oil was found to be one of the most powerful in regard to its antimicrobial effects against MRSA — a group of bacteria that’s often resistant to common antibiotics.
Grapefruit Oil for Skin care
Grapefruit essential oil can contribute to healthy skin by preventing and treating skin conditions such as acne. Due to their refreshing scent and powerful antibacterial and antioxidant action, citrus essential oils are found in a variety of skin care products such as facial lotions and creams. The power of citrus oils is their ability to keep the skin free of bacteria, which aids the healing process of acne.
Pimples and acne are usually the result of dead skin cells, excess oil, and/or bacteria clogging hair follicles. Grapefruit oil removes the material that causes hair follicle clogging, while helping to regulate sebaceous gland activity, reduce sebum production and prevent bacteria build-up that normally leads to swellings and infections. This amazing essential oil cleanses and disinfects the skin and can be added to your facial cleanser. When combined with a carrier oil, the results will be even more striking.
Acne is one thing, but we all like to keep our faces clean to prevent those unsightly blackheads, white heads and blemishes from forming. Grapefruit oil helps to keep the skin clear and fresh and the pores deeply purified.
Using grapefruit essential oil also is a great way to make a nice toner for your face. This toner will help reduce oily skin, shrink large pores, and tighten the skin.
Grapefruit oil is one of the most popular oils among aromatherapists to treat cellulite. It has detoxifying, slimming and circulation boosting properties that help reduce cellulite and water retention in the body.
Sweating is a normal biological function of the body, which is important to keep the body temperature constant and for cooling the body. Hot weather or exercise, including mental exertion or nervousness, increases sweating. We speak of excessive sweating when more sweat is produced, even though there is hardly any activity. And then there is the odorous side effect of sweating for which many products are available, all containing chemical components. Grapefruit oil is ideally suited as a 100% natural deodorant since it reduces perspiration production by the sweat glands and inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria.
Grapefruit Oil and Blood Circulation
The tangy-smelling grapefruit oil is the perfect solution for all your cramps, stiff muscles, swollen feet, hangovers, morning sickness, and even arthritis. It improves blood circulation, prevents fluid retention, and relieves body stress caused by inhaled pollutants or by drinking alcoholic beverages. Period cramps can be soothed as well by massaging a bit of grapefruit oil into the painful area.
Grapefruit oil has several properties that can lower blood pressure and stress levels. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition that affects many, and the use of natural therapies has become fashionable, in some cases to avoid the use of drugs. A recent clinical study has shown that inhaling citrus oils, among others, has immediate and long-lasting effects on lowering blood pressure and stress. In addition, they showed a decrease in cortisol – a hormone released in response to stress. Researchers concluded in another study that the primary active ingredient, limonene, likely contributes to this.
Grapefruit Oil for Hair care
Massage your hair with grapefruit oil to promote hair growth and keep hair healthy. It will give your hair that shiny healthy look. A hair mask is simply made by mixing some grapefruit essential oil with orange, lemon and sage. Leave the mask for 30 minutes after application, before washing it off. This procedure will effectively cleanse the scalp and give your hair bounce, vitality and an overall wonderful scent.
Daily influences on the hair through pollution, dust, pollen, chlorine and other impurities in the environment, are reason enough to clean the hair regularly. However, the added chemicals in our usual hair care products, such as hair sprays, creams and gels, can also clog the hair follicles, causing the hair to lose its shine and appear less healthy. As a 100% natural cleansing method, a massage with grapefruit oil can help to remove impurities from the hair follicle, without damaging the hair. This is a great remedy for a more oily scalp. The stunning result is soft and silky hair that is easy to brush and detangle, plus a wonderfully clean scalp.
The deep cleansing effects of grapefruit essential oil also have a beneficial effect on fighting dandruff. It promotes healthy hair follicles and hair growth. Simply add a few drops of grapefruit oil to your favourite shampoo and let magic do its work!
Fragrant Hair Water
Would you like to improve the smell of your hair? Or do you dislike the scent of your shampoo? Filling a spray bottle with water and adding a few drops of grapefruit essential oil is a beautiful and natural way to deodorize the hair. Simply spray on the hair after washing and drying, and enjoy the refreshing sweet scent.
Grapefruit Oil & Aromatherapy
The rejuvenating, relaxing aroma of grapefruit oil can be used for a variety of purposes. Do you suffer from the winter blues? Not feeling well? Feel listless? Do you need an overall boost or improved concentration and focus? Grapefruit essential oil can be the answer to all these conditions and more.
Grapefruit oil invigorates and refreshes the mind, improves metabolism and stimulates fat burning. The oil has a detoxifying effect on organs, is astringent for the skin, and activates the zest for life with its fresh, bittersweet aroma. It is rich in antioxidants and thus combats tension, fatigue, colds, stress and headaches. Vaporizing and inhaling grapefruit oil balances the hormone system and increases concentration.
Anxiety and Depression
Due to its composition, grapefruit oil, in combination with other essential oils, can soothe strained nerves. A massage with grapefruit oil can help fight perioperative anxiety among patients due for surgery. Depression can be managed efficiently by using grapefruit oil in aromatherapy. This essential oil triggers the brain to produce hormones that uplift your mood and spirit.
May Suppress Appetite
Research indicates that aromatherapy with grapefruit oil might be useful to suppress an appetite. Another study found that the scent of grapefruit oil lowered appetite by increased activity in the gastric vagal nerve in rodents. This nerve plays an important role in stimulating the production of stomach juices needed for digestion.
Grapefruit oil can be diffused, or diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically to the skin. To relieve symptoms of cold and flu, grapefruit oil can also be used in an aroma lamp or vaporizer. Breathing the diffused oil helps to clear blockages, boost energy levels and feel refreshed.
Safe use of Grapefruit Oil
Grapefruit essential oil is non-toxic and generally does not cause irritation. It is strongly discouraged to apply directly on the skin just before sun exposure as it is phototoxic. This oil is not meant for consumption, and contact with the eyes should be avoided. Inhaling evaporated grapefruit oil through a vaporizer, fragrance diffuser or on a tissue does not pose any risk.