Health Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil helps everything from reducing blood pressure and providing stress relief to treating and protecting your skin. It’s extracted by cold-pressing glands in the fruit’s peel. Also known as Citrus paradisi, grapefruit essential oil has many medicinal benefits. It’s been used in topical ointments and skin creams, as well as in aromatherapy, for thousands of years. 

The grapefruit is a hybrid cross between sweet oranges and pomelo. It originated in Asia and was taken to the Caribbean by Europeans in the 1800s. Grapefruit essential oil is more expensive than other essential oils because it’s harder to extract than from other citrus fruits.

Essential oils contain strong concentrations of the smells and flavors of the plants and fruits from which they’re extracted.

Health Benefits

There are many uses for essential oils, particularly in medicine. They have been used as antiviral, antimicrobial, anticancer, and skin permeation agents (increasing skin’s durability). Other health benefits include:

Reduce Blood Pressure and Provide Stress Relief

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one in four Americans. Identifying ways to lessen the triggers of stress and the negative effects of high blood pressure is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Aromatherapy is recommended by doctors around the world to lower stress and hypertension. Inhaling the vapors of heated grapefruit essential oil has been shown to have immediate as well as long-term positive effects on people with hypertension. 

Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Properties

Bacteria are everywhere, and while not all are bad­ — probiotics and yeast, for example — it’s important to keep them in check to maintain a healthy environment. One way to do this is to clean surfaces with products with antibacterial properties. 

Grapefruit essential oil has a compound, limonene, that has proven to be a very effective antibacterial agent.

Antimicrobial (kills or stops the growth of microorganisms) properties are found in grapefruit essential oil. One study found that the oil was very effective against MRSA, a group of bacteria that are hard to treat due to their naturally stronger resistance to everyday antibiotics.

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Preventing and Treating Skin Ailments

The use of plant-based oils to heal the body can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Today, over 90 essential oils are used in dermatological products, treating all types of skin afflictions. More than 1,500 combinations of these oils can be found in medicinal creams, lotions, moisturizers, and ointments. 

The skin is our first line of defense against disease-carrying bacteria. When compromised by a cut or scratch, an ulcer or sunburn, its defensive powers are weakened. Essential oils have been shown to be effective in healing skin and providing a barrier against bacteria.

Rich in Antioxidants

Studies have shown that grapefruit essential oil is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to help the body fight against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases {Science News: Antioxidants: Preventing Diseases, Naturally.”}. 

Health Risks

Grapefruit essential oil should be safe for most people when used topically or via inhalation. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when using any essential oil. These include: 

Internal consumption. Essential oils have been proven safe when used on the skin or inhaled when heated. They are, however, very toxic and can be fatal at high doses if ingested.

Photosensitivity. Essential oils enhance the strength of the sun’s rays, which can lead to sunburn.

Pets. When starting to use essential oil products, pay attention to how your pets react. They can be more sensitive to essential oils than humans.

Pregnancy. Essential oils have been used by women to help with the stress and anxiety of pregnancy, but it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor before using them.

Amounts and Dosage

Due to their strong concentrations, essential oils should be diluted with water or other oils before use.

Dosage amounts depend on how and for what the essential oil is being used.

● Massage oil: Mix 10 to 20 drops of essential oil with a vegetable oil

● Aromatherapeutic bath: Mix 3 to 15 drops in the water

● Room freshener: 20 drops in 4oz of water

● Mouthwash: 1 to 3 drops for a 1/4 glass of water

● Hand or Foot bath: 10 drops for each 33oz of water

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 19, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Baser K. H. C., Buchbauer G. Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology and Applications. CRC Press; 2010.

Burns: “The Effect of Essential Oils on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Using a Dressing Model.” 

Carrington, S., A~Z of Barbados Heritage, Macmillan Caribbean, 2003.

Chicago Internal Cleansing: “Essential Oils - Your Guide to Storage, Dosage, and Usage.”

Current Drug Metabolism: “Essential Oils: Extraction Techniques, Pharmaceutical And Therapeutic Potential - A Review.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal: “Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal: “The Composition, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities of Cold-Pressed and Distilled Essential Oils of Citrus paradisi and Citrus grandis."

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: “Physical and Psychologic Effects of Aromatherapy Inhalation on Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Science News: Antioxidants: Preventing Diseases, Naturally.”

National Capital Poison Center: "Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused."

The Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: "Adverse Reactions from Essential Oil-Containing Natural Flea Products Exempted from Environmental Protection Agency Regulations in Dogs and Cats."

Sarrou, E.; Chatzopoulou, P.; Dimassi-Theriou, K.; Therios, I. Volatile Constituents and Antioxidant Activity of Peel, Flowers and Leaf Oils of Citrus aurantium L. Growing in Greece. Molecules 2013.

Toxicology In Vitro: "Phototoxicity of Essential Oils Intended for Cosmetic Use.”

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