Grapefruit oil Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 4:42 min

Grapefruit is the third of the citrus fruits alongside lemon and orange. The scent of grapefruit oil is reminiscent of the classic citrus fragrance and is strongly characterized by lime, but is a bit bitter.

Name Grapefruit
Lat. Name Citrus paradisi
Synonyms Pampelmuse
Origin Florida, Texas, Israel, Cyprus and Spain
Price per 10ml 6,99

The grapefruit oil not only has a very pleasant scent, but is also widely used in the therapeutic industry.

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Psychological effect

The ingredients of grapefruit are excellent mood enhancers. Some of these ingredients can even directly regulate hormonal balance! For example, grapefruit can stimulate our body to produce more endorphins. Endorphins are also known as happiness hormones. Low levels of endorphins in our blood can lead to depressed mood and dejection. The increased release of endorphins increases our sense of wellbeing and makes us feel happier.

The production of enkephalin is also stimulated in our body by grapefruit. Enkephalin is an endogenous pain reliever and chemically closely related to opiates. A deficiency in enkephalin leads to irritation and a sensitivity to stress. Grapefruit oil thus indirectly increases stress resistance. The effect of grapefruit oil on the release of dopamine and noradrenaline is also remarkable. Both are neurotransmitters that have promote the transmission of signals between nerves in our brain. This increases the efficiency of the brain. In general, grapefruit oil - like all other citrus oils - has a very relaxing effect.

Physical effect

Grapefruit oil not only has a variety of effects on the psyche, but also has a direct influence on many aesthetic and health aspects of the body. Some areas of application of grapefruit oil are listed below:

Combating cellulite

Grapefruit oil has strong astringent properties. This means that the skin contracts when the oil is applied. Cellulite is caused by water retention in the connective tissue under the skin. As a result of the contraction, this water retention is pushed out of the cells, which leads to a reduction in this unpleasant phenomenon.

Improved complexion

Like many other essential oils, grapefruit oil has pronounced antibacterial and antiviral properties. This makes it an excellent tool for combating infectious skin conditions. For this reason, the oil is also added to many ointments that are used to combat acne.

Digestive Problems

Everyone knows that feeling of hard-to-digest-food that sits in the stomach for long. The oil's ability to enhance circulation stimulates the stomach wall to produce more stomach acid, which means that food is digested more quickly. With increased blood flow to the gut, nutrients can also be quickly absorbed and transferred into the bloodstream. This is also beneficial for digestion.

Intestinal complaints

Grapefruit oil is very useful for intestinal problems caused by a negative change in intestinal fauna. Food digestion does not end in the stomach, but continues in the intestines. Bacteria play a very central role in this. Diarrhoea, for example, is very often triggered by the unhindered reproduction of certain bacterial strains in the intestine. Thanks to the antibacterial effect of grapefruit oil, this proliferation can be stopped and the intestinal problems eliminated.

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Detoxification and protecting the liver

Grapefruit oil is one of the few essential oils that also promotes blood circulation to multiple important organs. Ingestion of the oil increases flow to the kidneys and liver. These organs are responsible for absorbing toxins from the bloodstream and excreting them from the body through the urinary tract.

As a result, the liver and kidneys are always exposed to a higher level of toxicity than other organs. Due to the increased blood flow in our detoxing organs, their performance is improved and their toxin removal is optimised. The detoxification of the liver thus affects the detoxification of our entire body.

Side Effects

Like many other essential oils, grapefruit oil is extremely irritating to the skin. You should therefore always ensure that the concentration of the oil is not higher than 1% when using it externally. The furocoumarins contained in the oil produce a phototoxic effect to the skin. This means that the furocoumarins are converted into toxic substances when exposed to light. You should therefore ensure that the treated areas of skin are not exposed to sunlight for at least 12 hours.

Applications

If you want to use grapefruit oil as a classic fragrance oil, you can simply heat it up in a fragrance lamp or diffuser. If you want to apply the oil to your skin, you should never do so undiluted, as it has the classic strong irritant effect of citrus oils.  For skin application, mix grapefruit oil with a suitable carrier oil - such as apricot oil, making sure to always keep the concentration of grapefruit oil below 3%. Simply mix the oil in a ratio of 3:97, i.e. 3 ml grapefruit oil to 97 ml carrier oil.    

Manufacturing

Grapefruit oil is obtained by cold pressing the peel of the grapefruit. To extract 1 liter of oil you need the peel of about 2000 fruits.

Ingredients

The most important biologically active ingredients in grapefruit oil are:

  • Monoterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Limes
  • Coumarins
  • Furocoumarins  

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Botany

The grapefruit tree reaches heights of about 4-6 m, rarely up to 15 m. It represents a cross between the orange tree and the grapefruit and is cultivated today mainly in subtropical areas around the globe. There are different varieties, with two main categories: white and pink. The main producer of grapefruit today is the USA, where the tree is mainly grown in Texas and Florida. It is believed that the genus originated from a spontaneous cross between orange and grapefruit in Barbados in 1750. The tree came to the USA in 1823 and has been used commercially there since 1875.

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