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1 December 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Grapefruit Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Grapefruit is a brightening, energising oil that works to lift low moods and reduce stress.

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Sliced up picture of grapefruit.

Unlike other members of the citrus family, the grapefruit is a relative newcomer to the world of aromatherapy.

Discovered in 1750 in Barbados, the grapefruit, which is thought to be a hybrid of pomelo and  was not cold pressed for oil until quite recently.

Despite being slightly behind its citrus family members – many of which have been used in medicine for centuries - grapefruit is already making its mark in the wellness industry with a wide number of both mental and physical applications.

What is Grapefruit Essential Oil?

Grapefruit essential oil (Citrus Paradisi) is most commonly used in aromatherapy as a focus remedy - containing a sharp, juicy scent that is said to awaken the mind and increase energy.

Extracted from the peel of the fruit, grapefruit oil is generally pale yellow in colour and is usually cold-pressed.

Similar to other citrus oils, cold-pressed grapefruit oil can have phototoxic qualities due to the presence of furocoumarins in the oil.

Therefore, it is only recommended for topical use when steam-distilled to avoid adverse effects in direct sunlight.

Cold-pressed grapefruit oil can still, however, have a great number of equal benefits when diffused or applied around the home.

What are the benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil?

The youthful status of the grapefruit in aromatherapy certainly does not prevent it from being heavily impactful in several different health and wellness applications.

Some of the best grapefruit essential oil benefits include:

  • Antibacterial properties
  • Stress relief
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Relief from hangover symptoms
  • Acne treatment

Person holding slices of grapefruit in hand.

Is grapefruit oil antibacterial?

Grapefruit oil has been found to have strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects that can help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria strains around the home.

These antimicrobial effects aren’t slight either – a found that grapefruit oil can combat an astonishing sixty-seven distinct biotypes.

This makes grapefruit oil one of the most useful essential oils to use in home cleaning for comprehensive protection.

Try combining a few drops of grapefruit oil with a spray bottle of water to utilise these effects around your home.

Can grapefruit essential oil reduce stress?

The smell of grapefruit oil has been shown to have a positive effect on symptoms relating to stress, anxiety, and low mood.

A even discovered that grapefruit oil can help to lower blood pressure and contribute to better heart health, as well as reduce cortisol levels – a hormone that is released in response to high stress.

What’s more, a further noted that grapefruit oil was able to increase sympathetic activity in adult brains, improving mood and reducing feelings of stress overall. There was also a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure.

These studies suggest that grapefruit can not only combat the emotional symptoms of stress, but the physical manifestations as well.

Using grapefruit oil to increase energy and alertness

One of grapefruit oil’s most interesting and perhaps most influential properties is its ability to reduce stress-induced immune suppression, as well as lift so-called ‘brain fog’.

A suggested an explanation for this effect when it found that grapefruit essential oil could effectively inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the brain.

AChE is an enzyme that hydrolyses the neurotransmitter acetylcholine within the brain, which is mainly present at brain synapses and neuromuscular junctions.

Because grapefruit is able to inhibit AChE from breaking down acetylcholine, the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter increases.

This can increase alertness and relieve brain fog and fatigue, as well as lift low moods and soothe anxious thoughts.

Does grapefruit essential oil relieve hangover symptoms?

Many people have started using grapefruit as a natural remedy for easing hangovers and making the morning after a little more bearable.

Some researchers have found that grapefruit oil can help to stimulate the gallbladder and the liver, as well as help to improve the function of both.

also claimed that grapefruit oil can help prevent cravings that can occur as a result of changing blood sugar levels after alcohol consumption.

Grapefruit oil can also stimulate urination, which can contribute to the detoxification of the body, as well as reduce headaches and sluggishness.

Is grapefruit oil good for your skin?

The antimicrobial effects of grapefruit essential oil help prevent and heal common skin conditions such as acne, though further research is needed in this area.

If you do choose to apply cold pressed grapefruit oil to the skin, it is important to note that this should only be done at night to prevent phototoxic effects as a result of sun exposure. Steam distilled is usually preferable if you choose to avoid this.

How to use Grapefruit Essential Oil

Aromatherapy

Like most citrus essential oils, grapefruit contains an incredibly brightening and uplifting aroma that can be heavily utilised for reducing low mood and feelings of anxiety.

Grapefruit oil’s focus-boosting properties also make it a great choice for diffusing in offices or study spaces to encourage concentration, energy, and motivation.

Add 5-7 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your chosen diffuser or oil burner, and let the zingy, sweet aromas revive you.

Massage

Grapefruit oil, when combined with a suitable carrier oil, can make for an ideal massage base as a way to further decrease stress levels.

Rubbing a small amount of diluted oil onto your temples or pulse points can help facilitate calm, as well as reduce blood pressure and target sluggishness.

Skincare

Grapefruit essential oil can help to spot treat acne as a result of its antimicrobial effects. Add a few drops of diluted oil to a cotton swab and apply sparingly.

Remember to only apply cold pressed versions of the oil to the skin in the evening to avoid phototoxic effects. Always perform a patch test before use.

Cleaning

The antibacterial properties of grapefruit make it an effective make-shift home cleaner, as well as an impactful asset towards boosting the cleanliness of your surfaces after regular routine cleaning.

Its citrus notes will also supply your environment with a classically fresh, inviting scent.

Add a few drops of grapefruit oil to water and dish soap in a spray bottle, and shake well.

You can find out more about the best essential oils for cleaning your home here.

History of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Coined the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados by reverend Griffith Hughes, it is said that the grapefruit did not actually exist as early as 400 years ago – and was still a rarity up until the 20th century.

It is because of this rarity, as well as its country of origin, that the grapefruit’s botanical name can be literally translated to “fruit of paradise”.

     

    Despite its relative youth in aromatherapy, grapefruit oil has already made a name for itself as a fragrant, versatile oil.

    Like many other citrus oils, the benefits of grapefruit are wide-ranging, and it is a great product for promoting overall health.

    Shop our grapefruit essential oil here.

    Product Name

    100% Pure Grapefruit (White) Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Citrus Paradisi
    Scent Type Citrus
    Benefits & Uses Antimicrobial, Mood Boosting, Enhaces Focus
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this grapefruit (white) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this grapefruit (white) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Cold Pressed
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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