Grapefruits are not only nutritious, they are delicious and can also be converted into an essential oil that is packed with antioxidants and provides numerous uses and benefits. The scientific names for grapefruit are Citrus Racemosa and Citrus Maxima. The Citrus Maxima are the larger varieties and the name emphasizes their size. The grapefruit oil is normally used in aromatherapy. It is extracted from the peel of the fruit, not its pulp or flesh.
Known as a detoxification agent it helps to activate your lymphatic system and is often used to clear toxins, remove excess fluids and to help burn fat. Other uses of the oil are:
- Aromatherapy – Inhaled it can help curb hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue and depression.
- Ingredient in skin and hair care products – Often added to creams and lotions and to treat acne. It will prevent oily skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite and is used in hair products.
- Appetite suppressant – It will suppress your appetite and effects can be intensified when it’s mixed with patchouli essential oil.
- Air freshener and deodorizer – The fragrance is similar to citrus fruits like oranges and lemons and can eliminate unpleasant odors in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Massage oil – Used as a massage oil, it can help to relieve muscle and joint pain, menstrual cramps and headaches.
It has a positive effect on the lymphatic system, which plays a role in your body’s detoxification mechanism. The use of these oils can help to boost the activity of lymph glands and prevent problems like poor circulation, allergies, cellulite and fluid retention. Grapefruit oil is also known for its antimicrobial effects like Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella thyphimurium, Serratia marcescens and Proteus vulgaris. It can also protect against bacterial strains like Kleibsellia pneumonia, Pseudococcus species, Shigella flexneri and fungal strains like Aspergillus niger, Candida albican and Penicillum chrysogenum.
Grapefruit oil can treat and prevent infections in wounds and cuts because of its antimicrobial properties. It can help as well to eliminate microbes that develop in your gut, kidneys and excretory system, supporting your endocrine function, promotes the production of gastric juices and bile and has antidepressant properties.
Grapefruit oil can be inhaled through a diffuser, applied topically or used as massage oil. Try adding to your drinking water or smoothies as it is approved as a food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has a safe rating. Other ways this oil may help are: use two to three drops as a massage oil to relieve menstrual cramps, headache, muscle pain and arthritis, to relieve symptoms of depression, massaging into cellulite, simulating lymph nodes and using in your water or smoothies to support liver and kidney health.
Be sure to dilute grapefruit oil, as it is very concentrated. Add to almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil or olive oil. It should not be taken internally without the advice or supervision of an experience practitioner or health professional. The oil may cause allergic reaction when applied topically, so be sure to do a patch test before using. Use with caution as the oil may increase your photosensitivity or sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. Avoid this oil before sun exposure. Pregnant and nursing women need to consult with their physician before using and children should avoid it because of their sensitive skin.
Dr Fredda Branyon