8 Benefits Of Grapefruit Oil, How To Prepare, & Side Effects

Relish in the deliciousness of grapefruit and learn how to include it in your diet!

Reviewed by Dr. Scott Johnson, CCMA, CEEOS, AMP Dr. Scott Johnson Dr. Scott JohnsonCCMA, CEEOS, AMP facebook_icontwitter_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health Swathi Handoo MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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The benefits of grapefruit oil begin with its relaxing and rejuvenating aroma. This essential oil has that fresh, calming fragrance that you would crave after a tiring day of work. Curious to know more about this oil? In this article, we have discussed all you need to know about grapefruit oil, its benefits, its composition, how to make it at home, and precautions to keep in mind while using it. Read on!

More About Grapefruit Oil

Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) 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 a few of these hung in clusters on the trees – like a bunch of grapes.

What’s so unique about it that I want you to buy the essential oil right away? Read on to find out!

Benefits Of Using Grapefruit Oil

1. Heals Your Body, Mind, And Soul

Grapefruit oil heals your body, mind and soul
Image: Shutterstock

Grapefruit oil has a fresh, citrusy smell, which, when inhaled, gives a burst of freshness. The fragrance soothes your mind and body. Hence, it is used in aromatherapy.

Along with other essential oils, it is used to ease mental stress, depression, and post-partum sickness in patients undergoing intense trauma, labor, and harsh treatments (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.).

Try adding grapefruit oil to your vaporizer and see how it brings in ‘soul’ace. And yes, your pets too are going to be extremely happy inhaling this essence.

2. Aids Weight Loss

According to a study performed on mice in 2014, grapefruit oil, when inhaled, increases nerve activity, causing breakdown of lipids (lipolysis) (1). It controls your blood pressure and decreases food intake.

In one way, this decrease in appetite is linked to weight loss as you don’t feel the need to binge on food at odd hours. Doesn’t that feel nice?

3. Has Antimicrobial Properties

Grapefruit extracts exhibit antibacterial properties, especially against the bacteria that are multidrug-resistant (MDR) and cannot be killed using usual doses of antibiotics (2). Apply grapefruit oil or inhale the essence if you are prone to or have a bacterial infection.

Studies have shown that this essential oil can cure fungal infections caused due to Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Penicillium chrysogenum (3).

You can also use grapefruit oil for managing viral infections – most commonly, the flu. Try adding the oil to your diffuser when you are down with flu for a calming effect.

You can also add it along with your nasal decongestant to the steam bath.

4. Manages Anxiety And Depression

Grapefruit oil helps manage anxiety and depression
Image: IStock

Due to its chemical composition, grapefruit oil, in combination with other essential oils, can soothe strained nerves.

Massaging with grapefruit oil can help fight peri-operative anxiety among patients due for surgeries – reducing the dependence on anesthesia.

A 2022 comprehensive study published in Elseiver analyzed the data from the 2015–2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health of U.S. individuals aged more than 12 years. It noted that in 2020, 9.2% of the said population reported experiencing a past-year major depressive episode. Notably, young adults aged 18–25 (17.2%) and adolescents aged 12–17 (16.9%) exhibited higher depression rates.

Depression can be managed efficiently using aromatherapy. Grapefruit oil triggers your brain to produce hormones that uplift your mood and spirit.

5. Helps Burn Flab And Cellulite

Nothing can sound sweeter than this, isn’t it? A regular whole body massage for 30 minutes to 1 hour with grapefruit oil, in combination with other essential oils, can result in abdominal flab reduction. This finding was according to a study done on women who crossed 50 years of age (4).

It might work on women younger than 50 years too. Whole body massages can help in toning your entire figure, not just the cellulite.

Bonnie Donahue, a fitness and green life enthusiast, shares her experience using grapefruit oil for cellulite. She used it in her water and as a topical application to get rid of cellulite. She said, “In January, I was going a little crazy, using it pretty much in every cup. I had a couple of drops of grapefruit in every cup of water, and my pants started to get loose on me and that never happens (i).”

So, grab a bottle of this fat burner if you need that hourglass figure now!

6. Stimulates The Immune System

Grapefruit oil is abundant in antioxidants, which make 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 aging, memory loss, and loss of eyesight.

7. Improves Blood Circulation – Cures Cramps And Hangovers

Can’t get off your bed because it’s that day of the month? Can’t move your head because it feels like a rock?

If you are looking for a solution, you are on the right page.

The tangy-smelling grapefruit oil is the single solution for all your cramps, hangovers, stiff muscles, catch in the neck, swollen feet, morning sickness, and even arthritis.

It improves blood circulation, prevents fluid retention, and relieves your body of stress caused due to alcohol and inhaled pollutants.

8. Is A Wonderful Hair Tonic

Grapefruit oil is a hair tonic
Image: Shutterstock

Massaging your scalp with grapefruit oil, along with your regular hair oil, improves blood circulation and strengthens the roots. Due to its antimicrobial activity, grapefruit oil keeps infections at bay and gives you healthy scalp and hair. Say goodbye to hair fall!

protip_icon Quick Tip
Add a few drops of grapefruit oil in a mug of water to rinse your hair at last after shampooing. This may help prevent oily hair as well as leave a pleasant fragrance.

But, hold on! What gives grapefruit oil its superpowers?

Composition Of Grapefruit Oil

Several studies identified terpenes, sesquiterpenes, aldehydes, and alcohols in grapefruit oil by chromatographic methods. Limonene is the most abundant component in this oil, (73.9%-96.2%), along with traces of ß-myrcene (1.4%), linalool, geraniol, and nerol (5).

These complex terpenes and alcohols exhibit antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities.

Keep scrolling to learn how you can make the most of grapefruit essential oil in your daily routine.

How To Use Grapefruit Essential Oil

Always remember to start with a small amount, as little goes a long way.

  • Add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to a diffuser. It will spread a nice, uplifting scent in the room, creating a refreshing atmosphere.
  • Mix a couple of drops with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba and use the mixture for a relaxing massage. It can help with tension and boost your mood.
  • Add a few drops to your bath for a rejuvenating soak. Just mix it with bath salts before adding it to the water.
  • Mix grapefruit essential oil with water and vinegar to create a natural cleaning solution. It not only smells good but also has antibacterial properties.

What if I told you that making grapefruit oil was as easy as making its juice? Yes, it’s that simple. Let me share a short and easy recipe with you.

DIY: How To Prepare Grapefruit Oil

What You’ll Need

  • Grapefruits (preferably ones with not very thick peel/skin/rind)
  • Kitchen grater
  • Base/carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil)
  • Small pot or thick saucepan or mason jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Amber-colored containers or aluminum foil

Let’s Make It!

1. Wash the grapefruits thoroughly. Get rid of the wax or any debris on the skin.

2. Peel the grapefruit. Using a kitchen grater, remove the pith (white layer) stuck to the skin. Grate it carefully to not lose too much of the skin along with the pith.

3. Spread the skins out on a plate and leave it in a warm place to dry. Ensure the area and the plate are dry to avoid unnecessary microbial growth and moisture in your oil.

4. You can either heat the oil with the skins (Method I). Or you can just let the skins soak in the oil (Method II).

5. Method I: (Quick)

  • In a thick saucepan, place the skins and add the base oil until they sink into it.
  • Switch on the heat/stove, place this vessel on it and cover with a lid.
  • Leave the oil to slow boil over low heat/flame. Keep mixing intermittently.
  • It might take several hours for the essence to infuse well into the oil.

Method II: (Slow)

  • Place the skins in a mason jar or any small glass bottle.
  • Add the base oil until the skins sink in it.
  • Seal the jar and expose it to direct sunlight for about two weeks.

6. Transfer the contents to a vessel covered with 4 to 5 layers of cheesecloth.

7. Squeeze as much oil as you can into the vessel.

8. Store the oil in cool, dry place in amber or dark-colored bottles, away from sunlight.

Alright. You read about grapefruit oil, thought about using it, and made yourself a batch of it too. Good progress!

But you would find it too-good-to-be-true and get all skeptical about using this oil. Am I right?

Before the questions pop up in your head, scroll down to read about the side effects of using the oil.

Cautions When Using Grapefruit Oil

1. Might Increase Photosensitivity

Certain essential oils or formulations with grapefruit oil can increase your skin’s photosensitivity. Long hours of exposure to the sun after applying this oil topically might cause redness, dark spots, pigmentation, or blisters.

You should avoid UV rays (from the sun or tanning beds) for 12 hours after using grapefruit oil. It is better if you don’t use it if you are going to be out in the sun for a long time.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Pure grapefruit oil can cause photosensitivity. Hence, it is recommended to carefully read product labels on skin care and cosmetic products that contain grapefruit oil and use them with caution.

2. Pregnant Women And Young Children

Pregnant and nursing women should consult their doctor before using this oil. For infants and children (or anybody, for that matter), use only 100% pure essential oil. The maximum concentration of this oil you can use is 4%.

Grapefruit oil benefits you in numerous ways. It aids weight loss, has antibacterial properties, and helps manage anxiety and depression. It also burns flab and cellulite. The oil can be made at home easily. However, it can also increase photosensitivity and may negatively affect pregnant women. It may cause certain side effects in children too. Hence, practice caution and visit your doctor if you experience any adverse effects. Also, ensure you pick good quality grapefruit oil to reap all its benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between pink and white grapefruit oils?

There is not much difference between pink and white grapefruit oils. The pink one smells sweeter than the white and is used more commonly.

Does grapefruit oil interfere with medication?

No interaction between grapefruit oil and medication has been reported. There are studies about grapefruit juice actively interacting with certain drugs, but this activity is relatively weak in the oil.

Unless you ingest reasonable amounts of the oil, you can safely use it while on medication. The right quantity to ingest is still unclear, but aromatherapy is considered safe in most cases.

Which essential oil is a substitute for grapefruit oil?

Tangerine oil and lemon oil can be good substitutes for grapefruit oil. They have similar physical properties but might have different therapeutic benefits.

  1. It is better to double check with a physician or the vendor’s safety data sheet before using any essential oil.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Scott Johnson

Dr. Scott JohnsonAMP, CCMA, CEEOS, CPC

Dr. Scott A. Johnson is a Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, Certified Elite Essential Oil Specialist, and Certified Clinical Master Aromatherapist with 7 years of experience. As one of the most prolific natural medicine writers of the 21st century, Dr. Scott A. Johnson has empowered tens of thousands of individuals to realize greater wellness naturally through more than a dozen...read full bio

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