Grapefruit Essential Oil: A Fresh Scent, Home Remedy

Luscious, juicy, and pleasingly fragrant grapefruit shares the nutritional qualities of other citrus species, being high in vitamin C, plus delivering ample potassium, folic acid, beta-carotene (red fruits only), and capillary-strengthening flavonoids.  It has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, enhances digestion, acts as a mild diuretic, diminishes the appetite, and offers valuable protection against infectious illnesses.  And – who can resist the delightfully uplifting scent of the freshly squeezed juice and peel?

Native to tropical Asia and the West Indies, grapefruit trees are now cultivated primarily in California, Florida, and Texas, as well as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Israel.  Much of the essential oil is produced in the United States by cold expression of the outer part of the fresh peel of the ripe fruit, yielding a yellow or yellowish-green liquid.  Oil that is distilled from the peel and remains of the fruit after making juice is of inferior quality for aromatherapeutic purposes. Grapefruit essential oil oxidizes quickly (as do all citrus oils), so use it within 1 year, or within 2 years if you keep it refrigerated and don’t open it often.

Grapefruit essential oil is one of my top picks to include in massage oil blends, often combined with ginger, cypress, and peppermint essential oils, to ease conditions of water retention, fatigue, heavy legs and feet, and general overall achiness.  Its astringent action also benefits oily skin and scalp.

This delightful medicinal oil offers an amazingly effective and aromatically pleasing cognitive boost that stokes your mental fires, enhancing concentration and mental clarity.  I’ve long adored both the fruit and the oil, as I find the fruit deliciously satisfying and it’s oil scent-sational.  It makes my mind and body smile!  Clients love it when my reflexology treatment room smells of grapefruit – clean and fresh.  I highly recommend adding grapefruit essential oil to spritzer recipes (room mists) to lighten and brighten the environment and mood of those in it. It blends well with other citrus essential oils as well as peppermint, spearmint, lavender, neroli, rose, geranium, rosemary, and ylang-ylang.

Psychological Benefits:  Grapefruit lifts the spirits, being beneficial during times of overwhelming stress, depression, mental fatigue, and nervous exhaustion. It’s especially helpful for the PMS blues.  Like other citrus oils, it delivers a general feeling of well-being and builds your sense of humor.  A rather empowering oil, grapefruit helps improve your confidence and sense of self-worth.

Essential Properties In A Nutshell:   Anti-infectious; gently warming; very refreshing and cleansing; detoxifying; appetite suppressant and digestive aid; eases tension and digestive headaches; enhances circulation; astringent and diuretic; deodorizing; emotionally uplifting during times of great stress; antidepressant.

Safety Data & Usage Information:  Grapefruit essential oil is considered nontoxic, nonirritating, and generally nonsensitizing, with only a low risk of photosensitivity.Good to know:  Certain medications come with a warning against ingesting grapefruit juice while you are taking them.  Why?  Because grapefruit juice contains dihydroxybergamottin, a chemical compound that interferes with the effectiveness of many medications.  Grapefruit essential oil – expressed from the peel only – does not contain this compound, so it is safe to use in aromatherapy for individuals who are avoiding grapefruit juice because of their medication.

Always dilute essential oils properly – according to age, health, medication intake, and skin condition – prior to application.

The following oh-so-fragrant recipe highlights the therapeutic nature of grapefruit essential oil with regard to its gently stimulating, mentally clarifying properties.

“Sunshine-in-a-Bottle” Mist

By their very light, refreshing nature, most citrus oils tend to be rather uplifting to the psyche and particularly good at stimulating a sluggish mind and stagnant circulation, which is why I chose them for the basis of this sparkling, ultra-fresh formula.  I added rosemary essential oil for the sharp, energizing, mind-clearing properties that it lends.  A few spritzes around my home office with this mist is a sure-fire way to blast out the “mental cobwebs” after an afternoon spent working at my computer.

Contraindication:  DO NOT use this mist in small rooms or bedrooms with children under 2 years of age or in rooms with caged pets.

Essential Oils:

• 20 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oil
• 15 drops lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
• 15 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
• 10 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole or non-chemotype specific) essential oil

Base:

• 1/2 cup plain, unflavored vodka (80- or 100-proof)
• 1/2 cup purified or distilled water

Container:

• 8-ounce plastic (PET or HDPE) or dark glass spritzer bottle

To Make The Mist: Pour the vodka and water into the bottle, then add the grapefruit, lemon, orange, and rosemary essential oils.  Screw the top on the bottle and shake vigorously to blend.  Label the bottle and allow the spray to synergize for 1 hour.  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.

To Use: Shake well before each use.  When in need of mental stimulation, lightly mist your surrounding area and breathe deeply.  Use as desired.

Yield:; 8 ounces (240 ml)

Bonus uses: The essential oils in this formula contain general antiseptic properties that will help keep your work area and home free of infectious nasties.  Spray throughout the house several times per day during cold and flu season.  You can also spray the blend on your hands after washing as an added layer of wellness protection.  I suggest placing a bottle by the kitchen sink and in each bathroom.