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Antidepressant, diuretic, lymphatic tonic
Antiseptic, calmative, depurative, euphoric, hepatic
Grapefruit is one of those essential oils that we tend to take for granted. It is just there, in our oil kit, and we use it often,
rarely even giving a thought to its unique properties.
We burn it in our burners, we combine it with other oils in various blends, including for its unique property of being a
very effective lymphatic tonic, we just automatically reach for the grapefruit bottle when we need it.
Personally, I burn grapefruit in my vapourizer probably more often than any other oil. I find the combination of its pleasant
fragrance and uplifting mood-enhancement to be so useful that I keep an extra bottle of grapefruit oil beside my
vapourizer. And, I add it into blends with other oils very frequently. I sometimes include a drop of grapefruit in my
morning steam inhalation, and a few drops in my morning footbath, for its uplifting and mood enhancement properties,
and I often include it in blends for skin application for its ability to enhance the action of the lymphatic system, for example
where there is a little bit of swelling or odoema.
Another property that is not so well known is grapefruit's affinity with the liver. It is said to be a tonic for the liver,
and to also have an ability to help the liver process certain types of toxins.
It also has a calming affect on the stomach and digestive system, not as strongly as some of the herb oils like fennel
or thyme, but useful for cases of mild tummy upset. It shares this property with some of the other citrus oils, like
orange and mandarin.
Grapefruit essential oil is also often used in skincare applications, especially for oily skin and acne (with other oils),
and it is a general tonic for the skin and scalp.
Although it is not a particularly strong bug killer, grapefruit does have useful inhibiting abilities against bacteria and fungi,
including Candida albicans. Other much stronger oils, like tea tree and some of the herb oils, would be our first line of defence
for this, but we should not forget that grapefruit does have moderate ability in this area.
However, grapefruit's main application is probably in the area of the mind, for the treatment of depression, stress, lethargy,
nervous exhaustion, etc. For this type of use, it is very effective in a vapourizer, in a steam inhalation or footbath, in the bath,
or in a blend with a carrier oil or cream that is rubbed into the skin. And, of course, it is often used in a massage blend.
Note that there are commonly two types of grapefruit essential oil offered for sale: the “pink” oil and the “white”
oil. This refers to the color of the skin of the ripe fruit, the white oil being from varieties of grapefruit that have a pale skin, and the red from
varieties with a dark colored skin. The white oil has a higher aldehyde content than the red. The red oil is the one more commonly used by
aromatherapists, and it is the red variety that we stock.
Important Safety Note:
Grapefruit oil, if used on the skin in high concentration, can be “phototoxic”, ie. it increases
the rate at which the skin burns in response to sunlight. While this is not as strong in grapefruit as it is in bergamot oil, it is a wise
precaution to avoid exposure to sunlight for at least 12 hours following application to the skin.
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Grown and produced in:
USA, West Indies, Australia, Israel
Widely available, but check the quality.
Plant parts used:
Skin of the ripe fruit
Antidepressant and uplifter
Lymphatic system tonic, mildly antiseptic