Grapefruits have long been known as a super fruit with numerous benefits for a consumer including weight loss, healthier skin or even hydration! Grapefruit essential oil can have even more benefits for your skin, health and hair.
The grapefruit was first described in 1750 by Griffith Hughes who called it the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados. In 1789, Patrick Browne reported it as growing in most parts of Jamaica and he referred to it as “forbidden fruit” or “smaller shaddock”. In 1814, John Lunan, in Hortus Jamaicensis, mentions the “grapefruit” as a variety of the shaddock, but not as large; and, again, as “forbidden fruit”, “a variety of the shaddock, but the fruit is much smaller, having a thin, tough, smooth, pale yellow rind”. In 1824, DeTussac mentions the “forbidden fruit or smaller shaddock” of Jamaica as a variety of shaddock the size of an orange and borne in bunches. William C. Cooper, a citrus scientist (USDA, ARS, Orlando, Florida, to 1975), traveled widely observing all kinds of citrus fruits. In his book, In Search of the Golden Apple, he tells of the sweet orange and the grapefruit growing wild on several West Indian islands. He cites especially a fruit similar to grapefruit that is called chadique growing wild on the mountains of Haiti and marketed in Port-au-Prince. The leaves are like those of the grapefruit. He says that it was from the nearby Bahama Islands in 1823 that Count Odette Phillipe took grapefruit seeds to Safety Harbor near Tampa, Florida. When the seedlings fruited, their seeds were distributed around the neighborhood.
At first, the tree was grown only as a novelty in Florida and the fruit was little utilized. Even in Jamaica, the trees were often cut down. Mrs. Mary McDonald Carter of Eustis, Florida, was quoted in the Farm and Livestock Record, Jacksonville, in 1953, as relating that her father, John A. MacDonald, settled in Orange County in 1866. In 1870, he was attracted to a single grapefruit tree with clusters of lemon-colored fruits on the Drawdy property at Blackwater. He bought the entire crop of fruits, planted the seeds and established the first grapefruit nursery. The first grapefruit grove planted from this nursery by a man named Hill was sold in 1875 to George W. Bowen who developed it commercially. In 1881, MacDonald bought the Drawdy crop and once more raised seedlings for his nursery in Eustis. Early settlers began planting the tree and acquired a taste for the fruit. There was already a small demand in the North. New York imported 78,000 fruits from the West Indies in 1874. Florida started sending small shipments to markets in New York and Philadelphia between 1880 and 1885.
In 1898, Dr. David Fairchild was excited to learn of a grove of 2,000 grapefruit trees in the Kendall area south of Miami on the property of the Florida East Coast Railway. In 1904, he was amazed to see one tree in the door-yard of the Kennedy ranch in southern Texas where he thought the climate too cold for it. He was told that the tree had been frozen to the ground but had recovered. He predicted that a citrus industry could not be established in that region of the country. In 1928, he photographed the same tree, which had been killed back several times in the interim, but was again in fruit. By 1910, grapefruit had become an important commercial crop in the Rio Grande Valley and, to a lesser extent, in Arizona and desert valleys of California. By 1940, the United States was exporting close to 11,000,000 cases of grape-fruit juice and nearly one-half million cases of canned sections. Cultivation had reached commercial proportions in Jamaica and Trinidad and spread to Brazil, South America and Israel. In 1945/46, the United States (mainly Florida) produced a record of 2,285,000 tons of grapefruit. In 1967/68, this country accounted for 70% of the world crop despite a great decline in Texas production because of severe weather. Grapefruit was moving forward by leaps and bounds. Israel, in 1967, supplied only 11% of the world crop but, by 1970, her production had increased by 300%. In 1980, Florida exported just under 10 million boxes, making grapefruit this state’s most valuable export crop. Japan is the main importer and has, at times, suspended shipments to determine the safety of fungicide residues or because of discovery of larvae of the Caribbean fruit fly. Great care is taken to maintain this important trade. Other countries which had entered the grapefruit industry were Mexico, Argentina, Cyprus, Morocco and some areas of South America which raise grapefruit for local markets. In Central America, the grapefruit is not much favored because of its acidity.
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Mexico was rapidly expanding its grapefruit plantings, especially in the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, to save its citrus industry in view of the decline in market value of oranges and tangerines brought on by over-production. Furthermore, there were great advantages in the lower costs of producing grapefruit without irrigation and with good biological control of pests. Now Mexico exports large quantities of grapefruit to the United States and lesser amounts to Canada and Japan. Puerto Rico formerly exported grapefruit to the United States but is no longer able to compete in the trade and has only remnants of former plantations. Cuba has planted 370,000 acres (150,000 ha) of citrus, mostly grapefruit with expectations of exporting to the Soviet Union and eastern European countries. The grapefruit is grown only in a small way in the Orient where the pummelo is cultivated. In recent years, the grapefruit has become established in India in hot regions where the sweet orange and the mandarin are prone to sunburn.
An essential oil derived from the grapefruit skin through a process of distillation, grapefruit oil is not only aromatic but also has countless benefits for the skin, hair and health. It’s no wonder it has been called“the queen of all essential oils” in some parts of Asia where the fruit originated. This essential oil has the following properties:
- Digestive aid
The most effective way to extract oils from citrus fruits is by cold-pressing.19This preserves the beneficial compounds of the oil. This method produces a clear, yellow-orange colored oil with the scent of freshly peeled fruits.
Others methods are (1) steam distillation, which can affect the quality of the product, and (2) solvent extraction, which contaminates the oil with chemicals and may harm your skin.20
Grapefruit essential oil is highly sensitive to heat and oxidation because of its limonene content.21 It should be stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dark place. It should be placed away from direct sunlight and heat.
However, creating homemade grapefruit oil is possible. Several guides are available online. If you’re interested in making one, here’s an easy-to-follow guide:22
What You Need:
- Grapefruits with moderately thick rind
- Kitchen grater
- Carrier oil, like almond oil and olive oil
- Small crock pot or mason jar (see Procedure)
- Dark glass container
- Wash the grapefruit thoroughly, as it may contain wax and other synthetic preservatives.
- Peel the grapefruit. Using the spoon, scrape the white pith from inside the rind, and discard the pith. Another option would be to use the kitchen grater with a zesting or small grating option. This is helpful when removing the rind.
- Spread out the rind on a plate and leave it in a warm area for a couple of days to dry. Smaller pieces are preferable as they will dry out faster. Make sure that it’s completely dry so your oil will have very little moisture.
- From here, you may choose one of two methods. Using the crock pot will produce the oil in a few hours, while using the Mason jar, which does not require power, can take longer.
- Crock pot method – Place the rind in the crock pot and add the carrier oil on the top level of the rind. Don’t add too much as this can affect the quality of the oil. Switch the crock pot on low and cover it. It can take at least eight hours for the mixture inside to heat and mix.
- Mason jar method – Place the rind in the Mason jar and add the carrier oil. Similar to the crock pot method, don’t add too much. Seal the mason jar and expose it to direct sunlight for about two weeks.
- Transfer the mixture into a bowl lined with four or five layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze as much oil as you can into the bowl.
- Store the oil into the dark-colored containers and seal tightly. Store in a cool and dry place.
Uses of grapefruit oil:
The aromatherapy qualities of the grapefruit oil are also great. The oil elevates the senses and is used as an anti-depressant. Travellers often use it for jet lag and it provides great relief to migraine sufferers. The sulphur compounding the oil gives distinct flavour and aroma to the foods. For mood lifting effects, apply several apply several drops of essential oil to a diffuser or combine it with a carrier oil for aromatherapy massage purpose.
- Grapefruit oil can calm hunger cravings.
By doing so, taking grapefruit oil internally can lead to weight loss! Check out the video below to find out more:
Like most essential oils, grapefruit essential oil has antiseptic qualities. Added to a skin care regimen or treatment, it helps to clean and clear congested skin and to treat oily skin. In skin care, it is combined with a carrier oil or dabbed directly onto an outbreak.
Combat oily skin with this trick from michellephan.com:
Mix together fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with a small amount of fresh lavender or mint into a small spray or squeeze bottle and let it sit for 3 or more hours. Then apply with a cotton ball morning and night or spritz on as you would a store bought toner.
Grapefruit juice can help strip away chemicals that have loaded the hair follicles due to usage of hairsprays, gels and crèmes that have been used on the hair. Simply massage some grapefruit juice onto the hair and wash it away with water. The natural juice will not cause damage your hair and will leave hair that feels soft and silky. The oil is also known to eliminate oily scalps.
Use of any of the above processes will help reduce mental stress. When the oil or juice is applied to your hair, it will uplift your mind along with helping to create lucidity and coolness.
Grapefruit oil can also have amazing benefits for your hair such as serving to add shine and helping with hair growth.
Grapefruit essential oils help in the digestive process and assist the kidney and liver so that they function normally. It can even be used in the drug withdrawal program and plays an important role in keeping the lymphatic and vascular system healthy.
- Disinfect with grapefruit oil!
The antiseptic qualities of grapefruit essential oil extend to its ability to combat germs on hard surfaces. To make a natural household cleanser, add several drops of the oil to a spray bottle of water.
- Crush cellulite with grapefruit oil!
Grapefruit oil is a powerful cellulite crusher. Toxin build up and fluid retention creates cellulite in fat cells. When toxins are not flushed out of the body, they accumulate in cells. Grapefruit oil flushes out the free radicals that create cellulite. Simply mix 1-2 drops of grapefruit oil with some coconut oil and massage on the body parts in a kneading pattern every night.
Diffuse this oil or inhale from the bottle directly. It has a surprising effect on a hangover. Also add 1-2 drop to every glass of water and be sure to double or triple your water intake for the next 2-3 days.
The diuretic properties of Grapefruit Essential Oil keep your body light and free from toxins by promoting urination. It help in the removal of excess water, fats, sodium, uric acid and other toxins from the body and also reduces blood pressure to keep the heart healthy. Frequent urination also keeps the urinary tract free from infections. It cleans the kidneys of all calcareous and uric deposits and protects them against renal calculi and infections.
Use grapefruit while traveling to help elevate your energy levels. Add it to your water bottles or inhale from the bottle.
DIY Recipes for you to make at home:
Grapefruit Face Toner:
Pink Grapefruit Oil Soap:
Grapefruit Mint Sugar Scrub:
Grapefruit essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue, or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.
Grapefruit essential oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of a health professional. Internal use of grapefruit essential oil may have toxic effects.
In addition, some individuals may experience irritation or an allergic reaction when applying grapefruit essential oil to the skin. A skin patch test should be done before using any new essential oil. Essential oils are absorbed through the skin, so topical application should not exceed safe use.
There’s also some concern that applying grapefruit essential oil to the skin may increase your sensitivity to ultraviolet light emitted by the sun and—as a result—raise your risk of skin cancer. When using grapefruit essential oil on your skin, it’s crucial to protect against ultraviolet light exposure by applying sunblock.
Pregnant women and children should consult their primary health care providers prior to using essential oils.
Learn more about how to use essential oils safely.
Grapefruit oil can be a wonderful tool in helping to clear your skin or to calm your hunger cravings. You can buy grapefruit oil at a supermarket, online at Amazon, or at an essential oils supplier such as Young Living or Mountain Rose Herbs.