Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruits are yummy (with sugar)! And grapefruit essential oil smells just like the fruit! Plus it has some wonderful health benefits. Here’s more about grapefruit essential oil.

grapefruit essential oil

Properties of Grapefruit Essential Oil


The botanical name for grapefruit is Citrus paradisi.

You may sometimes see grapefruit referred to as Citrus racemosa or Citrus maxima. These names are not really used by the scientific community for grapefruit.

In fact, Citrus maxima actually refers to pomelo or shaddock, which is the parent plant of grapefruit.

Color & Smell of grapefruit oil

The color of grapefruit essential oil depends on the type of grapefruit used. For white grapefruit, the essential oil is typically yellow to light orange. And for the pink variety, the oil is orange to reddish in color.

Both types have the characteristic grapefruit smell. You know that citrusy, slightly sweet smell.

What is in grapefruit essential oil?

About 67 compounds have been found in grapefruit essential oil. The most prominent one is limonene which makes up more than 80% of the oil.

Other noteworthy compounds include myrcene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, alpha-terpineol, citronellal, decanal, farnesol, nootkatone and z-carvone.

Grapefruit Essential Oil Benefits

So what is grapefruit essential oil good for? And what are some grapefruit essential oil benefits? The oil:

  • reduces appetite in vivo
  • kills cancer cells in vitro
  • kills bacteria
  • destroys fungi
  • kills and repels insects

Let’s see the studies proving these benefits.

Grapefruit oil may reduce appetite

A 2005 study explored the effects of inhaling grapefruit essential oil on mice. The results showed a reduction in food intake after smelling the oil which, in turn, caused a decrease in the body weight of the mice.

Limonene was identified as the compound that caused these effects.

There are other studies, like this 2006 one, that show similar results. But this particular study involved obese persons eating grapefruit before their meals or taking grapefruit juice capsules.

While this isn’t exactly an essential oil-based study, the scent of the grapefruit plus its filling effects, may have contributed to the reduced appetite and loss of weight experienced by these obese participants. So maybe you can add grapefruit essential oil to your weight loss routine!

Grapefruit essential oil may help fight against cancer

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Here’s another incredible benefit of grapefruit oil. A 2003 study used citrus oils including grapefruit on human tumor cells. The results were remarkable. They proved the oil caused the cancerous cells to die.

Limonene and decanal were the compounds responsible for these effects.

It is antibacterial

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You will probably find a lot of evidence proving grapefruit’s antibacterial properties. The oil may not be as potent as lemongrass but it is still powerful against many types of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus. That’s the bacteria that can cause skin infections and even food poisoning.

Grapefruit oil is antifungal

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Grapefruit kill fungi too. A 2008 study tested the oil on four types of common molds. The results proved grapefruit’s anti-fungal properties.

It is an insecticide

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Grapefruit essential oil has shown repellent and insecticidal properties against mosquitoes, house flies, and beetles. A recent 2013 study on mosquitoes also revealed low levels of grapefruit oil can kill insect eggs and larvae.

Grapefruit Essential Oil Uses

You have just seen the proven grapefruit essential oil benefits. But how do you use the oil? Well there are a few ways.

You can simply add a few drops of grapefruit oil to your diffuser. I mean why not try it as part of your healthy, weight loss routine?

Grapefruit also pairs well with the other citrus oils like bergamot and orange. So get that wonderful citrusy scent in your room.

Yes grapefruit oil is awesome, but you have to be careful when putting it on your skin. It is known to cause skin irritation when exposed to UV and sunlight. And it can also cause skin sensitivity.

So it is especially important to do a patch test if you are using the oil for the first time. This is incredibly important!

Once you are not sensitive, you can mix 1-2 drops of grapefruit with any carrier oil. But, this is crucial! Don’t apply the oil to areas exposed to sunlight. Or, if you do, cover up those areas well like with long sleeves.

Personally, I wouldn’t use any grapefruit oil blends on my skin – covered up or not. I prefer not to risk the irritation or sensitivity.

More Precautions
Citrus oil are not recommended during pregnancy so be sure to consult your doctor before using grapefruit essential oil.

Where to buy grapefruit essential oil

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