Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

10 ml

Grapefruit essential oil is a very popular oil because of its bright, uplifting scent as well as for its usefulness in a wide range of applications. Grapefruit makes an excellent disinfectant for cleaning around the house, and because it is good for the skin, it’s also a great option for a body cleanser. Grapefruit is a perfect choice for individuals trying to lose weight; from detoxifying and reducing appetite or getting that initial water weight off, to diminishing the appearance of cellulite. Along with all its other desirable attributes, Grapefruit has a bright and energetic scent– so using it is a pleasure.

General usage guidelines

Always dilute with a vegetable, seed, or nut carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, or avocado oil. See dilution guidelines. With any internal use, we recommend consulting with an aromatherapist or another naturopathic healthcare provider. Since essential oils are processed by the liver, if you have a compromised liver or liver disease, we strongly recommend working with your healthcare provider before use.

Topical: Apply 1-2 diluted drops onto the area of concern. Add 20-30 drops to 1 oz. of unscented body, skin or hair care products.

Internal: Dilute with a carrier oil or add to milk to evenly disperse essential oil. Once diluted, it can be added to the beverage or food of your choice. Add 2-3 diluted drops to a capsule and swallow. Gargle with 1-2 drops of diluted essential oil.

Aromatic: Diffuse in a room diffuser or nebulizer. Inhale from the bottle directly or add a drop to tissue and inhale. Add a drop to palms of hands and cover nose and mouth and inhale. Add a few drops to a bowl of steaming (not boiling) water and place head with a towel over a bowl and inhale. To make air or cleaning spray, add 10-20 drops to water in a spray bottle and spritz on surfaces or in the air*. Add 5-10 drops to an essential oil inhaler; use the inhaler every 15 minutes or so to alleviate symptoms.

Culinary: Add 1-2 drops to foods, marinades, desserts, & drinks to taste. To preserve therapeutic benefits, do not add to boiling liquids.

Cleaning: To make a simple cleaning spray, add 10-20 drops to 1 oz. water in a spray bottle and spritz on surfaces or in the air*. Shake well before each use to distribute the oil evenly before spraying.

*Make this fresh every few weeks, because it doesn’t have preservatives in it and water shortens the therapeutic life of the oils.


Grapefruit has been found to be an excellent antibacterial (Lang & Buchbauer, 2012) thanks to its limonene content, and can make a fresh and cheerful addition to body soaps and disinfecting diffuser blends to clean and deodorize the air. It has been found as a good airborne antimicrobial, making it valuable during cold and flu season (Franchomme and Pénoël, 1990). You can add a few drops of grapefruit to your washing machine for a fresh deodorizing boost, and it’s a great companion to lemon, tea tree, or orange for your regular housekeeping recipes.


The scent of grapefruit essential oil is much like the fruit–invigorating, fresh, and sunny. Grapefruit is valued for its uplifting, antidepressant, and stress-reducing effects (Fukumoto et al., 2007), and research shows that inhalation of d-limonene, one of the key components in grapefruit essential oil, has anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) actions (Lima et al., 2012c). So it’s no wonder grapefruit, with such a lovely and inspirational aroma, seems to put mind and spirit in a better place.

Weight Loss

Grapefruit has long been used to help individuals wanting to lose weight, as it energizes, helps curb cravings, and lifts mood. According to one study, aromatherapy massage could be an effective intervention to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat, waist circumference, and to improve body image in post-menopausal women (Kim, 2007). Grapefruit essential oil can help stimulate your body to shed excess water, boost metabolism, reduce stress (which can trigger overeating), elevate emotions and help energize you before a workout.


Grapefruit is rich in d-limonene, which has been noted as a potent antioxidant (Singh at al.,2010) and having an anti-inflammatory action (Hirota, et al., 2010). Antioxidants help protect your body from oxidative damage which could be a factor contributing to a variety of diseases. And although inflammation is a normal part of healing, excessive or chronic inflammation can cause, accompany, or contribute to many issues such as various forms of arthritis, asthma, chronic peptic ulcer and others. Doing what we can to reduce chronic inflammation is a great way to protect our health.

Grapefruit’s beneficial effect on the liver can also make it a good option to consider when detoxifying your body. Studies have found it to be hepatoprotective (protects the liver from damage) thanks to its d-limonene content (Ozbek et al., 2003; Bodake, Panicker, Kailaje & Rao, 2002). This is important protection as you work toward better health.


Hazards: Phototoxic (low risk); Skin sensitization if oxidized.
Contraindications (dermal): If applied to skin at over maximum use level skin must not be exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours.
Cautions: Old or oxidized oils should be avoided (Tisserand & Young, 2014, p. 297).

Our Recommendations: If pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have liver or kidney dysfunction, consult your healthcare practitioner before use. Avoid eyes, mucous membranes, and sensitive skin. Keep out of reach of children.

If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (If it is not already diluted, dilute with a carrier oil).

Citrus oils are especially prone to oxidation. Store in a covered or dark, airtight container in the refrigerator or cool area for longest shelf life.

Interesting Research

Studies are ongoing regarding the efficacy of essential oils in a huge variety of applications. One bit of interesting research we found, is that grapefruit essential oil has been studied for its ability to fight against Aedes aegypti (a mosquito that carries a wide variety of diseases including the Zika virus). This doesn’t mean that grapefruit essential oil will repel or kill adult mosquitos, but the results indicated that the peel oil could be a potent persistent larvicide (Ivoke et al., 2013). A larvicide will kill in the larval stage but is not necessarily effective for adult mosquitoes. Studies like this are very exciting in that they could positively impact the lives of many people living in areas plagued with disease-carrying mosquitoes. Creating increasingly environmentally safe methods for effectively dealing with these pests is an exciting prospect. We wish the best of luck to all the incredible researchers out there helping our understanding of essential oils grow!


Bodake, H., Panicker, K., Kailaje, V. and Rao, V. (2002) Chemopreventative effect of orange oil on the development of hepatic preneoplastic lesions induced by N-nitrosodiethylamine in rats: an ultrastructural study. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 40, 245-251

Franchomme, P. and Pénoël, D. (1990) L’aromathérapie Exactement. Limoges: Jallois.

Fukumoto et al. (2007) Effect of flavour components in lemon essential oil on physical or psychological stress. Stress and Health 24, 1, 3-12.

Hirota, et al. (2010) Anti-inflammatory effects of limonene from yuzu (Citrus junos Tanaka) essential oil on eosinophils. Journal of Food Science. 75, 87-92.

Ivoke et al. (2013) Effects of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi MACF) (Rutaceae) peel oil against developmental stages of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. Nov;44(6):970-8.

Kim H.J. (2007) [Effect of aromatherapy massage on abdominal fat and body image in post-menopausal women]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2007 Jun;37(4):603-12.

Lang, G. and Buchbauer, G. (2012) A review on recent research results (2008-2010) on essential oils as antimicrobials and antifungals. A review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 27, 13-39.

Lima et al. (2012c) Anxiolytic-like activity and GC-MS analysis of (R)-(+)-limonene fragrance, a natural compound found in foods and plants. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 103, 450-454.

Ozbek et al. (2003) Hepatoprotective effect of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil. Fitoterapia 74, 3, 317-319.

Singh at al. (2010) Chemical profile, antifungal, antiaflatoxigenic and antioxidant activity of Citrus maxima Burm. and Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck essential oils and their cyclic monoterpene DL-limonene. Journal of Chemical Toxicology 48, 1734-1740.

Tisserand, R., & Young, R. (2014). Essential oil safety: a guide for health care professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

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