Many of grapefruit oil’s medicinal uses originated in times before any of its defining components had been discovered or given names. With today’s technology, ingredients in essential oils can be pinpointed and their individual properties can be discovered, giving reasoning to why the oil can be used to treat different conditions. Grapefruit oil is no exception and its defining components give merit to the medical claims that have been made for many years. Studies also open up the doors to new uses for the oil that can eliminate the usage of dangerous man made treatments with harsh side effects.
Grapefruit essential oil is mainly composed of limonene, with some products containing up to 95% of the component. Other important components include linalool, thujene, myrcene, terpinene, pinene, citronellol, caprinaldehyde, decyl acetate and neryl acetate. Here is an explanation of the more common components and how they give orange oil its healing and aromatherapy characteristics.
Limonene is a hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene and is the most pronounced compound in grapefruit essential oil. In some cases, it can make up nearly 95% of the oil. It possesses a strong citrus scent, not surprisingly, and is a common ingredient in cleaning products.
Several scientific studies have pointed to limonene as being a cancer preventative and treatment. The compound seems to built up in tumors in individuals with advanced stages of cancer. While it is uncertain if this will have an effect on the person’s survival odds, the limonene does seem to slow down the progress of the cancer. On the other hand, eating grapefruit has been linked to the development of breast cancer. A study conduced by the University of Southern California followed more than 46,000 women over a 9 year period after having them fill out questionairs focused on their eating habits. It was found that the women who ate about a quarter of a grapefruit everyday had a 30% higher risk of developing breast cancer when compared to those who never ate the fruit. It is unknown what the link, if any, is between grapefruit and breast cancer but limonene can not be taken into account because it is found in the rind of the fruit. More testing will be needed before grapefruit oil can be considered a viable cancer treatment or if there is a strange link between the fruit and certain types of cancers.
This natural organic compound is classified as a monoterpene. It is often found in plants and often contributes to the pungent aroma in some herbs. Thujene is commonly found in parsley, which has been shown to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs. Grapefruit oil has shown promise in some studies regarding its effect on cancer cells and thujene could be a reason but further study on the component is necessary.
Myrcene is an organic compound that is classified as a hydrocarbon. It is common in the fragrance industry but is also known for its analgesic effect. It also has anti inflammatory properties that may be linked to grapefruit oil’s ability to decrease inflammation from a variety of reasons. The oil is known to increase blood flow and lower dangerous inflammation throughout the body. Myrcene has been shown to help battle depression symptoms. Grapefruit oil is often recommended to use as a natural energy and mood booster. To use the oil to tackle depression or low energy, diffuse the oil throughout a room or inhale directly from the bottle.
A natural occurring terpene alcohol chemical, linalool is found in many flowers and spice plants. It is also an important compound in grapefruit oil. Alone, linalool is used as a scent in perfumed hygiene products and cleaning solutions. Chances are that you’ve used a soap, shampoo or lotion containing linalool. Studies have shown that the component may have the ability to lower stress levels. Grapefruit oil is often a recommended anxiety reliever and has shown promising results when diffused throughout a room.
In other studies, linalool has shown promising results when added to cancer cells, causing them to self destruct. A small amount of linalool was able to inhibit 50% of liver cancer cells from replicating while a higher concentration of the compound inhibited 100% of the cells from replicating, which in turn destroyed the presence of cancer. There are many studies that have shown grapefruit oil to be a possible cancer treatment and linalool is certainly one of the supporting components behind this possibility.
Citronellol is a natural acyclic monoterpenoid. The component is often used in perfumes and insect repellents. It is also used as a mite attractant. It is most well known as a mosquito repellent. If you have been searching for a natural mosquito repellent, fill a 4 ounce spray bottle with 2 ounces of distilled water. Mix in an ounce of witch hazel and add about 50 drops of essential oils. Grapefruit should definitely be one oil that you use but make a blend by adding lemongrass, orange, oregano or lemon oil as well. While not scientifically proven yet, it is believed that using a grapefruit essential oil based mosquito repellent could also be effective against bed bugs, lice and ticks.
Grapefruits are a good source of dietary fiber and are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. This food is also very low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. The only negative in regards to the nutrition facts of grapefruit is that a high number of calories come from sugars. But overall, grapefruits
are a fantastic source of antioxidants and can help you be healthier from the outside in. The fruit is often recommended for its ability to help during weight loss regimens.
1 cup of raw grapefruit sections, with juice
Total Carbohydrate: 25g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Vitamin C: 120%
Vitamin A: 53%