Grapefruit essential oil is known to support a healthy immune system, promote blood circulation while supporting cardiovascular health and protect the body from disease with its powerful antioxidant properties. However, as with all medications and essential oils, precautions should be taken when using the oil, especially because grapefruit oil can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Here are some basic guidelines for administering the oil but keep in mind that the effect of grapefruit essential oil is different for everyone.
Can you consume grapefruit oil?
First make sure that the type of grapefruit oil you are using is certified GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. Many essential oils are produced for use in cosmetics and may have other chemicals that should be avoided. If so, then it is safe to consume your grapefruit oil. Even so, it should only be done in small amounts and should be mixed with other ingredients. For example, you can use grapefruit essential oil in a recipe that calls for grapefruit juice or zest (keep in mind that a drop is often more than enough, even if the recipe calls for a significant amount of juice or zest) or you can add a drop of the oil to a glass or water or hot tea. Consumption of most essential oils, including grapefruit, should be avoided by children under 6.
Can you inhale grapefruit oil?
Yes, grapefruit oil may be inhaled. This is a great way to still benefit from the healing properties of the oil without consuming it or applying it to the skin, which may not be an option if you have sensitive skin. Diffuse the oil throughout the room or add to a pot of boiling water. The oil may also be rubbed between the hands and either directly inhaled or rubbed onto the temples to keep the scent with you all day.
Can you put grapefruit oil on your skin?
In most cases, grapefruit oil should be equally diluted with a carrier oil. If you have very sensitive skin, dilute the oil even more. Before applying the oil to a large area of skin, do a test patch, which involves placing a drop of oil on the inside of your arm near your elbow. If there is no sign of irritation after a day, you should be able to use the oil without fear of an allergic reaction.
Grapefruit oil is often used to naturally clean homes. Unlike other cleaners, surfaces that have been cleaned with grapefruit oil can be touched immediately after, as long as the solution was properly diluted. It is perfectly safe to clean around children and pets when using cleaners with grapefruit oil.
Can grapefruit oil be used on children or infants?
Grapefruit oil should not be topically applied on or consumed by infants or children under the age of 6 unless approved by their physician. It is often used to treat ear infections in young children. Before treating with any essential oil and after a physician has been consulted, make sure to administer a test patch on the child before administering a full dose. The oil is considered safe for most children if inhaled but it should not be done directly. Instead, use an oil diffuser to administer an inhalation treatment.
Should pregnant women use grapefruit oil?
Grapefruit oil has been used successfully by pregnant women to combat morning sickness. However, this should only be done after consulting your obstetrician. The effects of most essential oils are unknown to unborn fetuses and young infants. For this reason, both pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the oil unless they have been advised that it is safe for their situation.
Should grapefruit oil be diluted?
Grapefruit oil should always be diluted before applying to the skin, as it is phototoxic. This means that it can have a negative reaction with the sun and cause rashes, irritation and even painful burns. By diluting the oil, it is less potent and the risk is lowered. To prevent a rash or worse symptoms, avoid topical application of the oil before long periods of sun exposure.
Can pets be given grapefruit oil?
Dogs have difficulty digesting raw grapefruit but can benefit from the oil in small amounts. It can be used as a digestive aid or to relieve inflammation. Try adding a drop to their collar, bedding or adding a drop to their shampoo. However, if the dog is exposed to too much grapefruit oil there can be damaging side effects. If there are any signs of overdose, including weakness, low blood pressure, falling or trembling, stop use immediately and seek help from a veterinarian.
Cats should never come into contact with any essential oils, as they lack an enzyme that allows their body to metabolize the oil. While oil hydrosols are often recommended as a safe alternative for essential oils for cats, grapefruit oil and its simliar hydrosol should be completely avoided. If there is any concern with using grapefruit oil for your pets, contact a veterinarian.
What precautions should be taken with grapefruit oil?
While essential oils are made from natural ingredients, they all pose some risks if used incorrectly. Grapefruit is one of the safer essential oils but should still be used with care. General guidelines to remember are to always dilute the oil in at least a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil, more if you have sensitive skin. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Because the oil is phototoxic, avoid topical application 12 to 24 hours before sun exposure.
Grapefruit oil is considered safe for consumption but should be avoided in children. Never take the oil alone. Mix it in a glass of water or use in moderate amounts in cooking.
Be sure to keep grapefruit oil out of reach of children and pets. If there is any sign of irritation after using the oil, stop use immediately. To remove the oil from your skin, wipe with a cloth that has been dipped in vegetable oil. If irritation is severe, seek medical attention. If you take any prescription medications, discuss the use of grapefruit oil with your physician as it interacts with multiple medications.