It seems that grapefruit oil for weight loss is becoming more and more popular these days. This has been said to be due to the fact that grapefruit is one of the main ingredients found in most of the popular brands of detoxifying diets which is what people are trying on their quest to shed pounds.
How Does Grapefruit Essential Oil Support Weight Loss?
Grapefruit essential oil is considered a rock star for weight loss and fat-burning. Although grapefruit essential oil is a wonderful inclusion to your weight loss program, it may not be the ultimate tool for losing all the body fats. It does not bar the absorption of fats or prevent the body from holding onto surplus calories. Having said that, it does help you to make wise choices and advance the journey to weight loss. It activates enzymes like D-limonene in the body that breaks down body fat.
D-limonene boosts your metabolism and removes damaged cells from your lymphatic glands (adaptive immune system) so they can carry vital nutrients between the cells and the bloodstream.
In other words grapefruit, essential oil provides ample health benefits and can be administered aromatically, topically, or even internally. Grapefruit comprises an organic compound called Nootkatone that enhances energy metabolism and reduces abdominal fat accumulation. Nootkatone in grapefruit serves as the stimulant of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps in managing metabolic activity and expedites chemical reactions which possess metabolism-boosting characteristics. It also helps in lipolysis – the splitting of body fats and proteins with the help of limonene, another compound that naturally occurs in grapefruit.
The peel and the pulp of grapefruit are used to extract grapefruit essential oil. Just like other essential oils, it aids in reducing sugar cravings, giving a feeling of satiety. With the help of antioxidants, the oil can lessen oxidative stress, reduce fluid retention and boost the immune system.
It also has a “refreshing and exciting effect” when inhaled, which suggests an activation of sympathetic nerve activity that helps control body weight.
It’s High In Nutrients, Yet Low In Calories
Grapefruit is a nutritionally dense fruit with incredible health benefits. That’s because it’s high in vital nutrients in comparison to its smaller, orange cousin, but low in calories. It is one of the lowest-calorie fruits
It provides a decent amount of fiber, in addition to more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the major nutrients found in half of a medium-sized grapefruit:
- Calories: 52
- Carbs: 13 gms
- Protein: 1 gm
- Fiber: 2 gm
- Vitamin C: 64 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Vitamin A: 28 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Potassium: 5 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Thiamine: 4 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Folate: 4 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Magnesium: 3 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
It also contains some powerful antioxidants that safeguard your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses.
Benefits and Uses of Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit essential oil is an orange-tinted, citrus-scented oil frequently used in aromatherapy.
Through a method known as cold-pressing, the oil is extracted from glands located in the peel of the grapefruit.
Grapefruit essential oil has distinct properties that may offer a variety of health benefits — including reduced blood pressure and stress levels.
1. May Suppress Appetite
For those looking to suppress an overactive appetite, research indicates that grapefruit oil aromatherapy might be useful.
One study found that rats exposed to the scent of grapefruit essential oil for 15 minutes 3 times a week experienced reductions in appetite, food intake, and body weight
Another recent study showed that the scent of grapefruit essential oil increased activity in the gastric vagal nerve in rodents, resulting in lower appetite. This nerve plays an important role in stimulating the production of stomach juices needed for digestion.
The same study also examined the effects of the scent of limonene, a significant component of grapefruit essential oil. Smelling limonene had similar results on appetite suppression and food intake
Though these results are promising, they’re currently limited to animal studies. Further research on the effects of grapefruit essential oil in humans is needed.
Research is limited to animal studies but shows that the scent of grapefruit essential oil may suppress appetite.
2. May Promote Weight Loss
Grapefruit essential oil may help you shed some extra weight, though research in this area is limited.
One rat study found that the scent of grapefruit essential oil stimulated the breakdown of fat tissue and led to a reduction in food intake
Similarly, a test-tube study in fat cells of rats showed that grapefruit essential oil applied directly to the cells inhibited the formation of fatty tissue
Additionally, topically applied grapefruit essential oil has been observed to promote weight loss in people.
For example, a study in postmenopausal women evaluated the use of abdominal essential oil massages on weight loss
Participants massaged their abdomen two times daily for five days each week and received a full body aromatherapy massage using 3% grapefruit oil, cypress, and three other oils once a week
At the end of the six-week study, results showed not only a decrease in abdominal fat but also a reduction in waist circumference in the group using the essential oils
However, the use of different oils makes it impossible to say whether the results can be attributed to grapefruit oil specifically.
Keep in mind that evidence for any weight loss benefits of grapefruit essential oil is very limited and of low quality. More studies are needed to confirm these effects before any claims can be made.
What’s more, ingesting essential oils in supplemental doses is not recommended for humans.
Rodent and test-tube studies have shown that grapefruit essential oil may decrease fat tissue and reduce appetite. One human study found that its use in massage therapy may help reduce belly fat, but more research is needed.
3. May Help Balance Mood
Due to the side effects of some medications used to treat anxiety and depression, many people seek out alternative remedies
Studies show that aromatherapy may be a beneficial complementary therapy for balancing mood and relieving anxiety
Currently, there’s little research on the effects of grapefruit essential oil specifically in this regard. However, studies link citrus essential oils that contain the same compounds as grapefruit oil to calming and anti-anxiety effects
The calming effects are, in part, attributed to limonene
Although there’s little research on the specific effects of grapefruit essential oil, studies show that citrus essential oils, in general, may have positive effects on mood and anxiety.
4. Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Effects
Grapefruit essential oil has potent antibacterial and antimicrobial effects.
Test-tube studies show that it displayed antimicrobial properties against potentially harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli
One study comparing five essential oils found that grapefruit essential oil was one of the most powerful in regards to its antimicrobial effects against MRSA — a group of bacteria that’s usually harder to treat, as it’s often resistant to common antibiotics
Lastly, it may also help to prevent stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria, H. pylori.
For example, a test-tube study examining properties of 60 essential oils found that white grapefruit essential oil had antibacterial effects against H. pylori
Research shows that grapefruit essential oil may be effective in fighting certain fungal strains as well, such as Candida albicans, a yeast that can cause infections in humans, especially in people with weakened immune systems
However, it’s unknown whether topically applied grapefruit essential oil would have an effect on H. pylori, and ingesting essential oils is not recommended.
Grapefruit essential oil provides antimicrobial and antibacterial effects comparable to those of other proven topical ointments.
Grapefruit Essential Oil Uses
Grapefruit essential oil can be used aromatically, topically and internally. Here’s a quick breakdown of the best ways to use grapefruit oil safely and effectively:
- Aromatically: Grapefruit oil can be diffused throughout your home using an oil diffuser or inhaled directly from the bottle. Try this method by inhaling grapefruit vapors to help the body let go of bloating and retained water, headaches, stress, and depression.
- Topically: When using grapefruit oil on your skin, it should be diluted with equal parts of a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil. Combine the two and then rub them onto any area in need, including sore muscles, acne-prone skin or your abdomen to improve digestion.
- Internally: Using grapefruit oil internally is ONLY recommended with a very high-quality, pure grade oil brand. You can add a drop to water or take it as a dietary supplement by mixing 1-2 drops with honey or a smoothie. It’s recognized as safe for consumption by the FDA, but only when you use a 100 percent pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil that only includes one ingredient: grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) rind oil.
Here are the top grapefruit essential oil uses:
1. Reduce Cravings: Add 1–2 drops of grapefruit oil to your water, inhale it directly from the bottle, diffuse 5 drops in your office or home, or massage 2-3 drops into your chest and wrists when a craving strikes.
2. Relieve Stress: Add 2–3 drops to a sterile cotton ball along with a touch of coconut oil. Then rub the mixture it into your wrists, neck or chest. You can also diffuse 5 drops of grapefruit or inhale it directly from the bottle.
3. Ease Hangover: Diffuse 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil in your home, add 1–2 drops to a glass of water, or apply 1–2 drops topically to your temples and neck.
4. Improve Skin Health: As a natural acne treatment or skin salve, combine 1–2 drops of grapefruit oil with about half a teaspoon of nourishing coconut or jojoba oil. Then apply the mixture once or twice daily on the affected area.
5. Eliminate Odors: To get rid of unpleasant odors in your kitchen, appliances and bathrooms, diffuse 5 drops of grapefruit oil along with other citrus scents like lemon essential oil and orange oil. While your house fills with a clean scent, you also eliminate odor-causing bacteria from the air. Additionally, you can use a small amount of grapefruit essential oil on wooden surfaces, countertops, floors or in household appliances to kill bacteria and odor naturally.
6. Boost Circulation: Add 2–3 drops of grapefruit oil to a nightly bath, place some on your shirt collar or dap 1-2 drops onto your wrists.
7. Aid Digestion: Make a homemade massage lotion with 3–5 drops of grapefruit oil and equal parts coconut or jojoba oil. Then rub the mixture onto your abdomen to aid digestion.
8. Boost Energy and Mood: Inhale grapefruit oil directly from the bottle, diffuse 5 drops at home or work, or rub 2-3 drops onto your wrists.
9. Improve Hair Health: Add 2-3 drops of grapefruit oil to your shampoo or conditioner and massage it into your scalp and hair. You can also add 1-2 drops of grapefruit to a small amount of coconut oil and rub the mixture into your clean, damp hair after bathing.
Grapefruit essential oil works well with lots of other oils depending on what you’re using it for. Try combing it with basil oil, orange oil, peppermint oil, bergamot oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil or lemon essential oil. Keep in mind that all citrus essentials oils are highly concentrated and are full of healthy acidic properties. Because of this, we recommend you use glass containers when storing them so they don’t eat away any of the plastic.
Grapefruit Oil Precautions
Grapefruit essential oil is considered safe, but it might interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure medications. Before adding grapefruit to your diet or using grapefruit oil as a natural medicinal remedy, check with your health care provider if you take medications or have sensitive skin.
You also want to avoid direct sun exposure right after using grapefruit oil topically, as some citrus oils can increase photosensitivity. When using the oil on your skin, wait at least one hour before going into the sun. Also keep in mind that some people with sensitive skin might experience irritation or an allergic reaction when applying grapefruit essential oil, so a skin patch test should be done first to check for your reaction (the same applies to starting use with any new essential oil since essential oils all differ in terms of ingredients and chemical properties).
Finally, be careful to avoid any misleading information on the internet about using high quantities of grapefruit oil for weight loss, especially low-quality brands that might contain dangerous additives and fillers. Some sources claim that up to half a bottle per day should be taken for best results — but this is dangerous, potentially toxic and will very likely cause negative reactions. Overly consuming grapefruit oil can overstimulate the gallbladder and cause spasms and serious digestive issues like gallstones or changes in bile ducts, so use caution and only use grapefruit or any essential oil in small recommended doses.