- By: Sarah Wu

Citrus Paradisi

Native to Asia, cultivated around tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Grapefruit is a hybrid of Pomelo and Sweet Orange. Native to the tropical Malay Archipelago and West Indies, it is extensively cultivated in Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, India, Brazil, Israel, Argentina, and South Africa. The early records of Grapefruit were written in 1750 referring to it as the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados. Grapefruit as a common name was first recorded in 1814 in Jamaica, possibly because the fruit clusters resemble grapes. Traditionally the juice has been used internally to treat diarrhea, allergies, flu, strep throat, to prevent and treat infection, and to remove or dissolve inorganic calcium deposited in joints resulting in arthritic conditions.

Inhalation of Grapefruit Essential Oil stimulates the thalamus, secreting painkilling neurochemicals called enkephalins. C. paradisi helps to regulate the circadian rhythm controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), or more simply the 24-hour physiological process caused by the cycles of day and night. It may show efficacy specifically diffused in rooms of children suffering from mood swings and depression.

With many medicinal actions internally, Grapefruit Juice and Essential Oil extract of the peel help to dispose of metabolic waste, reduce the size of kidney stones, help prevent kidney infections, is diuretic, stimulates gallbladder activity to effectively metabolize fats, aids in weight loss, and has mild antihistamine activity. It must be noted that Grapefruit Juice is very reactive to many pharmaceutical drugs, in some cases inhibiting uptake, increasing bio-availability, specifically enhancing blood pressure medications causing arrhythmias in patients, increasing the bio-availability of statin drugs (cholesterol medications), moving it through the system too fast, resulting in toxicity by increasing drug exposure and delaying absorption. Anyone taking a pharmaceutical medication, whether prescribed, purchased over-the-counter, or illicitly should research the specific effect of Grapefruit Juice on the drug. I recommend the book, Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines by Francis Brinker, N.D. and researching on credible websites such as PubMed and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Topically, the diluted Essential Oil is excellent as a lymphatic massage and may aid in stimulating hair growth along with Peppermint and Rosemary Essential Oils. Cosmetically, it is an astringent for oily and congested skin and hair follicles and reduces cellulite by tightening and stimulating the skin.

As an insecticide, Grapefruit Essential Oil is shown to be as effective as Permethrin (a potent insecticide) in repelling Lone Star and Black Legged tick nymphs, which carry a number of pathogens including Lyme disease, babesiosis, bartonellosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other insect concerns that affect humans and animals worldwide.

Not to be confused with Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), which is not an Essential Oil, but a derivative of the seed. GSE is filled with chemical preservatives and anti-microbial agents such as bensethonium chloride, triclosan, and methylparaben. The preservatives in GSE are shown to be the predominant ant-imicrobials, while pure GSE has minimal anti-microbial activity.

Grapefruit blends beautifully with Top Notes such as Ylang Ylang, other Middle Notes like Clary Sage and Rosemary, and Base Notes like Jasmin and Patchouli.

You can find the South African cold-pressed Grapefruit Essential Oil in the Pangea Organics Egyptian Fennel, Grapefruit, & Sweet Orange Lip Balm (my favorite!), in the Chilean Rosehip, Tamanu, and Red Clover Hand Cream, and solo in our line of 100% organic Single Note Essential Oils.