Grapefruit Essential Oil: Benefits & Blends for Better Health (Updated April 2020)

Grapefruit essential oil is highly reputed for its cleansing, purifying and detoxifying effects. It has a sweet, energizing, and refreshing aroma that is known to be rejuvenating and uplifting. Inhaling it helps increase energy levels, ease tensions from everyday stress, and balance a tired and overwhelmed immune system.

Additionally, it boasts a long list of documented properties that make it one of the most sought-after essential oils these days. Grapefruit essential oil contains various phytochemicals that are known for their anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antioxidant, diuretic, stimulant, and tonic properties. In more recent years, however, it has been highly celebrated for its ability to aid in weight loss.

Maintaining your health the all-natural way is becoming easier and easier. So easy, in fact, that healthy and all-natural options like essential oils are just a click or a tap away. Aroma Foundry can bring these essential oils right to your doorstep, at a far more reasonable price than other essential oil brands.

grapefruit essential oil

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

essential oil brands

The History of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Little is known about the historical uses and benefits of grapefruit essential oil and of grapefruit itself. This is likely because it is a relative newcomer in the citrus family.

Originally, the fruit was believed to have emerged from the pomelo fruit. In 1837, James MacFayden separated grapefruit from the pomelo and gave it its botanical name: Citrus paradisi.

However, it wasn’t until about 1948 that the true origins of grapefruit was determined. The grapefruit is actually a hybrid of the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and sweet orange (Citrus sinensis).

The first documentation of the fruit was in 1750 by Rev. Griffith Hughes. He named it the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados. In 1789, Patrick Browne referred to the fruit as “smaller shaddock.” This carried on until the 1800s.

The fruit first came to be known as grapefruit in 1814. It was named by botanist John Lunan and was featured in his work, Hortus Jamaicanensis. Its name was said to have been an allusion to how the fruits appear as they grow, which is in grape-like clusters.

However, Lunan stated that the fruit was "known by the name of grape-fruit, on account of its resemblance in flavor to the grape."

The grapefruit was brought to Florida, where it is now widely grown, by the French Count Philippe Odet in 1823. Around 50 years later, Florida made its first shipment of the fruit to New York and Philadelphia. This was the dawn of the huge commercial grapefruit industry in Florida.

The United States remains to be the world’s largest supplier of grapefruit. China and South America come next.

Grapefruit essential oil is extracted through the mechanical compression of the rind of the fruit. This production process uses no heat or chemicals and preserves the integrity of the oil as well as the efficacy of its various volatile compounds.

The aroma of the essential oil smells exactly like the fruit: sweet, citrusy and a little bit bitter. It also has more therapeutic and practical applications than the fruit itself.


Uses and Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

grapefruit essential oilGrapefruit is a relatively young citrus.


The main chemical constituent of grapefruit oil is limonene. It comprises 88 to 95% of the chemicals found in the oil. This compound is also commonly found in other citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. The other known major components of grapefruit essential oil are alpha-pinene, sabinene, geraniol, linalool, thujene, myrcene, terpinene, pinene, citronellol, caprinaldehyde, decyl acetate, and neryl acetate.

Similar to the fruit, grapefruit essential oil is also rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C. It also contains vitamin A and lycopene, but in lower concentrations. Grapefruit essential oil possesses diverse practical and industrial uses, which we will discuss in detail further on in this article.


1. Removes toxins and excess body fluid

Grapefruit Essential Oil for Lifting MoodGrapefruit essential oil can help bring a smile to your face in times of fatigue and stress. Photo by Lesly Juarez/Unsplash. 


Do you often feel tired and sluggish for no apparent reason? Do you seem more irritable than usual? Are you suffering from headaches and swollen lymph nodes?

If so, then perhaps you need some serious body cleansing. Or, as we call it these days, a detox. This is because the symptoms mentioned are the most common signs of a clogged-up lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is considered the drainage or sewage system in our body. It plays an active role in promoting healthy bodily functions and in eliminating toxins from the body.

Grapefruit essential oil is reputed to have beneficial effects on the lymphatic system. It helps boost activity in the lymph gland, eases up the lymphatic flow, and reduces inflammation in the system. These functions help the body rid itself of toxins and fight problems like fluid retention, cellulite, blood urea, and renal calculi.


2. Mood uplifter and energy booster

When you’re feeling down in the dumps and need a little pick-me-up, whip out a bottle of grapefruit essential oil. It is a great natural treatment for depression, stress, fatigue, sluggishness and other adrenal fatigue symptoms. Its soothing aroma has uplifting and relaxing effects on the mind.

When inhaled, the aroma helps stimulate the nervous system, thereby increasing alertness and improving focus. It also helps increase your body’s metabolic rate by improving the secretion of enzymes and hormones in the endocrine system. When applied on the wrist and other pulse points in the body, it it can help replenish energy by improving the blood and lymphatic circulation.

A study conducted by the Cancer Prevention Research suggests that grapefruit essential oil can help control the production of stress hormones. It showed that the administration of limonene, which is the major component of grapefruit oil, caused a significant decrease in adrenal steroid hormones.

The body is equipped with hormones and enzymes that help maintain equilibrium in the body. When a person is stressed out, the adrenal glands secrete greater quantities of cortisol.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that causes a variety of health complications when it remains elevated for a long period of time. This includes chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, and impaired immunity.

3. Anti-inflammatory effects

  • Whether it’s inflamed skin from an infected wound or a more serious inflammatory condition such as arthritis, grapefruit essential oil can potentially be a great solution. The oil is composed of organic compounds that have effective anti-inflammatory properties.

  • The antioxidants found in the oil can help reduce and prevent inflammation. Limonene, for example, is known to have inhibitory effects on various pro-inflammatory chemicals found in the body.

  • When used regularly, the oil can help prevent and treat rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative conditions associated with chronic depression such as dementia, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease.


  • 4. Boosts immunity

  • There is no shortcut to better immunity. It can be a long process that requires more than just taking an essential oil. However, if a little boost to get there is available, why not go for it?

    Like all other citrus oils, grapefruit essential oil is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. The oil is packed with bioflavonoids that are known for their immune-boosting properties and for helping the body fight against free radicals. Along with its antimicrobial capabilities, the oil helps promote good health and protection against various diseases.

    Feeling like you’re about to get sick? A good dose of vitamin C from grapefruit essential oil can help stop it before it even happens.

  • essential oils for immune system

    5. Natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral agent

    From scrapes to fungal nail infections, there is nothing that a dose of grapefruit essential oil cannot help you deal with. The oil has strong antimicrobial properties, and it can be used to help kill various harmful strains of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that threaten the body.

    Research shows that the the oil has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against six strains of bacteria. This includes Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, S. epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Serratia marcescens, and Proteus vulgaris.

    It is not only great for treating skin infections, it is also a natural remedy for gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.


    6. Helps treat oily skin and acne

    Grapefruit Essential Oil for Better Skin
    It can be difficult and stressful to find the right remedies for acne, so why not try an all-natural solution? Photo by Eric Ward/Unsplash


    Having oily skin or acne can cause serious self-esteem problems not only for teenagers and young adults but also for older people. Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin problem that can affect people of all ages as well.

    This condition is caused by the blockage of hair follicles with excess oil and dead skin cells. There are three factors that trigger acne: excess oil production, poor skin care regimen, and increased bacteria and androgen levels.

    Fortunately, grapefruit essential oil can help with the prevention and management of acne. The oil downregulates the activity of the sebaceous glands, reducing sebum or oil production. It also helps cleanse the skin and get rid of excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells, consequently allowing the glands to drain well.

    The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of grapefruit oil also aid in the management of acne. Incorporating the oil into your daily skin care regimen can potentially do wonders for your skin.

    You can add 3 drops of the oil in your preferred facial wash or apply the diluted grapefruit essential oil (3 drops of grapefruit essential oil and a tablespoon of jojoba oil) directly onto the skin after washing. This regimen can help prevent acne or, if you already have it, help shrink pimple and prevent infection and scarring.


    7. Fights cancer

    A study published by the Cancer Prevention Research showed that limonene, the major component of grapefruit essential oil, was effective the helping prevent the division of cancer cells in the 43 women with breast cancer that they tested. The size of the existing tumors in the subjects was also reduced.

    It's important to remember, however, that no essential oil by itself will be able to fight cancer. Cancer treatments are still vital, and essential oils are only a supplement.


    8. Helps with weight loss

    Grapefruit Essential Oil for Weight LossThere is evidence that grapefruit essential oil can work with your brain to reduce appetite and control cravings.


    The active ingredients found in grapefruit essential oil are not only known to boost metabolism, they are also known to help suppress appetite and food cravings, especially for sugar. The oil acts directly on the hypothalamus, the satiety center of the brain.

    In a study conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, the aroma of grapefruit essential oil has been found to help control calorie intake. Simply inhaling the aroma of the oil 15 minutes before meal time can help curb appetite.


    9. Fragrant home disinfectant

    Due to its sweet, tangy, and refreshing smell as well as its antiseptic properties, grapefruit essential oil makes a great addition to your home cleaning products. It not only helps you get rid of foul odors in your home, it also disinfects whatever it touches, such as countertops, tubs, the floor, or the air.

    Why use commercial room fresheners that may have harmful side effects when inhaled? Make your own disinfectant at home simply by mixing 5-10 drops of the oil with distilled water in a glass fine mist spray bottle.
    Grapefruit oil has a biofilm-diluting property that helps make it easier to remove dirt and grime. Spray it around or use it to wipe down countertops, kitchen appliances, and the like to get rid of microbes responsible for the foul smell in your home.

    10. All-natural hair care

    Grapefruit essential oil is also reputed to help improve one’s hair. It can help manage dandruff by helping reduce the irritation and inflammation caused by the growth and presence of fungus or bacteria in the scalp.

    It is also a great hair cleanser. It helps get rid of dirt and excess oil on your hair while leaving it smelling fresh and fragrant. The oil can also help improve your hair’s texture by keeping it smooth and shiny without making it too oily.

    Interestingly, grapefruit essential oil has been found to be helpful in treating hair loss by stimulating hair growth and fighting inflammation in the follicles.


    Due to its extraction process, grapefruit essential oil is highly concentrated. It should never be used without diluting it with carrier oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.

    Prior to usage, do a skin patch test first to ensure that you are not allergic to the oil. You can do this by applying a small amount of grapefruit essential oil to a relatively small surface area on the skin and observing for any untoward reaction.

    The oil is phototoxic as well. If used topically, photosensitivity or sensitivity to ultraviolet rays may occur. It is best to avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours after using the oil on your skin.

    There is little evidence to suggest that the oil is safe for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women. Although it has been reported that the oil aids in alleviating morning sickness in pregnant women, it is imperative to consult your physician prior to using the oil.

    It’s also best to avoid using essential oils on pets as well as children younger than the age of 7.



    grapefruit essential oilGrapefruit essential oil is versatile and highly useful.


    Invigorating grapefruit body scrub

    After a tiring and stressful weekday, what could be better than an invigorating scrub to smoothen your skin and help you feel refreshed? Try this easy-peasy scrub recipe at home.

    What you’ll need:

    • ½ cup coconut oil
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 25 drops of grapefruit essential oil

    What to do:

    Mix all ingredients together in the glass container. During your daily bath or shower, massage the scrub all over your body in a soft, circular motion. Store in a cool, dry place after use.

    Important note: Being a citrus, grapefruit’s essential oil can be especially acidic and may corrode materials like plastic or ordinary glass. Cold-pressed citrus essential oils are also photosensitive, and prolonged exposure to the sun may cause them to oxidize if left in a non-UV-filtering container.


    Refreshing diffuser blend

    Air fresheners are getting obsolete. They may contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to you, and they also come in plastic packaging that can harm the environment. As an alternative, re-energize yourself and your home by diffusing this awesome blend of essential oils instead.
    • 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil


    Romantic grapefruit bath

    It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for you to treat your partner to a sexy, romantic bath at home. Get into action by creating this pampering and soothing bath salt that is sure to relax those tensed muscles and give you and your partner a nice relaxing bath.

    What you’ll need:

    • 15 drops of grapefruit essential oil
    • 2 cups Epsom salt

    What to do:

    Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour under running hot water in a bath. Let the mixture dissolve completely before getting into the tub.

    Homemade surface cleaner

    Tired of store-bought cleaning agents that smell a tad too unnatural? Give this extra refreshing and fragrant surface cleaner recipe a try!

    What you’ll need:

    • 5 ml of grapefruit essential oil
    • 4 ml of lemon essential oil
    • 1 2/3 cups water
    • 1/2 teaspoon sodium borate (Borax)
    • 1/4 teaspoon unscented liquid soap, Castile-type

    What to do:

    Combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle. Shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly mixed. To use, spray on the desired surface and wipe it clean with a cloth.

    Store the remaining mixture in a dry place and keep out of children’s reach.


    Grapefruit body butter and lotion

    Say goodbye to dry skin and feel revived all day long with this must-try grapefruit body butter and lotion recipe. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s packed with antioxidants that get you that beautiful, young, and supple skin you’ve always wanted!

    What you’ll need:

    • 3 oz of unrefined shea butter
    • 1.5 oz of unrefined organic coconut oIl
    • 1 tbsp of sweet almond oil
    • 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil
    • Double boiler or 2 pans (1 large and 1 small)
    • Wooden ladle
    • Hand mixer

    What to do:

    Over a double boiler, combine the shea butter, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil. Allow all the ingredients to melt completely. Once melted, let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil and mix thoroughly.

    Transfer the mixture into a jar like cosmetic-style glass jar and wait for it to slightly solidify. This could take around 30 minutes or more. Once slightly solid, whip the mixture for at least 5 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

    If desired, add 3 drops of pink colorant. Add one drop at a time and mix after each addition until you get your desired color.

    Facial cleanser and toner

    Get young and beautiful skin with this 3-in-1 facial cleanser recipe. It has great toning, anti-aging, and acne-fighting properties.

    What you’ll need:

    • 30 drops of grapefruit essential oil
    • 20 drops of bergamot essential oil
    • ¼ cup jojoba oil
    • ¼ cup natural aloe vera gel
    • 1 cup liquid castile soap
    • Glass pump bottle
    • Wooden spoon
    • Large bowl

    What to do:

    Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a  push pump bottle and use as a facial cleanser.

    Avoid sun exposure after using the cleanser, because grapefruit essential oil on skin can cause photosensitivity. The cleanser is best used at night.


    buy essential oils


    The benefits of grapefruit essential oil make it a must-have in every household.

    It’s easy to get lazy and just head to the store to grab the most common over-the-counter remedy for your health and household problems. However, the long-term effects of even just the mere manufacturing of these products are more than just alarming. With all their harmful chemicals, they threaten not just our overall well-being, but the environment as well.

    Check out the array of high-quality products in Aroma Foundry’s shop for the best deals in essential oils. We give detailed guidelines on the history, uses and benefits, as well as recipes on all the essential oils we offer.

    wholesale essential oils

    Check out the array of high-quality products in Aroma Foundry’s shop for the best deals in essential oils. We give detailed guidelines on the history, uses and benefits, as well as recipes on all the essential oils we offer.



    1. "10 Wonderful Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil." Organic Facts. December 15, 2017. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    2. "11 Reasons You Need A Bottle of Grapefruit Essential Oil In Your Home." Natural Living Ideas. August 09, 2016. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    3. "7 Ways Grapefruit Essential Oil Can Boost Your Health." The Truth About Cancer. March 27, 2018. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    4. Babcock, Jillian. "13 Grapefruit Essential Oil Benefits - Starting with Weight Loss." Dr. Axe. September 12, 2017. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    5. "Grapefruit." Grapefruit - New World Encyclopedia. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    6. "Grapefruit Oil: The Citrus Extract to Help Activate Your Lymphatic System." Accessed April 9, 2018.
    7. Morton, Julia F. "Grapefruit." In Fruits of Warm Climates, 152-58. Miami, Florida, 1987. Accessed April 9, 2018.
    View all resources


    Author Profile

    Multiple ContributorsSee more Our articles>>>

    They say it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes, it takes a team to deliver comprehensive information on the all-natural solutions offered by essential oils.

    See more Our articles>>>

    1. Background
    2. The History of Grapefruit Essential Oil
    3. Uses and Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil
      1. Removes toxins and excess body fluid
      2. Mood uplifter and energy booster
      3. Anti-inflammatory effects
      4. Boosts immunity
      5. Natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral agent
      6. Helps treat oily skin and acne
      7. Fights cancer
      8. Helps with weight loss
      9. Fragrant home disinfectant
      10. All-natural hair care
    4. Precautions
    5. Recipes
    6. Summary
    7. References