Grapefruit essential Oil Uses
How Grapefruit Essential Oil Is Obtained
Grapefruit Essential oil is a by product of the juicing process of a grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi ) & you will find it imbedded deeply in the outer peel of the fruit (Known as the flavedo). Unfortunately the thick spongy white layer (albedo) of the peel will absorb & thus decreases the amount of essential oils that can be produced if the two layers are not separated carefully prior to the oil being extracted.
The two layers are separated by a machine which rolls & scrapes the flavedo away from the fruit before it goes on to be juiced. The flavedo then forms a wet pulpy mass that is put in to a centrifuge & the oil becomes separated from the solids. The solids can also be pressed to produce even more essential oil from the grapefruit. Once it has been separated from the solids it is then filtered & bottled. This form of extraction will produce about 1.5ibs of essential oil from a ton of fresh fruit.
There is however another way in which more substantial amount (25ibs) of essential oil can be obtained from a ton of grapefruits by chopping the peel & then distilling it using steam. Unfortunately the down side of steam distillation is that this process destroys the delicate sweet smelling properties of the fresh peel & so the quality of the oil would be decreased & would make it unsuitable to use especially in relation to aromatherapy treatments.
The grapefruit peel contains a number of fatty substances such as linolenic, linolenic & oleic acids, whilst the waxy cuticle of the fruit contains various hydrocarbons namely phytosterol & pectin. It is during the distillation process that these solid materials will dissolve & become the oil.
Grapefruit Essential Oil contains 90% of the terpene hydrocarbon known as limonene which is present at similar levels in many citrus oils, it also contains a small amount of a unique alcohol known as paradisi & these components help to produce a fragrance that is fresh, fruity & clean. The more higher quality the oil that has been expressed you will find that it smells nearly identical to the broken peel of a fresh grapefruit.
Storing Grapefruit Essential Oil
It should however be kept in mind that all expressed non-distilled citrus oils (including grapefruit) are a fresh botanical product that will age faster than those oils that have been steam distilled. So remember to keep it away from bright light & exposing it to air will quickly decrease the oil’s aromatic profile. It is therefore wise to store your grapefruit essential oil in a light proof glass, in a dark cool place that is not subject to changes in temperature.
Grapefruit Essential Oil Health Benefits
Grapefruit essential oil has an energizing effect & is said to help with eating disorders & has a astringent & toning effect when applied topically. It is also said to be a good detoxifier as it stimulates the lymphatic system helping to rid the body of toxins. Some people say that inhaling the aroma will help to reduce the craving for sweet foods, this should prove helpful when dieting & it would be advisable to add some grapefruit oil to their daily regime.
It is also a good stimulant for the immune system, very useful through the winter months when colds & flu are at there worse. It is also good at helping reduce fluid retention & cleansing the body.
Limonene makes up 88% to 95% of the oil. This is good at cutting down on illnesses that are caused by inflammation & is also a powerful antioxidant.
It is good at helping with throat & respiratory conditions, use it in a diffuser or burner & breath in the aroma.
Grapefruit is on every breakfast menu of all the hotels I have stayed in whilst on holiday in Thailand, & for some strange reason they always taste far better than the ones at home ! I do like using grapefruit essential oil in my diffuser, the aroma does have a uplifting feel to it.
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