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As the FDA increases censorship of natural ingredients, it becomes vital for the health-conscious consumer to have a practical knowledge of common natural ingredients. As an aromatherapist and herbalist with over 7 years experience (and maker of alternative skin goods) I’m excited to present a blog series devoted to profiling common and useful natural (and questionable synthetic) ingredients. In this way, we may all be empowered to make informed decisions about what goes on and inside our bodies.
Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil is one of my all-time favorites. Plus, it has a wide array of therapeutic and cosmetic uses
How It’s Made
Grapefruit Essential Oil (and all other high quality citrus oils) are cold pressed. This means that a huge amount of citrus peels are pressed to extract oil and juice. The essential oil (EO) is then collected from the top of this liquid. This process entirely preserves the healing properties of this oil as it does not heat the material at all. Cheap citrus essential oils are extracted with harsh solvents that inevitably get into your skin. Always be sure to buy from companies that only use 100% steam distilled or cold pressed (for citrus) essential oils.
Unfortunately, some companies still sell adulterated essential oils. If something smells off with an EO or product, don’t use it! Some companies choose to steam distill grapefruit EO, which dramatically reduces the quality of the oil.
If it doesn’t smell like the freshly peeled fruit, it is most likely steam distilled our solvent extracted. Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil is usually a rather bright, but clear, yellow-orange color. Sediment may occur in some essential oils, this is completely normal. You can always strain your oil through a paper coffee filter if this bothers you. It should smell exactly like pink grapefruit, sweet and cheery! White Grapefruit Oil is also available. This is generally clear, and true to its origin, smells more bitter (I’m not a fan). If you love pink grapefruit, be sure you are buying pink grapefruit EO and not white grapefruit!
Essential oils are difficult to make at home, but a simple oil infusion of the herb will capture some of the plant’s essential oils and therapeutic qualities.
Basic Precautions for Essential Oils
Many essential oils are not appropriate during pregnancy. Grapefruit is generally considered safe, but if you are pregnant always check with your health care provider before using any product. Some people are very sensitive to specific essential oils. Citrus oils are generally safe, but I have encountered individuals who cannot use them for skin care. Always do a skin test to see if you have a reaction if you have never used an oil before. Always dilute essential oils before application. Essential oils should NEVER be taken internally without the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist. Always store essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Citrus oils can cause photo-sensitivity, which simply means your skin will be more sensitive to the sun. It’s best to avoid using this oil on the skin just before sun exposure.
Grapefruit Essential Oil is bright and sweet-smelling, the perfect therapeutic aid for sour moods and depression. Ironically, aromatherapists often use this oil for “bitter” types who hold resentment. It has even been used to help stabilize the moods of those experiencing withdrawals from addictions. Slightly energizing, this oil is an instant mood-booster. Popular among children as well, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love the smell of Grapefruit EO.
Topically, Grapefruit is a surprisingly useful oil with a unique action. It has a dissolving affect on fats and oils and amazing antimicrobial powers, making it invaluable for clearing acne. Grapefruit is perhaps most noted for its toning action, giving it the ability to noticeably reduce cellulite. It’s said this is achieved by dissolving “brown” fat cells that have poor circulation, allowing the body to process built up toxins. Of course this is just a traditional use, but I have personally used a massage oil with Grapefruit EO along with diet and exercise and have seen a huge reduction in my thigh cellulite. Grapefruit can be added to a massage oil by following this simple recipe from last week’s blog.
Today we have another classic method for homemade aromatherapy: the room spray. This is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy aromatherapy as it requires no heating, little prep time and can be used anywhere. This recipe features Wild Rose’s Total Attunement blend, used in a variety of our skin care and aromatherapy products.
- 10 drops Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil (cold pressed)
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (steam distilled)
- 2oz Spring Water
- 1 spray bottler, preferably an atomizer
- Grapefruit-Lavender is one of my all time favorite blends. The sweetness of grapefruit and the flowery-ness of lavender compliment each other in a way that tones each scent down, creating a perfect balance. Feel free to adjust the proportions to suit your personal taste, but you want to end up with about 20 drops of EO per 2oz of water.
- Add your EOs to your empty spray bottle.
- Fill with spring water.
- Shake very well and spray!
- Be sure to shake this well before each spray. The oils will sit on top of the water until it is shaken. An atomizer (which is essentially a fine-misting spray bottle) is highly recommended as it effectively disperses the EO particles throughout the mist.
- Always label your homemade blends should anyone using them ever have a reaction. And more importantly, so you can replicate a favorite recipe!
- I use these sprays as an aromatherapy pick-me-up, linen freshener and even deodorant!