Essential Oil Profile: Grapefruit

By Amelia E. Stone, RN


Common Name: Grapefruit

Latin Binomial: Citrus paradisi

Family: Rutaceae

Production Method: Cold Pressed

Countries of Origin: USA

Typical Constituents: [+]-Limonene (84.8-95.4%), b-Myrcene (1.4-3.6%), α-Pinene (0.2-1.6%), Sabinene (0.4-1.0%), Nootkatone (0.1-0.8%)  NON-VOLATILE COMPOUNDS: Bergapten (0.012-0.19%), Epoxy-bergamottin (0.1126%), Bergamottin (<0.11%)

Description of Oil: pale yellow to clear, fresh, sweet, citrus odor

Description of Plant: A large, vigorous, glossy–leaved tree with white flowers and light yellow to orange fruits.

History, Folklore and Myth: Named ‘shaddock fruit’ after Captain Shaddock who introduced it to the West Indies.  In 1930, the commercial production of the essential oil began in Florida.

Properties and Uses: antidepressant, antiseptic, detoxifier, stimulant, uplifting tonic

Precautions and Contraindications: Avoid old or oxidized oils.  Maximum dermal use level 4%.

Other Interesting Information: Grapefruit is the only citrus species native to the New World.

References: Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Virginia, Queensland, Australia: The Perfect Potion. 1995.

Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 1995.

Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils. London: Random House. 2005

Shutes, Jade. Advanced Aromatherapy Certification Program. East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies. 2014

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