We’ve known for decades that grapefruit can benefit weight loss, but the possibility of using concentrated grapefruit essential oil for the same effects is now becoming more popular. Grapefruit oil, which is extracted from the rind of the grapefruit plant, has been used for centuries to help beat inflammation, weight gain, sugar cravings and even hangover symptoms.

It’s also considered a natural stress-fighter, anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant food and anticarcinogenic agent. Even though the pulp of grapefruit has plenty of its own benefits — including being a popular fat-burning food — grapefruit essential oil actually comes from the peel of the fruit, which holds a range of beneficial volatile compounds.

As one of the most versatile essential oils, the aroma of grapefruit oil is clean, fresh and a little bit bitter, just like the actual fruit itself. It has the signature taste and smell of citrus fruits, which is why many people like to use it in natural household cleaning products and homemade beauty lotions, soaps or cosmetics.

Here are some of the benefits of Grapefruit oil for beauty and health

Grapefruit oil

May Suppress Appetite

For those looking to suppress an overactive appetite, research indicates that grapefruit oil aromatherapy might be useful. One study found that people exposed to the scent of grapefruit essential oil for 15 minutes 3 times a week experienced reductions in appetite, food intake, and body weight. Another recent study showed that the scent of grapefruit essential oil increased activity in the gastric vagal nerve, resulting in lower appetite. This nerve plays an important role in stimulating the production of stomach juices needed for digestion.

May Promote Weight Loss

Grapefruit essential oil may help you shed some extra weight, though research in this area is limited. One study found that the scent of grapefruit essential oil stimulated the breakdown of fat tissue and led to a reduction in food intake. Similarly, a test-tube study in fat cells of rats showed that grapefruit essential oil applied directly to the cells inhibited the formation of fatty tissue. Additionally, topically applied grapefruit essential oil has been observed to promote weight loss in people.

May Help Balance Mood

Due to the side effects of some medications used to treat anxiety and depression, many people seek out alternative remedies. Studies show that aromatherapy may be a beneficial complementary therapy for balancing mood and relieving anxiety. Currently, there’s little research on the effects of grapefruit essential oil specifically in this regard. However, studies link citrus essential oils that contain the same compounds as grapefruit oil to calming and anti-anxiety effects

Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Effects

Grapefruit essential oil has potent antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. Test-tube studies show that it displayed antimicrobial properties against potentially harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli.

Stuy comparing five essential oils found that grapefruit essential oil was one of the most powerful in regards to its antimicrobial effects against MRSA — a group of bacteria that’s usually harder to treat, as it’s often resistant to common antibiotics. Lastly, it may also help to prevent stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria, H. pylori.

May Help Reduce Stress and Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common condition that affects about one in three adults. Many people use natural therapies to help lower their blood pressure — either in conjunction with prescription medications or to avoid medications altogether. Some researchers suggest that aromatherapy may help control both blood pressure and stress levels.

Helps to Relieve Hangover Symptoms

Grapefruit oil is a powerful gallbladder and liver stimulant, so it can help stop headaches, cravings and sluggishness following a day of drinking alcohol. It works to increase detoxification and urination, while putting a hold on cravings that can occur due to hormonal and blood sugar level changes resulting from alcohol.

Helps to Fight Acne and Improve Skin Health

Many commercially made lotions and soaps contain citrus oils because of their antibacterial and anti-aging properties. Not only may grapefruit essential oil help to fight bacteria and greasiness that can cause acne blemishes, but it may also be useful for keeping your skin’s immunity strong against indoor and outdoor air pollution and UV light damage — plus it may even help you get rid of cellulite. Grapefruit essential oil has also been found to help heal wounds, cuts and bites, and to prevent skin infections.

Improves Hair Health

Lab studies show that grapefruit oil has antibacterial effects and enhances the susceptibility of microorganisms that are normally resistant. For this reason, grapefruit oil may help to cleanse your hair and scalp thoroughly when it’s added to your shampoo or conditioner. You can also use grapefruit oil to reduce greasy hair, while adding volume and shine. Plus, if you color your hair, grapefruit oil might also be able to protect strands from sunlight damage.