Edition 47: September 2012
Essential oil of the Month
Lighten up: grapefruit gives wings to feelings
COMING to Europe from Asia, the grapefruit tree was grown as an ornamental and excellent vitamin C food source.
During the 18th Century, it is said that the tree was cultivated in the West Indies, where it was known as “Shaddock fruit”, after the sea captain who brought it there.
Grapefruit essential oil has a significant cleansing effect on the liver and consequently this is reflected in an improvement to skin abnormalities, such as discolouration.
Blend grapefruit oil with rose and lavender oils to help diminish brown patches on the back of the hands or on the facial skin. Grapefruit oil is astringent and toning to the skin and helps to clear congested oily skin and it also assists with acne.
Grapefruit exerts a tonic action on the digestive system, so do include it in a belly rub to treat an upset stomach; add some spearmint or chamomile oil for this purpose.
It is the limonene in grapefruit oil (also responsible for the citrus smell) that has shown anti-tumour promise in scientific research.
The detoxifying and tonic actions of grapefruit on the liver and kidneys also help with fluid retention and cellulite problems by prompting the elimination of toxins stored in the body.
Dilute grapefruit oil well with rosemary oil in a quality vegetable oil and use for a morning bath oil, should you have a hangover this will soothe a congested, overheated liver. Grapefruit also counters gall-bladder pain and is indicated for massage post gall-bladder surgery. This is very helpful where there is associated abdominal distention, constipation and nausea.
This oil improves lymph flow, while stimulating a sluggish immune system. Grapefruit oil would be the oil of choice for those trying to kick addictions as it both cleanses and nourishes the tissue cells as well as toning the vascular system.
Massage grapefruit oil into the temples and forehead to calm the mental body.
Rub behind the ears and on the kidney meridian to promote clairaudience. Massage the oil into the neck and shoulder areas to reduce tightness that comes from mental tension.
Should one be trying to lose weight, grapefruit can be of assistance, as its diuretic action and ability to stimulate bile secretions helps the body assimilate fats.
In oriental medicine, someone with a “hot, damp” constitution can be prone to arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Such individuals respond well to grapefruit oil as a remedy, to quell both heat and stagnant chi-energy accumulated in the liver.
Grapefruit oil stimulates neuro-transmitters and has an uplifting effect on the mind and helps with stress and depression by stabilising mood swings.
Include this oil in a room spray to freshen and clean the air in the workplace; this will improve mental alertness and encourage everyone to cooperate more effectively. When used in perfumes and in massage blends, grapefruit may have a slightly euphoric effect that rejuvenates the core of a person’s being.
Use in scalp massage blends to help alleviate migraines, pre-menstrual tension and even the fogginess of jetlag or hangovers.
Such usage in a blend with rosemary and sage oil would be excellent to promote hair growth.
In winter, when some people get the blues, grapefruit comes to the rescue, promoting optimism, lifting the spirits and reversing physical and mental lethargy. If you are feeling blue, blend a few drops with geranium oil and use in a vapouriser.
Ease swollen ankles and warm the joints
Grapefruit has a high vitamin C content and its oil can be a good boost to the immune system and used in body massage helping to protect against colds and flu.
Grapefruit purifies the blood and is indicated for rheumatic pain, when the joints feel warm and swollen and the pain is intermingled with a burning sensation. It is used with great success to combat muscle fatigue and stiffness in massage. Blend a few drops of grapefruit oil with vegetable oil and massage into swollen ankles with gentle squeezing strokes towards the heart to ease the swelling.
Grapefruit essential oil helps regulate psychological eating disorders.
Use grapefruit oil for people who tend to overeat when irritable or moody, resorting to comfort food when feeling tense and under pressure.
These people overindulge in sweet and fatty foods, and also alcohol, when reality fails to live up to their high expectations. Such foods give the temporary illusion of assuaging the anger and frustration of feeling let down by others, life and even themselves.
Cleansing grapefruit cuts through this illusion, clearing the psychological heat and congestion from continual disappointment, broken dreams and self-blame. It allows such characters to set more realistic goals, see new paths ahead and feel lighter.
Grapefruit is used in transformation work to help us hear the directives of the inner witness, and heighten clairaudience. It helps us determine the origins of beliefs which helps release their karmic imprint.
Such work develops discernment in making choices as opposed to just reacting. A powerful cleanser of the “mental body”, grapefruit calms mental chatter that contributes to a fragmented personality and confusion.
Like a tape-recording of negative programming, mental chatter perpetuates and reinforces old behavior and thoughts as well as hindering our decision-making ability.
Grapefruit makes us more aware and allows us to hear our inner voice, alerting us to what we say to ourselves.
It encourages a conscious reprogramming to establish a new consciousness.
Grapefruit may be used in meditation to serve this very purpose and the mind eventually can stop playing old negative programs.
It can help us overcome these imprinted thought patterns from family and social conditioning, crystalised over time.
Burners or vapourisers: moodiness, hangovers, headaches, mental exhaustion and depression.
Blended into massage or bath oil: cellulite, colds and flu, lack of energy, jet lag, muscle fatigue, overweight, headaches
Blended into base lotions and creams: grapefruit oil can help to clear a greasy, congested and acne skin, while also helping the tissue get rid of cellulite and drain any excess water. Use strong kneading strokes on the thighs and buttocks to shift the cellulite.
Latin name: Citrus paradisi
Scent: Grapefruit essential oil has a sharp and refreshing top note with sweet citrusy undertones. The oil is either a pale yellow or light ruby color with a watery viscosity.
Blends well with: other citruses, neroli, basil, bergamot, chamomile, citronella, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, rose and ylang-ylang
Properties: Like all citrus oils, grapefruit oil has a shorter shelf life and should be used more quickly than other essential oils. The oil glands are imbedded deep within the peel and yield a small amount of essential oil, which is extracted by cold compression. Some grapefruit is extracted by distillation, however this oil is a cheaper inferior essential oil than the cold-pressed.
Origin: Originally from Asia, it is now cultivated in the USA, Brazil and Israel. The USA is the primary supplier of the essential oil, where it was first produced in the 1930s in Florida. Grapefruit comes from a glossy-leaved tree that can grow up to 10m high, with white flowers and large, pale yellow fruit.
Therapeutic properties: antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperitif, diuretic, disinfectant, decongestant, lymphatic stimulant, astringent, tonic and anti-infectious.
Precautions: Grapefruit oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising; although it could irritate the skin if exposed to strong sunlight after treatment.