How Grapefruit Essential Oil Can Promote Weight Loss?

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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

Grapefruit Essential Oil

If you are looking for a way to lose those extra pounds, grapefruit essential oil – a potent extract derived from the Citrus paradisi grapefruit plant, can be a powerful weapon. It was first reported in the Caribbean islands in the year 1750 and is documented to be a byproduct of sweet orange and the pomelo. The oil is loaded with heaps of nutrients and antioxidants[1] that alleviate oxidative stress and disease-causing inflammation.

The active ingredients in the grapefruit essential oil work to boost your metabolism[2] and bring down your appetite. When inhaled or applied topically, grapefruit oil is known to reduce cravings and hunger, which makes it a great tool for losing weight fast in a healthy way. Of course, using grapefruit oil alone isn’t going to make all the difference — but when it’s combined with dietary and lifestyle changes, it can work wonders just like CBD oil.

Let’s explore more about the beneficial properties of the grapefruit essential oil that can help you say adios to the extra kilos.

How Does Grapefruit Essential Oil Support Weight Loss?

Grapefruit essential oil is considered a rock star for weight loss and fat-burning. Although grapefruit essential oil is a wonderful inclusion to your weight loss program, it may not be the ultimate tool for losing all the body fats. It does not bar the absorption of fats or prevent the body from holding onto surplus calories. Having said that, it does help you to make wise choices and advance the journey to weight loss. It activates enzymes like D-limonene in the body that breaks down body fat. 

D-limonene boosts your metabolism and removes damaged cells from your lymphatic glands (adaptive immune system) so they can carry vital nutrients between the cells and the bloodstream.

In other words grapefruit, essential oil provides ample health benefits and can be administered aromatically, topically, or even internally. Grapefruit comprises an organic compound called Nootkatone that enhances energy metabolism and reduces abdominal fat accumulation. Nootkatone in grapefruit[3] serves as the stimulant of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps in managing metabolic activity and expedites chemical reactions which possess metabolism-boosting characteristics. It also helps in lipolysis – the splitting of body fats and proteins with the help of limonene, another compound that naturally occurs in grapefruit. 

The peel and the pulp of grapefruit are used to extract grapefruit essential oil. Just like other essential oils, it aids in reducing sugar cravings, giving a feeling of satiety. With the help of antioxidants, the oil can lessen oxidative stress, reduce fluid retention and boost the immune system.

It also has a “refreshing and exciting effect” when inhaled, which suggests an activation of sympathetic nerve activity that helps control body weight.

It’s High in Nutrients, Yet Low in Calories

Grapefruit is a nutritionally dense fruit with incredible health benefits. That’s because it’s high in vital nutrients in comparison to its smaller, orange cousin, but low in calories. It is one of the lowest-calorie fruits[4].

It provides a decent amount of fiber, in addition to more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the major nutrients found in half of a medium-sized grapefruit:

  • Calories: 52
  • Carbs: 13 gms
  • Protein: 1 gm
  • Fiber: 2 gm
  • Vitamin C: 64 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
  • Vitamin A: 28 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
  • Potassium: 5 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
  • Thiamine: 4 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
  • Folate: 4 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
  • Magnesium: 3 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake

It also contains some powerful antioxidants that safeguard your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses.

Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil 

Stabilisation of blood sugar levels

Phytochemical compounds in grapefruit help in the reduction of insulin levels[5] that encourage your body to convert food into energy rather than converting them into fats.

Boosting metabolism

Grapefruit helps to increase metabolic activities and reduce appetite[6] due to the presence of digestive enzymes in them. As a result, you feel full and tend to burn more calories. At the end of the day, the difference between food consumed and burned calories is the determinant of your weight loss – a rocker!  

Reduces sugar cravings

If a sweet tooth is a driver to your diet, definitely consider grapefruit essential oil as it can lessen, or in some cases, totally deplete sugar cravings. Switch on to grapefruit essential oils and switch off those tempting candies that pump in extensive sugar levels.

Losing the bloating and Cellulite melting

Being a super excellent diuretic and lymphatic stimulant[7] (the network of tissues and organs that play a key role in removing toxins), grapefruit and its essential oil help shed waste and toxins from your body. 

Topical application of grapefruit essential oil in smaller quantities on your skin helps in shedding excess water weight in addition to reducing toxins from your body. Say goodbye to toxins, permanently.

If you are considering skin tone up, the grapefruit essential oil is an ultimate boon. It helps in the reduction of cellulite. It aids in detoxification of the skin, increasing circulation of blood on application.

Helps to Relieve Hangover Symptoms

Grapefruit essential oil is a powerful gallbladder and liver stimulant, so it can help stop headaches, cravings, and sluggishness following a day of drinking alcohol.

Aids indigestion 

Grapefruit supports digestive health, including helping to give relief from occasional heartburn and indigestion.

Using Grapefruit Essential Oil for Losing Weight

  • Inhaling – whenever you get an urge to eat sweet, inhale the grapefruit essential oil. A diffuser can be used throughout the day to experience the difference. Essential oil necklaces are really effective here. Just pour a few drops of oil on the aroma ball, place them in the locket and keep breathing. Besides looking beautiful, it is a portable diffuser on your neck.
  • Drinking – Add a few drops of essential oil in warm water or tea and have it several times a day. However, ensure you add them only to liquids in glass containers. Do not add them to water bottles made of plastic as it might react and start to corrode. 
  • Massaging – rub your wrist, neck, or even chest with grapefruit essential oil with a combination of coconut, olive, jojoba, or any other carrier oil. However, make sure you do not apply them concentrated as they might cause phototoxicity – skin burning when exposed to direct sunlight. It should be used with 4% dilution, ideally. For example, for a 10 ml grapefruit essential oil, it is recommended to add 12 drops of oil every 2 teaspoons. Ideally litmus test this on your skin to check for any skin reaction within 24 hours.

 The Bottom Line

Weight loss is a long-term commitment, and if you want to achieve a healthy body with managed weight and stay there, then you need to put in the effort and build healthy lifestyle habits. This means that there are certain changes that you need to consider in your daily routine, including eating a healthy diet, doing moderate workouts, and doing other physical activities. Opt for natural stuff that promises to keep you fit and healthy in the long run. Grapefruit is one such item that not only offers weight-loss benefits but myriads of other health benefits as well.

Grapefruit is one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. It’s rich in important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support the metabolism and offer detoxifying benefits. It is an energizing and uplifting oil when used topically, aromatically, as well as internally. On the whole, grapefruit essential oil can help you shed extra pounds, kick those unwanted food cravings, and help you to feel good about yourself! 

You should also maintain a healthy diet and get the exercise your body needs but grapefruit essentials can provide a bit of extra support for attaining your fitness goals.


+ 7 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Deng, W., Liu, K., Cao, S., Sun, J., Zhong, B. and Chun, J. (2020). Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Antiproliferative Properties of Grapefruit Essential Oil Prepared by Molecular Distillation. Molecules, [online] 25(1), p.217. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/1/217 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  2. ‌Journal of Essential Oil Research. (2017). Assessment of essential oil as a potential anti-obesity agent: a narrative review. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2016.1213668?casa_token=GQLfszvQ6XUAAAAA%3ATEA5CdZlwunCtq2An4ynCsDykuftLOeiLkH-47KIMs7RDHdVuBA-JcnvFtJIkGL_Wrp2PbE8EAd5EQ&journalCode=tjeo20 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  3. ‌American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. (2020). Nootkatone, a characteristic constituent of grapefruit, stimulates energy metabolism and prevents diet-induced obesity by activating AMPK | American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. [online] Available at: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00774.2009 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  4. ‌Murphy, M.M., Barraj, L.M. and Rampersaud, G.C. (2014). Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003–2008. Food & Nutrition Research, [online] 58(1), p.22179. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016745/ [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  5. ‌Journal of Medicinal Food. (2021). The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome | Journal of Medicinal Food. [online] Available at: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2006.9.49 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  6. ‌Razavi, B.M. and Hosseinzadeh, H. (2019). A Review of the Effects of Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) and Its Flavonoids, Naringin, and Naringenin in Metabolic Syndrome. Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Diabetes, [online] pp.515–543. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128138229000345 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].
  7. ‌Cabdirect.org. (2021). CAB Direct. [online] Available at: https://www.cabdirect.org/?target=%2fcabdirect%2fabstract%2f20183290863 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2021].

Written by:

Amita Fotedar, Ph.D.

Medically reviewed by:

Dr. Amita Fotedar is an experienced research consultant with a demonstrated history of working in elite research institutes such as the UNDP. She has a PhD in Life Sciences, and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies from International Pacific University (New Zealand Campus), and has also achieved certification in Climate Studies from Harvard University. She has done a MicroMasters specialization in Sustainable Energy from The University of Queensland (Australia). She is also a co-founder and research consultant for a New Zealand-based sustainability and environmental services entity. Dr. Amita Fotedar firmly believes in the mantra of "health is wealth" and has a special interest in health and wellness topics. She is a freelance writer and covers health related topics, and is a leader author for many health publications and websites

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