Grapefruit essential oil has a long history of use in aromatherapy products, thanks to its fresh, citrusy scent and the number of health benefits it provides. Although grapefruit oil contains multiple constituents, limonene, which accounts for anywhere from 88 to 95% of its chemical makeup, is the oil’s most active ingredient and is also largely responsible for the numerous benefits associated with its use . The following explores several of the top health benefits linked to limonene.
There have been more than 200 research studies involving limonene and its cancer fighting abilities. In a 2011 study, it was determined that limonene potentially has chemotherapeutic properties (cancer preventing efforts) and works as an immune modulator to slow down the proliferation of new cancer cells . A 2014 study found that limonene has anti-angiogenesis properties, which can inhibit a tumor’s ability to invade surrounding tissues, while a 2015 study concluded that limonene decreases the production of cyclin D1 (a breast tumor protein) in tumor tissues .
There is evidence that grapefruit essential oil can be used to improve memory, while simultaneously minimizing depression and stress levels. A 2014 report stated that limonene plays a crucial role in inhibiting the production of the corticotrophin-releasing hormone in the brain . Too much of this hormone is linked to high levels of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
The powerful scent of grapefruit essential oil, which comes primarily from the limonene it contains, has been shown to reduce food cravings and boost metabolism, making it a great option for anyone trying to lose weight . Additionally, when applied topically, grapefruit essential oil has proven to be a powerful diuretic and lymphatic system stimulant that helps users get rid of excess water weight.