DoTERRA Grapefruit Health Benefits and History

DoTERRA Grapefruit  Health Benefits and History

Not so long ago, little boys and girls at Christmas would look forward to citrus fruit in their holiday stockings as a sweet, exotic gift.  The simple gift of grapefruit is still wonderful because it is a gift to our health.  Grapefruit health benefits are numerous.  Grapefruit essential oils can be a great way to get the benefits of grapefruit if you use doTERRA oil.  Other oils often aren’t pure enough for ingestion.

Grapefruit History

Grapefruit first appeared and graced the earth in Barbados as a serendipitous combining of pomelo and sweet orange or hybrid of the two.

No one is sure if this was intentional hybridization or a happy accident, but either way, lucky me.  My keyboard may or may not be splashed with grapefruit juice right now.

The juicy grapefruit is referred to “the forbidden fruit” in Barbados where it originated. That’s a bit titillating (1). In 1750, those searching for the forbidden fruit of good and evil coined it this way.

Ruby Red grapefruit are the further result of “natural” mutation, another so-called accident (2).  This is different than genetic modification of crops.

As a result, ripe and red segments of grapefruit are a splash of freshness in the frigid depths of winter months.

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Grapefruit Essential Oil History

Citrus essential oils have been used for a very long time for health.  Evidence for essential oil distilleries go back over 2000 years.

Grapefruit essential oil is a newcomer to oils because it is a new hybrid as discussed above.

Grapefruit Nutrition

Each half grapefruit contains approximately:

Fiber 2g
Carbohydrates  11g
Vitamin A | 23% DV
Vitamin C | 52% DV
Potassium: 166 mg

Grapefruit, even grapefruit peel, has 13 identified flavonoids with antioxidant and medicinal properties (3).

Keep in mind, most reported benefits of these individual flavonoids have been in animal studies. Here are some of them.

Grapefruit peel, where essential oils are extracted, has 13 identified flavonoids with antioxidant and medicinal properties (3).

Flavonoids are simply healthy pigments that are found in most plants.

Keep in mind, most reported benefits of these individual flavonoids have been in animal studies. Here are some of them.

Flavonoids In Grapefruit Essential Oil

  •  Isonaringin: Antioxidant activity (4)
  • Naringin: Weight loss, reduced heart disease, blood pressure, inflammation, improved liver function (5)
  • Hesperidin: Reduced hemorrhoid symptoms and improves venous insufficiency: see below.
  • Neohesperidin: Similar to hesperidin in structure
  • Naringenin: May reduce cancer growth (6)
  • Hesperetin: Similar to hesperidin in structure, may inhibit tumor growth (7)
  • Isosinensetin: May protect the lung from oxidative damage (8)
  • Sinensetin: Helps break down fat (9)  (10)
  • Nobiletin: Protects neurons from amyloid beta of Alzheimer’s disease (11)
  • Tangeretin: Protects the neurons from amyloid beta of Alzheimer’s disease (12)

Here is a fun place to check which flavonoids or phenols are in your foods:


Grapefruit Drug Interactions

Grapefruit interacts with MANY medications.

The good news about doTERRA grapefruit oil is that it does not contain significant amounts of the compound that interacts with drugs.  This compound is called furanocoumarins.

Grapefruit and its medicinal effects have long fascinated me.

When someone is prescribed a medicine, they are often told to avoid grapefruit due to its interaction. Not pomelos, not lemons, not oranges.  Just grapefruit. Why would this hybrid be so powerful (13)?

If something can dramatically change how much drug enters or stays in the body, it must be potent. Let’s explore this.

Maybe we, I mean the collective “we” of science and medicine,  should reframe how we look at interactions between grapefruit and drugs, as drugs carry their own baggage.

Could doses of drugs be reduced with grapefruit? Would drug companies sponsor such trials?  Click here to find a fascinating study related to this. Something to ponder. Of course, this is not to be tried at home.

Practical Considerations Of Grapefruit and Medicines

Grapefruit juice and supplements majorly interact with medications, so don’t play around with this.  It often increases the amount of drug in your body, leading to potentially serious side effects (14).

Instead, work to be healthy with your healthcare provider, lessening the need for drugs.

Grapefruit essential oil likely poses no risks or interaction with medications.  Always discuss with your doctor before adding new products to your routine.

Grapefruit serves to slow down an enzyme in the liver called CYP 3A4, which is responsible for the metabolism of a long and extensive list of drugs on the market today (15).

This is mostly important for the juice and supplements, which have concentrated  grapefruit compounds like naringenin.

Should We Be Asking Different Questions?

It amuses me when you go to a renowned website and it states that grapefruit may be helpful but has insufficient evidence to benefit following 20 conditions.  Glass half empty much?

But it may help 20 conditions!  Thinking of health and our organs and tissues as closely intertwined systems; that’s what we should be contemplating, not each small potential benefit for a host of issues.

Thinking about health benefits as a whole can be downright remarkable. As I read through small but significant studies of grapefruit in humans, or any health topic for that matter, I like to keep that in mind.

Grapefruit Helps With Weight Loss And Diabetes

Grapefruit given as capsules or as juice resulted in larger weight loss over a 12 week period than the equivalent amount of apple juice or apple juice capsules (35).

Grapefruit also reduced imbalances in insulin and had greater reductions in weight in people with metabolic syndrome.

Grapefruit has a low glycemic index, so it is less likely to spike blood sugar levels than many fruits.

Body fat and weight reductions were substantial when patients were given a combination of red orange, grapefruit, orange extracts, with a total of almost 16% body fat loss after 3 months and 5.2 kg weight loss.

This is because the citrus product stimulated the fat burning pathway  (36).

Grapefruit Benefits the Heart

Grapefruit intake may reduce waist circumference and blood pressure (37).

The pectin from grapefruit may reduce harmful types of cholesterol like LDL (38).

Extract of naringenin from citrus reduced LDL cholesterol by 17% in 60 patients with high cholesterol levels (39).

Grapefruit Helps Circulatory Conditions

When a grapefruit extract is used in combination with another plant extract (Daflon) it reduces hemorrhoids and improves venous insufficiency.  It helps remarkably well to improve severe venous ulcers and venous insufficiency (16) (17) (18).

Grapefruit Reduces Sun Damage

Not one, but two clinical studies have shown that a combination of rosemary and grapefruit at as little as  100 mg per day was able to reduce sun damage to the skin, such as redness and wrinkles; it also increased skin elasticity (19) (20).

Take home message: Sunscreen isn’t enough; incidence of skin cancer continues to climb. Diet intake needs to improve to protect skin as well.

Grapefruit Reduces Infectious Bugs

Grapefruit seed extract has strong anti-microbial properties, and at high concentrations, prevented growth of over 20 kinds of bacteria and 10 kinds of yeast, including (21):

  • Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538P
  • Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis MFBF
  • Streptococcus faecalis ATCC 20201
  • Streptococcus sp. MFBF
  • Listeria monocytogenes MFBF
  • Escherichia coli O:157 MFBF
  • Escherichia coli O:128 MFBF
  • Shigella sonnei MFBF
  • Salmonella enteritidis MFBF
  •  Klebsiella oxytoca MFBF

Of note, some grapefruit seed extracts have synthetic additives, but this study showed that the antimicrobial activity of the seed extract itself is an effective anti-microbial.

Choose grapefruit extracts without added chemicals.

Early work shows that grapefruit seed extract may fight antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections (21).

Many consumers suggest that topical grapefruit seed extract helps athlete’s foot, a fungal foot infection (22) (23).

Grapefruit essential oil reduced growth of bacteria that is common in acne (24).

Grapefruit may also reduce growth of some molds like Aflatoxin and Aspergillus (25).

Grapefruit seed extract may also be used as a helpful antimicrobial for:

  • Mouthwash
  • Acne
  • Freshening laundry
  • Cleaning carpets
  • Sterilizing and disinfecting surfaces
  • Nebulizers
  • Purifying humidifiers
  • Reducing need for chlorine In hot tubs and swimming pools

Grapefruit Reduces Cancer Risk

Citrus juices appear to reduce chances of pancreatic cancer and pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth (26)  (27).

Grapefruit essential oil may inhibit growth of cancer cells (28).

When combined with a common breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen, a compound from grapefruit reduced growth of breast cancer cells more than Tamoxifen alone (29).

Might Grapefruit Increase Some Cancers?

One study found a slight increase in breast cancer incidence with increasing grapefruit intake (30).

The authors speculate that when women take prescription estrogen, grapefruit enhances the levels of estrogen in the body due to the ability of grapefruit to reduce liver breakdown of it and many drugs.

Another, more recent study, found no risk of breast cancer with grapefruit (31).

Skin cancer, including melanoma and basal and squamus cell skin cancer, was increased with total citrus intake, but not grapefruit juice alone  (32) (33).

My speculation:  these studies aren’t able to account for significant drug interactions with grapefruit.

I’m just hoping that my coffee intake (helps detoxify estrogen) helps balance out any potential risk (34).

Bottom line:  It’s too soon to say that grapefruit affects cancer risk.


Grapefruit is one potent plant.  If you don’t take medicine, it is a perfect addition to your diet for many reasons, including heart health and healthy weight.

To get the highest quality grapefruit essential oil click here.

If you do take medicine, make sure to check in with your pharmacist or health provider about interactions with grapefruit juice. Work to the be healthiest you so that you need the least amount of medicine possible.

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.

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