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Grapefruit essential oil is a by product of the juicing process of a grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) and you will find it imbedded deeply in the outer peel of the fruit (known as the flavedo). Unfortunately the thick spongy white layer (albedo) of the peel will absorb and thus decrease the amount of essential oils that can be produced if the two layers are not separated carefully prior to the oil being extracted. The two layers are separated by a machine which rolls and scrapes the Flavedo away from the fruit before it goes on to be juiced. The flavedo then forms a wet pulpy mass that is put in to a centrifuge and the oil becomes separated from the solids. Don't worry the solids can also be pressed to produce even more essential oil from the grapefruit. Once it has been separated from the solids it is then filtered and bottled. This form of extraction will produce about 1.5lbs of essential oil from a ton of fresh fruit. There is however another way in which more substantial amount (25lbs) of essential oil can be obtained from a ton of grapefruits by chopping the peel and then distilling it using steam. Unfortunately the down side of steam distillation is that this process destroys the delicate sweet smelling properties of the fresh peel and so the quality of the oil would be decreased and would make it unsuitable to use especially in relation to aromatherapy treatments. The grapefruit peel contains a number of fatty substances such as linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids, whilst the waxy cuticle of the fruit contains various hydrocarbons namely phytosterol and pectin. It is during the distillation process that these solid materials will dissolve and become the oil. Grapefruit Essential Oil contains 90% of the terpene hydrocarbon known as limonene which is present at similar levels in many citrus oils, it also contains a small amount of a unique alcohol known as paradisiol and these components help to produce a fragrance that is fresh, fruity and clean. The more higher quality the oil that has been expressed you will find that it smells nearly identical to the broken peel of a fresh grapefruit. It should however be kept in mind that all expressed non-distilled citrus oils (including grapefruit) are a fresh botanical product that will age faster than those oils that have been steam distilled. So remember to keep it away from bright light and exposing it to air will quickly decrease the oil's aromatic profile. It is therefore wise to store your grapefruit essential oil in a light proof glass, in a dark cool place that is not subject to changes in temperature. Grapefruit essential oil has an energizing effect and is said to help with eating disorders and has a astringent and toning effect when applied topically. It is also said to be a good detoxifier as it stimulates the lymphatic system helping to rid the body of toxins. Some people say that inhaling

the aroma will help to reduce the craving for sweet foods and desserts so anyone trying to cut down will be well advised to add some grapefruit oil to their aromatherpay regime!

Lee Dobbins writes for [] where you can learn more about essential oils and their uses as well as more about grapefruit essential oil [].

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