While many people are aware of the weight-loss benefits of eating grapefruit, fewer may know about the potential for grapefruit essential oil to boost mood and reduce stress.
Red grapefruit essential oil is extracted from the rind of the grapefruit plant, Citrus paradisi, through compression. When inhaled, users report that the scent leaves them feeling refreshed and uplifted.
The volatile plant compounds found in grapefruit essential oil are to thank for its sweet, crisp, and tangy scent, along with its benefits for human health and well-being. As a citrus fruit, grapefruit’s main volatile compound is the terpene D-limonene, making up 92 percent of the oil.1
When inhaled, red grapefruit essential oil may help promote a positive outlook, reduce stress, and decrease mental fatigue. These enhancements for emotional and mental health have earned it the reputation of a nootropic essential oil.
How Does it Work?
Most of the benefits of this essential oil come from its effects on the olfactory system— the system that regulates the sense of smell. When people breathe in essential oils, their volatile compounds travel through the air, enter the nose, and then attach to the olfactory receptors. The binding of compounds to these “smell receptors” located in the nasal cavity leads to electrical signals that are received by the brain.2
Feelings, thoughts, and memories are all affected by this process. In fact, studies have found that molecules attaching to olfactory receptors can lead to changes in metabolism, stress hormone levels, and more.3,4
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It is through this mechanism that the essentials oil you inhale can have an actual impact on brain function, regulating how you think and feel.
Nootropic Effects of Red Grapefruit Essential Oil
You can use red grapefruit essential oil either through aromatherapy—such as with a diffuser or in a massage oil—or orally. Because it’s very concentrated, you’ll want to dilute it with water or blend it in a smoothie if you take it orally.
Because grapefruit essential oil shares much of its chemical makeup with other members of the citrus family, it shares many of the same health benefits. Citrus aromatherapy is known to alleviate emotional stress, energize, and reduce mental fatigue.5,6 Some of the top nootropic benefits of red grapefruit essential oil are outlined below.
Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals are unstable atoms that are highly reactive and can cause cellular damage. Antioxidants are needed to reduce the effects of free radicals or even prevent them from forming. The imbalance of free radicals to antioxidants is called oxidative stress.
Excessive oxidative stress may lead to several diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and more.7 Red grapefruit essential oil is a known antioxidant that can manage oxidative stress and prevent the onset of associated diseases.
The benefits of red grapefruit oil on stress have been touted for ages, but not until recently did research confirm this effect.
Researchers set out to examine the effects of essential oil inhalation on sympathetic activity in healthy adults.8 The sympathetic nervous system is involved in the fight-or-flight response, also known as the stress response.
They found that inhalation of grapefruit essential oil modulated sympathetic activity in humans in such a way as to improve mood and enhance feelings of relaxation.
Boosts Mood and Energy
One of the primary roles of citrus aromatherapy is to lift both mood and energy while providing a boosting mental ability. Those who have used grapefruit essential oil claim that it helps with headaches while fighting fatigue and uplifting mood.9 These effects can be helpful when you’re needing an extra pick-me-up.
In one study, grapefruit essential oil was found to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity.10 By inhibiting AChE, breakdown rate of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is decreased.
Acetylcholine is revered for its ability to boost memory, attention, and feelings of alertness. Many of the most popular nootropic drugs work by inhibiting AChE, which increases both the amount and duration of acetylcholine in the body, so it’s significant that grapefruit essential oil shows this property as well.
Red grapefruit essential oil has a refreshing, uplifting scent, which offers a fast and effective way to reduce stress and leave you feeling great. If you are struggling from stress, anxiety, or a lack of energy, inhalation of red grapefruit may be just what you need to turn your day around.
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