The aroma of grapefruit is a gentle stimulant. It is fresh and lightly uplifting. Plus, studies have shown it may help reduce anxiety and improve mental performance!
- A few studies have shown grapefruit aroma to reduce anxiety in mice. This is possibly related to the limonene constituent affecting brain neurotransmitter levels.   
- In addition, it was shown that limonene, a monoterpene representing up to 95% of grapefruit essential oil, reduced stress related to its effect on GABA receptors (in mice). 
- There have also been a couple of human studies demonstrating evidence for olfactory stimulation to improve human mental performance and mood.  
- Another human study including grapefruit, rose, orange, lime, and lemon, was conducted with 200 participants in Germany. It showed grapefruit aroma to reduce anxiety and improve attention in both men and women. 
More human studies are warranted on grapefruit aroma to boost mood.
At Home Use for the Aroma of Grapefruit
For a mood boost, place a 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil in a diffuser with 5 ounces of water. Another idea is to cut into a fresh grapefruit and simply enjoy the scent and flavor! Then, you can grind the rinds in your dish disposal to give the whole kitchen a fresh sun-shiny smell!
Or, make a grey day feel sunny, with a blend of essential oils that include grapefruit. Aromas that blend well with grapefruit include: geranium, palmarosa, basil, fir, pine, rosemary, black pepper, cardamom, or ginger. Choose about 3 essential oils, Then, mix the essential oils into a small amber glass container until you reach the desired aroma. Next, add the oil blend to a diffuser. For a cool mist diffuser, add about 5 drops of an essential oil blend to a 5 ounce reservoir. Run the diffuser for about a half hour.
Another idea is to make an aromatic spray. Below is an uplifting room spray recipe featuring grapefruit and other essential oils at a 1% dilution ratio.
Sunshine on a Grey Day – Room and Body Spray
- 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil (Citrus paradise)
- 2 drop of rosemary essential oil (Rosemarinus officinalis)
- 2 drop of pine essential oil (Pinus sylvestris)
- 1 drop of black pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum)
- 2 ounces of vodka
Blend all the ingredients together in a small spray bottle. Then, shake and spray the aroma into the air.
Avoid sun exposure if spraying onto skin, and discontinue use if skin irritation occurs. Avoid with pregnancy, pets, and small children. With topical use, remember to always dilute essential oils. Further, certain pressed citrus essential oils can be phototoxic with sun exposure. Grapefruit can be contraindicated with certain medications and medical conditions. Consult your Doctor if you have any questions.
 Gupta, V., Bansal, P., Niazi, J., & Kaur, G. (2010). Anti-anxiety Activity of Citrus paradisi var. star ruby Extracts. International Journal of PharmTech Research, 2(3), 1655-1657.
 Lima, N. G., De Sousa, D. P., Pimenta, F. C. F., Alves, M. F., De Souza, F. S., Macedo, R. O., … & de Almeida, R. N. (2013). Anxiolytic-like activity and GC–MS analysis of (R)-(+)-limonene fragrance, a natural compound found in foods and plants. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 103(3), 450-454.
 de Almeida, A. A. C., de Carvalho, R. B. F., Silva, O. A., de Sousa, D. P., & de Freitas, R. M. (2014). Potential antioxidant and anxiolytic effects of (+)-limonene epoxide in mice after marble-burying test. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 118, 69-78.
 Zhou, W., Yoshioka, M., & Yokogoshi, H. (2009). Sub-chronic effects of s-limonene on brain neurotransmitter levels and behavior of rats. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology, 55(4), 367-373.
 Diego, M. A., Jones, N. A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., … & Galamaga, R. (1998). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96(3-4), 217-224.
 Lehrner, J., Marwinski, G., Lehr, S., Johren, P., & Deecke, L. (2005). Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiology & Behavior, 86(1), 92-95.
 Haehner, A., Maass, H., Croy, I., & Hummel, T. (2017). Influence of room fragrance on attention, anxiety and mood. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 32(1), 24-28.
A grapefruit is just a lemon that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA, LMT