What Impact Does Grapefruit Oil Have On Your Kidney Health?

Grapefruits can be sweet, sour, and vibrant. This delicious citrus fruit gained popularity in the '80s as a weight loss fad. As a modern favorite, it's found in snacks, grills, broilers, and cocktails. However, there are some facts about its extract that could positively impact your health — sans the tequila.

Grapefruit is a Caribbean hybrid, originally created in Barbados, according to the American Society for Horticultural Science. Its family tree was born from a fusion of sweet oranges and pomelos. The fruit may have first touched U.S. soil in Florida, which is why you'll see them along the coasts. Grapefruits thrive in subtropical climates with a lot of sun. Also known by the Latin name Citrus paradisi, the grapefruit has an energizing scent and an invigorating taste. Grapefruit connoisseurs at Florida Citrus indicate that its flesh is filled with calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are essential electrolytes. Calcium helps block oxalates, the pesky compounds in raw spinach that form kidney stones. 

The list of benefits goes on when it comes to grapefruit essential oil. Experts at WebMD say grapefruit's essential oil has compounds that prevent the growth of bacteria. Researchers have discovered that the oil's antimicrobial properties were even effective against MRSA, a type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Grapefruit oil can also aid kidney functions. Let's dive into what it can do and how it can benefit your kidneys.

Your kidneys deserve a good cleanse

Your kidneys are the twin vital organs in your renal system (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). They filter out waste products (through urine) and keep the balance of electrolytes like potassium and sodium in our bodies. According to Healthline, "When the kidneys become damaged and are unable to function properly, fluid can build up in the body and waste can accumulate in the blood." As a result, kidney stones and other complications could develop. Ingesting grapefruit oil not only releases fluids (imagine a water pill without the pill), but the antimicrobial benefits of this extract combat the bacteria that cause UTIs (Mind Body Soul Freedom). 

Kidneys also control the pH and the acid base in your blood, as specified by Cleveland Clinic. Balancing pH is as important for men as it is for women. Imbalanced pH levels can cause fatigue, painful urination, and/or discharge in both men and women (via Healthline). Using grapefruit oil to cleanse your kidneys can keep them in tip-top shape. However, Men's Health Magazine pointed out that citrus, especially grapefruits, may cause adverse reactions to, "... statins, antihistamines, antibiotics, and blood pressure meds." So you'll want to double-check with a doc before using grapefruit essential oil if you are taking meds, have a kidney condition, or could be pregnant.

Dilute, and drop into your favorite juice

How will someone know when their kidneys need a boost? Cleveland Clinic says bubbly or dark-colored urine, swollen ankles or feet, muscle cramping, disturbed sleep, and fatigue are all signs the kidneys are out of whack. You may also notice itchy, dry skin, swollen eyes, or a lack of appetite. If you experience any of these on a small scale, using the essential oil of grapefruit may ease your discomfort. 

To use this liquid sunshine, Davina Wellness, suggests that ingestible essential oils should be diluted. You can mix grapefruit essential oil into a neutral "carrier oil" like coconut, jojoba, or even avocado oil. "Once diluted, it can be added to the beverage or food of your choice. Add 2-3 diluted drops... and swallow," Davina experts advised. The amount of dilution depends on the intensity of how you want to use it. For example, short-term use calls for adding 15 drops to 5 milliliters of carrier oil (per Davina Wellness). To use essential oils for a targeted issue, the volume will almost double, to around 37 drops per 5 mL. The pros at Davina advise storing your oil in a cool, dark, airtight container for the best shelf life.

Grapefruit has multiple health benefits including anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Using grapefruit essential oil is a chemical-free kidney cleanser. For the best results, seek directions from a dietician or medical professional.