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Grapeseed Oil : The Ancient Remedy

Grapeseed oil is believed to have been in use since at least six millennia. The oil has served numerous health and cosmetic purposes and is still in use today. In this article, we will discuss the various properties of grapeseed oil and how you can benefit from its exotic charms.

Organic Grapeseed Oil

In A Nutshell

Grapeseed oil, also known as grape oil, is extracted from the Vitis vinifera seeds. This is the same plant that yields wine grapes. The seeds are often thrown away but have potent natural compounds that can work wonders for health.

The oil is known to tighten the skin and improve the tones, protecting the tissues from damage caused by intense solar radiation. It is also known to reduce stretch marks, blemishes, and wrinkles.

When the oil is used on the skin, it helps in balancing the production of oil, opens the pores of the skin, and prevents the outbreak of acne. When the oil is used on the hair, it makes the hair smooth and soft and also promotes hair growth

It also has medicinal uses and is known to increase blood circulation and decrease the formation of cellulite and the visibility of varicose veins. It is also used to provide relief to the aching muscles and boost immunity. 

Pur Grapeseed Oil in Nutshell

The History of Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is also known as grapeseed oil and it is extracted from the seeds of the botanical Vitis vinifera that is cultivated for the production of wine grapes. They are also used for the extraction of non-alcoholic grape juice. 

In most cases, the seeds and the oil extracted from them are the byproducts of the process of making wines. The grape seeds are thrown away typically despite the fact that they are believed to have numerous health benefits. 

The grapevine is a species indigenous to the Asia and Mediterranean regions. It is said that the Greeks first consumed grapes, recognizing their multiple advantages for health. Ancient medical records confirm that Greek philosophers documented the health benefits of grapes. The oil extracted from grape seeds has been continuously used for sixty centuries now. Grapes were also used in drinks and foods in the Mediterranean region in the pre-Biblical times. The Bible mentions how the oil was used in the preparation of Pulse, a delicacy which is said to have been savored by Prophet Daniel as it has health and wellbeing promoting properties.

This clearly indicates that even at that time, people were aware of the beneficial effects of grapeseed oil. According to historical references, in ancient Europe, different parts of grape and the extracts obtained from the seeds of grapes and vines were used by medical practitioners to make medicinal preparations. These were used mainly to prepare ointments that were used to treat skin and eye ailments. The leaves of the grape plant were used as bandages that would help in stopping blood flow from wounds and also to provide relief in inflammation which occurred due to hemorrhoids. 

Grapeseed Oil Ancient Remedy History

Unripe grapes were consumed to provide relief from the discomfort that occurred as a result of overeating and also to get relief from constipation. On the other hand, the overly ripe grapes were consumed to treat diseases such as smallpox and provide relief from nausea. Dried grapes that are called raisins are known to rid liver problems and constipation. 

In Ayurveda, grapes are known as “Drakshaa Phalottamaa” which means that they are superior to all the foods. These are included in the preparation of most of the ayurvedic medications that are used to treat depression, memory loss, hypertension, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, indigestion, among other health problems. 

In other medicinal treatments, grapes and grape extract are used to get relief from nausea, skin problems, enhancement of the voice, and treating sore throat. It is also known to have aphrodisiac properties and is used to boost libido. 

Grapevines were introduced to Europe in 1569. The Italian emperor Maximilian II provided the proprietorship of pressing grapeseed oil to a musician so that he would preserve his musical instruments. In the early days, during the pressing process, grape seeds were mixed with water inside large tanks and covered for some days. They are pounded from time to time until they become mashy. They were gently heated so that the mash could yield the oil separate from the water.  

They came to North America and they are now grown all around the world. This makes them one of the most popular fruits in the world. This helps in producing large quantities of grapeseed oil by suppliers.  

In the 20th century, scientists were drawn to the oil and it was being used in making delicacies too. It is still used in making cosmetics, soaps, and medicinal preparations. 

The Health Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Various chemical compounds are found in the grapeseed carrier oil. Let’s now see each of these and study their health benefits in some detail.  

Linoleic Acids:

  • Helps to moisturize and promote hair growth
  • Promotes the healing of wounds
  • Cures acne and reduces further future outbreaks
  • Used as an emulsifier in the preparation of oils and soaps
  • Possesses anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduces the consistency of oils when added to a blend, making it ideal for use in preparations for acne-prone skin
  • Helps in moisture retention

Oleic Acids:

  • Helps to preserve softness, radiance, and suppleness of hair and skin
  • Known to increase immunity
  • Promotes growth of hair, making them long and strong
  • Possesses antioxidant properties
  • Reduces visible signs of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Reduces dandruff and promotes hair growth
  • Reduces joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation

Palmitic Acid: 

  • Possesses emollient characteristics
  • Softens the hair while leaving no residue

Stearic Acid:

  • Strong cleansing properties which help to remove sweat, excess sebum, and dirt from the skin and hair
  • Helps to maintain the potency of the products when they are stored for longer periods
  • Increases softness of the skin
  • Great emulsifying agent that helps to bind oil and water
  • Conditions hair and also protects them from damage while maintaining luster and heaviness

Palmitoleic Acid:

  • Tightens and moisturizes the skin
  • Delays the signs of premature aging
  • Increases the growth of nails while making them strong and shiny
  • Increases the complexion of the skin
  • Promotes lustrous hair growth
Vitamin E:
  • Has antioxidant properties to slow aging and increase blood circulation
  • Helps retain moisture in the hair and skin
  • Treats blemished and scarred skin
  • Provides relief to burnt skin
  • Cleanses the pores and helps in maintaining oil production in the skin

Beta-Carotene:

 
  • Soothes burns and acne
  • Slows down the process of aging
  • Tightens the skin
  • Possesses antioxidant properties
  • Reduces age spots
  • It provides red-orange pigment to the color of the oil

 

Grapeseed carrier oil is absorbed easily into the skin and provides moisture to it without irritation and leaving any oily residue or clogging the pores. For this reason, it is ideal to be used for skins that are sensitive, oily, and mature and skin that is affected easily with eczema and acne. It is used in face creams, sunscreens, and lip balms as it possesses astringent and antiseptic properties that help in repairing the skin. 

It possesses compounds that restore collagen and help in slowing down the process of aging by making the skin firm and smooth. It also protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun and reduces the onset of stretch marks, blemishes, and wrinkles. It is also used to tone the skin and helps to cleanse the skin and balance its oil production which helps in reducing the occurrence of acne on acne-prone skin. 

Grapeseed Oil Uses

Grapeseed carrier oil helps to maintain the softness and smoothness in the hair and also promotes hair growth. It has properties that condition the hair which are brittle, dry, and frizzy. It is also known to reduce dandruff and prevents the hair from being greasy. It reduces hair loss and promotes the growth of long and healthy hair. 

It also has medicinal uses. It increases blood circulation and reduces the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, and spider veins. When used for massage, it soothes the tired muscles. The anti-inflammatory properties of grapeseed oil provide relief from pain and swelling related to arthritis. It contains vitamin E which helps to increase immunity and boosts body systems and increases the ability of the body to heal wounds by removing harmful bacteria. 

Let’s now see its therapeutic properties. 

Medicinal: Antiviral, Anti-allergic, Anti-microbial, Anti-dandruff, Aphrodisiac, Anti-histamine,

Cosmetic: Emollient, Antioxidant, Antibacterial, Astringent

Stimulant, Adaptogenic, Diuretic, Tonic, Anti-Inflammatory, Cicatrisant

Cultivating Grapeseed Oil: An Overview

It is mostly grown in New Zealand, South Africa, North America, Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, South Australia, and the Balkans. They grow best in temperate climates that have dry and warm summers and mild winters. Humidity as well as prolonged exposure to cold temperatures causes death and diseases.

Grapevines will not grow in tropical climates as they need to undergo the cycle of latent period during the winters. Besides these, grapevines can adapt to different varieties of soils that vary from packed clay to light sand but the soil should have adequate drainage properties. It is a woody vine that is perennial and can grow up to 35 meters in length.  

The leaf is lobed and has four or five lobes. The leaves are smooth and thin, ovate or circular in shape but they are jagged at the edges. Flowers grow in clusters and the fruits are small berries which are called grapes. The grapes can grow in different shapes which could be spherical or oblong. The color of the grapes could vary from deep violet to green or red. 

Grapeseed Oil Overview

Each grape comprises of a petiole. The petiole is the thin stalk that connects the leaf of the grape to the vine’s stem and the skin is thin and colored. The main fruit is the inner pulp which contains the juice. Each grape can contain up to 4 seeds. 

90% of the grapes produced, whether for raisins, wine, or table use come from Vinifera variety. The pup of the Vinifera variety is not much juicy but is tender with the skin firmly attached. The seeds can be removed easily and it is highly acidic in nature but contains low sugars. 

Vinifera wines grow on stout and strong trunks which can bear the load of ripe grapes. The other varieties have thin stalks and need the support of trellises. 

Though grapevines can be cultivated from the seeds of grapes, but the seeds do not develop exactly like their parents as there are variable ways of pollination. A Chardonnay grape, for instance, would exactly not grow into a Chardonnay vine. The wine grapevines have hermaphrodite flowers which means they contain both male and female flowers which is also considered as having the perfect flowers. The blossoms of one grapevine could get pollinated with the pollen of some different vine either through wind or insects and the resulting pollen could be entirely of a different variety. Thus, the grape can possess and share the hereditary material of both of its parents but also contains its own properties. This means that no grapeseed will develop exactly like its original variety. 

Propagation of Grapevines

Grapevines are normally propagated via two ways: Re-planting and Layering. Layering utilizes the grapevine cane. The grapevine cane is a 1-year old tender shoot that is necessary for spreading the vine and the formation of grape clusters and leaves for one season. 

When it attains the age of 1 year, the cane develops a bark and it sheds most of its leaves. It could also shed all of its leaves. In the layering method, the section of the cane which is still joined with the mother vine is buried and the tip is left exposed. It usually fixes its roots in one season and can be separated for the development of other plants. The method of layering is used by vineyardists to fill the gaps that are left between the vine rows that are affected by disease. 

Replanting is also called transplanting. In this method, the cane is cut, allowed to root. It is then uprooted carefully ensuring that the roots are as long as possible and it is taken to some other spot where it is to be planted.  

Both methods show that all the grapevines that are cultivated are duplicates of their parent plants. The grapevine, Vitis vinifera is cultivated with its traits curated carefully, including early or late ripening, disease resistance, fruit-yielding capacity, size of the berries, vigor, thickness and color of the skin, and also the size of the cluster. This makes it one of the most popular varieties. Grapes are usually harvested manually. 

Grapeseed Oil Origin

The Extraction Process of Grapeseed Oil

Once the fruit is dry or wet processed, the seeds are removed and the fruit is allowed to dry. This results in an oil that has low acidic value. In the wet process, the vine pomace including the pulp, skins, stems, and seeds of the vine are all run through cylinders that keep spinning with a screen to extract the pulp. The seeds are dried in rotary drier devices and then cleaned and preserved. 

The dry process, on the other hand, dries the grape pomace and then extracts the seeds. There are two main methods used to extract grapeseed oil: cold-pressing and solvent extraction. 

Cold-pressing

In cold-pressing, the seeds are first crushed in an expeller press so that the seed oil is separated from the seed extracts. The latter is converted into juice or wine. Once the oil is completely extracted, it is placed in a container and left undisturbed for 24 hours. The color of this crude oil varies from yellow to yellowish-green and it has a characteristic smell. 

Grapeseed oil that is extracted through cold-pressing maintains its health benefits and retains its natural aroma. If refined oil is desired, the process of refinement is undertaken which will neutralize the oil and bleach the oil with activated carbon and clay before deodorizing it. 

Cold-pressed grapeseed oils are difficult to find considering the difficulty of extracting the oil from the seeds without using solvents.

Solvent Extraction

In this method, the grape seeds are treated with food-grade solvents that help in taking out the oil from grape seeds. The seeds produce only a small quantity of oil, thus they require the use of chemicals. This method requires the application of high pressure and then providing high heat to the oil, which changes its chemical composition. 

1 ton of grapes is needed to produce just one small 230 ml bottle of grapeseed oil. The final oil is lightly yellowish-green in color. The grapeseed carrier oil has a light nutty scent and also has a bit of sweetness to it. The consistency is thin.

How to Use Grapeseed Oil

There are numerous uses of grapeseed oil. The uses range from cosmetic to medicinal. It finds its use in gels, lotions, oils, soaps, creams, conditioners, shampoos, and lip balms. 

Skin

The oil is known to soften and repair the skin and also reduces the occurrence of blemishes and scars. It also helps to treat sunburns and acne. Pour a few drops of oil on your palm. Rub and massage on the affected skin in the upward direction until the oil is fully absorbed by the skin. A few drops of this oil can also be used on the skin after shaving as it has antiseptic and astringent properties. These properties help nourishing, repairing, and tightening the skin after a shave. The oil can be added to cosmetic products such as sunblocks, creams, moisturizers, and lip balms. The oil helps in delaying the signs of aging as it has antioxidant properties. It is also used as a makeup remover, in particular, in removing the makeup from the eyes. To remove eye makeup, pour some drops of the oil on a cotton bud and gently wipe across the eyelashes and eyelids. 

It can also be used in massages as it is light in consistency and is absorbed by the skin quickly. It helps to reduce the signs of age spots, stretch marks, saggy skin, and wrinkles. It is also known to remove stiffness in the muscles and treat the skin that is damaged by sunburn. 

Joint Pain

The pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with this oil. It is also used to treat discomfort due to high blood pressure. The oil is used to tone and tighten the skin. For this, mix 5 drops of grapeseed carrier oil with one drop of lavender oil and one drop of Bergamot oil. Blend nicely and massage into the skin. The skin will be moisturized, nourished, and rejuvenated. 

Organic Grapeseed Oil For Skin

Hair

The oil can be used to treat the dryness of the scalp and itchiness in the hair. It is also known to treat dandruff and frizzy hair. It helps to promote hair growth. For this, take 10 drops of grapeseed oil and mix with 2 drops of lime essential oil. Gently massage the scalp to condition the hair and increase softness. You can also use the grapeseed oil alone by applying it on the hair and allowing it to stay there for 10 minutes and finally rinse the hair with cold water. With regular application of the oil, the hair will become healthy. 

Medicinal Uses

It helps in fast healing of dermal wounds as it reduces inflammation and increases the circulation of blood, eliminating toxins. It is also known to reduce water retention in the body by increasing sweating and urination. 

To provide recovery from surgery or injury and also to promote the health of the bruised skin, mix 10 drops of grapeseed oil with 2 drops of petitgrain oil. Massage on the affected area. The grapeseed carrier oil improves and supports cognitive function. It prevents memory loss and helps to boost memory. 

Just mix about 90 ml of grapeseed carrier oil with rosemary oil (7 drops) and gently massage into the scalp to provide improved cognition.

The Various Varieties of Grapeseed Oil

Variety

Origin Country

Benefits

Grapeseed carrier oil

 

Vitis vinifera

Chile

  • Used in skin care products like lotions and creams. Also used in aromatherapy. 
  • Is the most preferred carrier oil by massage therapists as it is light and has satin finish
  • Tones skin and has non-comedogenic properties, ideal for use on acne-prone and oily skin
  • Odorless
  • Has a thin consistency
  • Easily absorbed into the skin

Grapeseed organic carrier oil

 

Vitis vinifera

Chile

  • Smells like aged wine
  • Has powerful antioxidants, protects skin against environmental agents
  • Contains lots of Omega-6 fatty acids. These nourish the skin and improve its texture
  • Easily absorbed into the skin, making it a great massage oil
  • Thin in consistency
  • Great for use  in cosmetic preparations that help to tone and tighten the skin
  • Contains campesterol, stigmasterol, and beta-sitosterol that help maintain skin's moisture levels and soothe itching 
  • Has Linoleic Acid content which moisturizes the skin 
  • Used in skin care preparations for stressed skin
  • Treats foot problems including scaly flaking, itching, and removes odor

Precautions When Using Grapeseed Oil

Carrier oils are intended for external use and should never be ingested. They should be kept at a safe place away from children to prevent accidental consumption. 

Remember to conduct a patch test first before using the oil. Apply a small quantity on the inner arm and check for any allergies for the next few days. If you notice any allergic response, consult your doctor immediately and stop using the oil. Those with an allergy to grapes are likely to be allergic to grapeseed oil too. It is recommended to avoid the use of the oil in such cases. 

Grapeseed oil can result in severe reactions including rashes, itchiness, hives, swelling of the mouth and face, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, tightness in the chest, headaches, dizziness, and high blood pressure. If you notice any of these, contact your medical practitioner without delay.  

Those who are using blood thinners or medications that lower blood pressure or cholesterol might witness drug interaction leading to diarrhea or nausea owing to the laxative nature. The use of the oil should be avoided in such cases as it can even lead to bleeding complications in those using blood thinners. 

Pregnant and lactating women should also consider consulting their doctors first before using this oil. 

 


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