Demystifying the Ancient Secrets of Grapeseed Oil

by Melissa Chichester

Grapes have a long history of use by humans, and today we are still enjoying the health and beauty benefits that this plant has to offer. Whether it is simply to pluck a juicy, ripe grape off of the vine or to indulge in a glass of wine, there’s also another secret that we can use from this ancient fruit: grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil and extract come from the grape plant, usually as a by-product of wine-making, and these components have many beneficial uses.

The history of grapes and grapeseed oil

Original documentation of grape cultivation dates back between 6,000 to 8,000 years ago in Georgia, located between Eastern Europe and West Asia. The oldest winery was located in Armenia, while ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans also show a documented use of grapes in their cultures. While grapes were predominantly used for making wine and juice, the leaves were used for creating décor and obtaining extracts, and oil was removed from the kernels. One species of North American grapes were part of the Native American diet, but not useful for winemaking. Grapeseed oil has been used for over 6,000 years in traditional folk healthcare. It is also mentioned in the bible as an “ancient healer” and used by Daniel in the Old Testament.

Grapeseed oil benefits

Grapeseed contains proanthocyanidins, which are naturally occurring bioflavonoids.

Bioflavonoids are beneficial compounds that are derived from plants and typically act as antioxidants in the body.*

Many of these bioflavonoids come from fruits and are responsible for delivering the rainbow that paints these fruits in their eye-catching colors. Grapeseed also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, and oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. In the body, grapeseed oil helps maintain antioxidant health.* Antioxidants assist in fighting the cell-damaging free radicals that we encounter in daily life.*

Grapeseed oil uses

Grapeseed oil has uses in aromatherapy, cooking, and beauty. Because it has a fairly high smoke point at 421 °F and a light, neutral taste, it is useful for cooking. It is also high in polyunsaturated fats and makes a great base for salad dressings and marinades. Grapeseed oil is also high in Vitamin E. In aromatherapy, grapeseed oil is a popular carrier oil or for creating massage oils and other beauty blends, including creating moisturizers. That said, grapeseed oil makes for a hydrating face treatment all on its own by simply massaging a small amount onto the skin. It can also be used on dry parts of the body including the elbows, knees, and heels. One of our favorite ways to use grapeseed oil is with an easy to make, moisture whipped body cream in the recipe below!

Citrus Wish Whipped Body Butter Recipe

1 cup shea butter
⅔ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
10 drops lemongrass oil
8 drops tangerine oil
8 drops orange oil

Directions

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in the microwave in 15-second intervals until the mixture is reduced to a liquid. Stir in the Vitamin E oil, grapeseed oil, and add the essential oils. Remove from the heat and place the mixture in the fridge until it begins to solidify into a butter-like consistency. Remove from the fridge and mix until fluffy. Place the mixture in an airtight glass jar and store in the fridge until ready for use.

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