Grape Seed Oil: An Overview
Grape seed oil has a long history. It is believed to be an ingredient in a dish called pulse and in the Old Testament, prophet Daniel chose to eat this dish to stay healthy. Different parts of the grape were used in European folk medicine to treat eye diseases, stop bleeding, skin irritations, reduce inflammation, ease pain, constipation, smallpox, nausea and liver diseases. More recently, the pharmaceutical industry began to use the oil in cosmetics because it is easily absorbed by the skin, which softens and stretches under its effect. The grape seed oil contains high amounts of vitamin E and vitamin C and some minerals such as zinc, copper and selenium. But above all, it contains the so-called procyanidine, an anti-aging agent which studies find is more potent than vitamins E or C. It also contains substances good for heart and blood health, and it can catalyze the potency of certain vitamins.
Grape Seed Oil: Uses
The therapeutic effects of grape seed oil are obtained only when the oils extracted from raw grape seeds by using a pressing process. This oil is an excellent addition to salads, sauces, in various dishes that require no cooking. It is imperative to avoid roasting, frying or boiling the oil, because heating above 50 degrees C, 122 degrees F, leads to the obliteration of its therapeutic properties. External massage with grape seed oil nourishes, prevents drying, keeps skin youthful and helps maintain the natural elasticity.
Grape Seed Oil: Benefits
- Grape seed oil protects skin. Grape seed oil quickly penetrates the skin, without leaving a greasy feeling. It protects the skin against wind and sunlight. Due to its high content of linoleic acid, which is quickly absorbed by the skin, it reduces water loss from the tissues and restores skin elasticity.
- Grape seed oil prolongs youth. Grape seed oil helps maintain women’s hormonal balance, preventing the premature menopause, as well as affections such as dry skin, excessive hair growth. It has anti-aging effects, maintaining hydration and preventing wrinkles.
- Grape seed oil helps eyesight. Several studies show that this oil improves the eyesight, causing the blood vessels from the eyes to function more efficiently. It works best when the visual disturbances occur with age or due to circulatory problems.
- Grape seed oil strengthens the immune system. The active substances in grape seed oil act as an immune stimulant in several ways: catalyzing the action of vitamin C in the body, promoting the production of immune cells and activating the existing ones. Especially in the cold season, when the body’s natural defense system is challenged, grape seed oil consumption is recommended.
- Grape seed oil is an anti-oxident. Grape seed oil contains substances such as zinc, copper, selenium and vitamin E, which are the strongest enemies of free radicals (harmful molecules), thereby increasing immunity and the body’s resistance to infectious factors.
Grape Seed Oil: Remedies
- Allergies. Grape seed oil is used to an alternative treatment for certain allergies because it blocks the enzymes that produce histamines (the organic compounds that cause allergic reactions). In case of an allergic reaction, grape seed oil can be used in combination with vitamin C, which is used in all anti-allergic treatment, as it increases the vitamin’s efficacy.
- Arthritis and rheumatism. Those who already suffer from arthritis will notice that consuming grape seed oil may reduce the pain of inflammation. This is because grape seed oil contains substances, namely linoleic acid and flavonoids, which are natural anti-inflammatories.
- Arteriosclerosis. Grape seed oil offers exceptional protection to arteries from cholesterol buildup. Its flavonoids – the same ones in red wine – can improve the management of the cholesterol in the bloodstream.
- High cholesterol. Several studies, with both animal and human subjects, show that grape seed oil reduces cholesterol. However, as yet, the number of people in the studies have been small, and more research is needed. The oil may also prevent cardiac ischemia, and circulatory disorders such as high blood pressure and labile blood pressure.
- Varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Daily consumption of grape seed oil may prevent abnormal venous dilatations. Some use it to help prevent or reduce varicose veins. As a natural anti-inflammatory, grape seed oil is recommended as a treatment for leg swelling and hemorrhoids.
- Dermatological conditions. Both internal consumption and topical use of grape seed oil is recommended. Rich in vitamin E, grape seed oil is an elixir for maintaining youthful skin, but also for prevention of skin disorders such as keratosis, psoriasis and depigmentation. A pre-bath massage with grape seed oil prevents the water loss, thus maintaining skin hydration, shine and softness, delaying aging effects.
- Benign tumors. Recent studies show that certain substances contained in grape seed oil may prevent the development of benign tumors such as: ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and breast adenomas.
Grape Seed Oil: Possible Side Effects
- Allergic reaction. If you are allergic to specific types of grapes, you will likely have a similar reaction to grape seed oil too. Allergic reactions may be nausea, dizziness and headaches, itchy scalps.
- Diarrhea. This side effect usually occurs only when grape seed oil is ingested in high dosages. Like many oils, grape seed oil is a natural laxative, and so ingesting large amounts of grape seed oil can cause stomach upset, indigestion, diarrhea, and possibly vomiting.
- Drug interactions: Grape seed oil may interact with certain medications, namely blood thinners or the analgesic Phenacetin. It is important to seek professional advice if you are taking prescription drugs before using grape seed oil
Grape Seed Oil: Conclusion
Grape seed oil’s benefits require time. As part of your diet and skin health program, the oil’s active reagents can work on the inside and outside of the body. Grape seed oil will help you maintain a healthier body and a more youthful looking appearance. As a natural supplement, grape seed oil can help prevent illness such as keratosis, psoriasis and depigmentation, benign tumors and varicose veins. It is also helpful in treatment of high cholesterol and plaque buildup in the blood stream. If you are taking prescription medications, talk to your doctor before consuming the oil – it can interact with other drugs.