What is Grape Seed Oil?
Grape Seed Extract and its oil is derived from the seeds of a grape. Due to their nutritional and medicinal properties grapes, their seeds, and leaves have been used in many home remedies for centuries. Grape Seed Oil is a great source of polyphenols - flavonoids, Essential Fatty Acid - linoleic acid, vitamin E, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin. These great components make grape seed oil an asset in the treatment of many minor to severe health conditions. It has also been used in the production of massage oils and balms, hair and hygienic products, face and body moisturizers, as well as in sunblocks and sunburn ointments. Even though, Grape Seed Oil and its Extract are derived from Grape Seeds, they have different uses due to the different concentration levels of their components.
What are the Benefits of Grape Seed Oil?
Studies suggest that Grape Seeds constitute anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-histamine, anti-aging, anti-allergic, antimicrobial, and adaptogenic activity. Therefore, its oil and extract has been beneficial in the treatment of a number of health issues which include: arthritis, edema, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, dry and itchy skin, age spots, sun burns, chapped lips, wounds, bruising, stretch marks, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, chronic venous insufficiency, premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), weight loss, stress, dandruff, hair loss, warts, cardiovascular diseases especially atherosclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, visual impairment, cataract, and macular degeneration. Studies also suggest that its free radical scavenging activity may strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Uses of Grape Seed Oil and its Extract
Acne and Dermatitis
Research suggests that the linoleic acid in Grape Seed Oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, acne reductive, and moisture retentive properties. It contains 73% of linoleic acid which may be beneficial in the treatment of acne, dermatitis, allergic reactions, atopic eczema and dry and itchy skin. A simple remedy for these skin conditions is to apply Grape Seed Oil onto the affected skin 2-3 times daily. Regular oral intake of Grape Seed Extract supplements can also add to the benefits.
Age Spots and Sun Burn
The rich nutrients in Grape Seed extract have been found to protect against UV radiation, and they have been found to lighten the effects on age spots and pigmented skin caused by ultra violet rays. Therefore, simply taking Grapeseed supplements daily may heal and minimize the risk of sunburn and reduce the appearance of age spots. Applying a small amount of Grape Seed Oil onto exposed skin before going in the sun can protect the skin from sunburns.
A few studies suggest that regular oral intake of Grape Seed Extract may suppress the development of different types of cancers and may induce apoptosis - a process that triggers the self-destruction and elimination of damaged and superfluous cells in many cellular systems. Therefore, taking one Grapeseed capsule two to three times daily may be helpful as a preventive measure for people who are at a high risk of the disease. It may also help with liver damage and other side effects caused by chemotherapy medication.
A number of intensive studies have shown that oral intake of linoleic acid can reduce the complications associated with Diabetes. Therefore, regular consumption of Grape Seed Extract, which is rich in linoleic acid and other antiglycemic components, may help with diabetes and visual impairment in diabetics. A recommendation is to take one Grapeseed capsule twice daily.
Varicose veins, spider veins and hemorrhoids are caused by damaged blood vessels and compromise the ability of the capillaries to manage blood flow in the veins, which results in pooling of the blood inside the veins. Grapeseed extract contains oligomeric proanthocyanidin and flavonoids, which are known to help with capillary integrity. Therefore, taking one Grape Seed Extract capsule twice daily may be beneficial for damaged vessels, impaired capillary valves and poor blood circulation that cause hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
High Blood Pressure
Recent research has shown that Grape Seed may improve damaged blood vessels and help regulate high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Therefore, taking one capsule of Grapeseed Extract daily may help improve cardiovascular health.
Studies have shown that Grape Seed Oil may improve the production of collagen which is important for maintaining healthy connective tissues in our joints. Its anti-inflammatory activity may also reduce the pain caused by arthritis. A simple remedy is to start taking 1 teaspoon of Grape Seed Oil daily on an empty stomach for 7 days and then reduce the amount to 1/2 teaspoon daily on an empty stomach.
Wrinkles and Stretch Marks
Studies have shown that the antioxidant activity of Grape Seed Extract may reduce the damage to skin cells and enhance the production of collagen and elastin which is important for strong and healthy looking skin. Therefore taking Grapeseed supplements daily may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and saggy skin. A suggested remedy is to also apply Grapeseed Oil onto the affected skin daily overnight. Alternatively, one to two drops of Grape Seed Oil can be added to your face moisturizer to enhance its effectiveness.
What are the Side Effects of Grape Seed Oil and its Extract?
There are not any reported side effects or drug interactions with Grape Seed Extract when taken in moderation. The FDA has issued the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) certification for Grape Seed Extract. However, an overdose of Grape Seed Extract may cause headache, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain. As with any dietary oil, do not take more than the recommended dose of Grape Seed Oil because it may lead to diarrhea and soft stools. Do not take Grape Seed products if you are allergic to grapes. Additionally, if you are being treated for heart conditions, or are taking any cholesterol or blood pressure lowering medications or blood thinners, consult your doctor and regulate your cholesterol and blood pressure levels when using Grape Seed Oil or its Extract for therapeutic purposes. Grape Seed Oil is not recommended for cooking since it has a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats. Oils with high polyunsaturated fats tend to quickly undergo oxidation when exposed to heat, which can cause the oil to become rancid.
Where and How to Buy Grape Seed Oil and its Extract
Grape Seed Extract is available at most herbal food and drug stores. It can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, and powder. When buying Grape Seed Oil, look for cold-pressed organic oil since it retains most of the natural beneficial ingredients compared to the chemically pressed oils.