A natural by-product of winemaking, it is obtained through pressing the seeds of grapes.
The History of Grape Seed Oil
The grape was first cultivated sometime between 8,000 and 8,500 years ago in the Neolithic era. Despite what you may think, it wasn’t originally native to Sicily, southern Italy, Spain and France. Instead the Greeks and Phoenicians, from the area that is now modern day Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, brought it from these areas as it spread also throughout the Middle East. It was the Roman Empire that then spread the grapevine throughout Europe. After the fall of the Romans, wine making became entrenched in monasteries and other social customs. While around for millennia, the oils were not extracted until the 20th century due to the lower percentage of it's oil as compared to other seeds or nuts used for their oils.
As a Natural Health Supplement
Grape seeds are packed with Vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (furthermore referred to as OPCs). These OPCs have been shown, in several studies, to reduce the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency; that is the pooling of blood in the legs causing visible veins, pain, swelling and fatigue. Naturally cholesterol free, there is a possibility that grape seed oil can help promote “good” (HDL) cholesterol and lower the “bad” (LDL). Although studies on the benefits of grapes tend to focus on the “French Paradox” and whether France’s lower heart disease rate is due to the alcohol in red wine, or the flavonoids.
For Health Vitality
Produced by cold-pressing grape seeds, it contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and antioxidants. The OPCs are however the most impressive benefit. Thought to be much more powerful than vitamins E or C, these OPCs are more concentrated in the seeds of red and black grapes.
Thanks to its ability to help preserve the natural flavors found in other foods, cook at high temperatures without smoking, burning or splattering, grape seed oil has been a staple for chefs. Try replacing your traditional cooking oil used for frying, baking, or sautéing with this versatile product.
For Hair and Skin Care
Looking for a hair moisturizer that doesn’t leave your style weighed down and feeling greasy? Grape seed oil is a light, penetrating conditioner that will moisturize without leaving an oily residue. Excellent for naturally thick and coarse, as well as fine and dense, this product can be useful to almost anyone. Blow-drying damages hair follicles, grape seed oil’s natural resistivity to heat not only benefits in cooking, but will protect your hair from the harshness of your blow-dryer.
Suffer from shiny, oily looking skin? Grape seed oil, when applied properly, can help regulate your skin’s natural oil production. Mix with tea tree oil and dab on problem acne spots with a cotton swab. Put a few drops on a cotton ball for a safe and effective eye makeup remover that conditions lashes as well as you eyelashes. Try as massage oil that is compatible with all skin types and makes a great carrier for essential oils to add an aroma therapeutic effect.
For soap making, nothing else compares and it should be incorporated in every batch made. Almost completely odorless, very light and easily absorbed into the skin, grape seed oil also has mild astringent properties that tighten skin and help those who suffer with acne or other skin problems. Containing palmitic, palmitoleic, searic, oleic, linoleic, alpha linolenic, icosanoic, icosenoic and docosanoic fatty acids, choosing it for your soaps is an obvious choice. It will add to the softness of your bar and enrich its lather. These amazing properties also mean a lesser shelf life, so make sure you use sparingly or enhance the shelf life of the bar by adding oil with a longer shelf life.