Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a substance derived from the seeds, membranes, and the pulp of grapefruit. Used as a broad-spectrum, non-toxic, antimicrobial product, it is known to be highly effective for fighting infection and promoting health. GSE is used as a purifier, antiseptic, and preservative. Even in studies comparing its effectiveness to chlorine bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and colloidal silver, GSE has been found to be superior as an antimicrobial.
In 1972, Dr. Jakob Harich discovered grapefruit seed extract from processing the seeds and pulp into a bitter-tasting, highly acidic liquid. He found that the extract deactivated fungi (including yeast), parasites, and viruses. It was traditionally used in agriculture to prevent mold from growing on foodstuff. Hospitals began using the compound as an antiseptic, and it has been used in pools as a natural alternative to chlorine.
All over the world, GSE has been used for killing a wide variety of bacteria (such as: Salmonella, E.Coli, Staph and Strep germs), viruses, herpes, parasites, and fungi, including Candida. It is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, as well as a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites. It has also proven to be effective against food poisoning and diarrhea. Many professionals, such as doctors, veterinarians, farmers and consumers praise its value and effectiveness. GSE has no harmful side effects, along with being economical. Whereas most germ inhibiting components found in seeds can be toxic to humans and animals, the grapefruit seed has compounds that convert into a form that not only retains its antimicrobial properties, but also is non-toxic.
Allan Sachs D.C., C.C.N., Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Chiropractor, in his book “The Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract” states:
“Many holistic physicians, myself included, consider Candida Albicans one of the greatest health challenges to people of the industrialized nations. The broad spectrum, antifungal properties of GSE have made it an important part of successful anti-Candida programs – a fact that has linked the names Candida and Grapefruit Seed Extract. With the help of GSE, thousands of individuals have overcome the multiple effects of Candida”. (also known as “candidiasis”)
According to Dr. Sachs’ book “The Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract“, a variety of other ailments can be helped by GSE, such as:
Acne – Add a concentration of 1% to 3% to skin care products. Avoid contact with eyes. After cleansing the face, apply 2 to 3 drops of GSE to moistened fingertips, and massage gently in circular motions for one minute. Rinse with cool water. The bacteria-killing properties and cleansing action may cause a tingling sensation.For internal cleansing, add 10 – 15 drops of GSE to juice, three times a day.
AIDS – An increasing number of HIV positive people are able to improve their immune system by using GSE to fight viruses, bacteria, fungi, Candida, or parasites. For these patients, however, it may be best to start with a more diluted concentration, so the body can adjust more easily to the detoxification process. Be sure to check with your health care provider.
Athlete’s foot – The commercially prepared foot powders, creams, and sprays that contain GSE have been shown to be beneficial for athlete’s foot.
Colds, flus, viruses – Take 10 – 15 drops, or 1 – 2 capsules/tablets, 3 times a day, at the first signs of cold or flu. Or mix 50 drops in 1 quart of juice, and sip throughout the day.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – To generally build up immune system, gradually increase GSE amount to the recommended dosage for colds, flus, and viruses.
Cold sores, cuts, wounds – Use 1 – 5 drops in 50 drops of water. Frequent application of solution to wound will promote faster healing.
Gums (Gingivitis) – Dilute 5 to 10 drops of GSE in 6 to 8 ounces of water, and rinse mouth with solution thoroughly.
Dandruff – Add a few drops of GSE to each application of shampoo. Wait five minutes before rinsing. DO NOT get in eyes. Remember, GSE is acidic.
Diarrhea – Use 15 to 20 drops in juice every four hours; no more than 60 drops per day. For parasites, higher doses may be necessary.
Earaches – There are commercially prepared eardrops, which can be found at the health food store, containing GSE. Do not use GSE concentrate directly in ears.
Parasites - Parasites affect the majority of people. They become more of a health problem as travel and contamination of food, and water, increase. Stay disciplined, with 3 to 5 doses per day. Parasite infections that have occurred for a long period of time will take more time to cure. Be patient.
Sinusitis – Using a spray atomizer, add a pinch of salt, and no more than two drops of GSE. Shake and spray into nose. Repeat every four hours. If the solution is too mild, add one or two more drops of GSE and shake. Do not use this treatment with young children.
Sore throats – Dilute a few drops in water and use as a gargle. This will fight even Strep germs. Use approximately 2 to 3 drops in 5 ounces of water for the gargle.
Traveler’s Diarrhea (Montezuma’s Revenge) – Use 1 – 2 drops of GSE in a glass of water each day as a preventative.
Ulcers – Use 1 capsule dissolved in 12 ounces of juice or water, and take with one meal per day. If no stomach irritation occurs, increase dose to two, and then three meals per day. Maximum dose can be increased to 6 tablets (dissolved in liquid) per day.
Water purification – Add 10 to 25 drops of GSE, per gallon of water. Shake and let stand for several minutes. The water will have a bitter taste to it, due to the GSE.
Cleansing produce – Add a few drops to the water used for washing produce. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. This will help destroy any Salmonella or E.Coli bacteria.
Pets – GSE is an excellent remedy for skin disease, external injuries, fungal infections, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Also, helps bad breath when added to drinking water.Use 1 drop of liquid, or 10 milligrams of powder, per 10 pounds of body weight. Frequency of dosage can be increased by 2 or 3 times, without side effects.
GSE is also used as a disinfectant. Many believe it is one of the most powerful germ killers and deep cleansers available. Fortunately, though Grapefruit Seed Extract is great at killing germs, when it is mixed in soap and cleansing products, it will not harm the skin or the environment.
Dr. J.A. Botino, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, tested GSE against alcohol and found GSE to be 100% effective (at 100ppm) for disinfecting skin before surgery. That was compared to the 72% effectiveness of alcohol, and the 98% effectiveness of surgical soap, when used as a scrub for one minute.
Diabetes mellitus, or Type 2 diabetes, is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels and high blood lipid levels. Researchers who conducted animal studies to determine GSE's usefulness in the management of Type 2 diabetes found that GSE extract significantly lowered blood sugar levels and LDL or bad cholesterol and increased HDL or good cholesterol in diabetic rats. The researchers concluded that the results, published in the "Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine" in 2008, might be due to the high content of the phytonutrients, such as flavonoids and cardiac glycoside, present in the extract.
Kills Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs
According to Ar. Axe, a noteworthy case study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 2005found that grapefruit seeds were effective in killing antibiotic resitistant urinary tract infections. The study looked at several patients who were treated with grapefruit seeds (Citrus parasisi) orally for two weeks. The dosage was five to six grapefruit seeds every eight hours.
Within those two weeks, all patients responded satisfactorily to the treatment minus one. However this patient initially bad the bacterial UTI resistant to three different antibiotics, but after taking the grapefruit seed there was a reversal of the antibiotic resistance pattern. Although a small human study, the data points toward the antibacterial ability of dried or fresh grapefruit seeds being comparable to proven antibacterial drugs, making it an effective home remedy for UTIs.
Side Effects and Controversy
While no side effects were reported in a 1990 study that demonstrated grapefruit seed extract's antimicrobial activity, the extract may have contraindicates with hypersensitive individuals. Nausea, abdominal pain, gastralgia, diarrhea, sore throat and headache have been reported, however few side effects are well-documented.
If any rash, itching, or swelling emerges, especially in the throat, tongue, or face, or if you are having trouble breathing or experience dizziness, seek medical attention as these symptoms could be from a rare, but severe, allergic reaction. Anyone taking a prescription medication where grapefruit must be avoided should take low dosages of the seed extract at irregular intervals.
Adverse effects by those taking warfarin were reported to the Swedish Medical Products Agency, and a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology revealed that three GSE products analyzed contained the synthetic preservative benzethonium chloride and no actual GSE extract.
However, much controversy is not over GSEs efficacy, or the dangerous amounts of chemicals within the extract, but rather a claim that it is natural. While benzethonium chloride can be concerning for some people, small dosages taken during short intervals of time should not be cause for alarm.
In conclusion, this powerful remedy has a multitude of applications. It is always important to consult your doctor when taking anything new, especially if you are taking any pharmaceutical, or over the counter medications. The wonders of GSE are still being explored scientifically. While researchers delve farther into this simple but potent remedy, those of us familiar with it already know its beneficial compliment to our everyday lives.
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