6 Grapefruit Seed
Extract Benefits You Won’t Believe
By Annie Price, CHHC
When you eat a grapefruit, what do you do with the seeds? I’m
guessing you spit them out or remove them from the start. What if I told you
that those grapefruit seeds, particularly in grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
form, actually might hold a wealth of health benefits.
This makes sense, considering grapefruit
benefits include weight loss, cellulite reduction and
immune system enhancement. Grapefruit seed extract actually has a different set
of benefits almost entirely, but some of them do overlap with the incredible
abilities of grapefruit essential oil. Practitioners of
alternative medicine say grapefruit seed extract possesses antibacterial,
antiviral and antifungal properties and recommended its use for the treatment
of candidiasis, earaches, throat infections and diarrhea.
Grapefruit seed extract, especially when used internally, can be
somewhat of a controversial supplement due to a lack of human studies as well
as evidence of adulteration of grapefruit seed extract. The
main controversy stems from study findings that some commercially produced
grapefruit seed extracts contain harmful ingredients like benzethonium chloride
and triclosan. (1)
Without a doubt, if you’re going to use a grapefruit seed
extract product, you should always read ingredients lists carefully and make
sure that you buy from a reputable company. While brands might differ when it
comes to quality, scientific research shows that pure grapefruit seed
extract can kill all kinds of infectious microbes and even helps combat
common health issues like candida and athlete’s foot. So are the seeds of
a grapefruit actually good for you? Let’s discuss why this citrus fruit’s
seedlings might be worthy of attention to your life as an internal,
external and household natural remedy.
extract is on my candida diet treatment plan for
very good reason. Candidiasis, commonly referred to as “candida,” is a
fungal infection that can affect men and women of all ages in various parts of
the body. It most commonly occurs in the mouth, ears, nose, toenails, fingernails,
gastrointestinal tract and vagina.
A Polish study
published in 2001 found that a 33 percent grapefruit extract has a
potent antifungal effect against Candida
albicans strains taken from patients with candida symptoms.
(2) GSE’s antifungal properties help it
combat candida infestations by killing the yeast cells that have taken over in
2. Kills Antibiotic-Resistant
noteworthy case study published in the Journal of
Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2005 found that
grapefruit seeds were highly effective in killing antibiotic-resistant urinary
tract infections. The study looked at several patients who were
treated with grapefruit seeds (Citrus paradisi) orally for
two weeks. The dosage was five to six grapefruit seeds every eight hours.
two weeks, all patients responded satisfactorily to the treatment minus one.
However, this patient initially had the bacterial UTI resistant to three
different antibiotics, but after taking 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.
a fungal infection sometimes mistaken for tuberculosis that’s caused by Histoplasma
capsulatum or H. capsulatum,
a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. Histoplasmosis is most
commonly transmitted when spores become airborne (often during cleanup or
demolition projects) or from dirt contaminated with the droppings. The majority
of people who acquire histoplasmosis are symptomless and never even know
they’re infected, but some people may develop flu-like symptoms that last
around 10 days.
For people with
weak immune systems, chronic diseases or for infants, histoplasmosis
can be serious. About 500,000 people are exposed to H.
capsulatum each year in the U.S.
alternative treatment for this fungal infection is grapefruit seed extract at a
dosage of 100 milligrams (capsule) or five to 10 drops in water three
times daily. It’s recommended for its antibacterial, antifungal and
antiviral properties. Since GSE likely helps make the immune system stronger,
it can help provide symptom release for fungal infections like histoplasmosis.
4. Relieves Athlete’s Foot and
Athlete’s foot is a skin disease
that usually occurs between the toes and is caused by a fungus. As a natural
treatment for athlete’s foot, you can try applying full-strength grapefruit
seed extract to the problem areas two to three times per day. (4) It shouldn’t take too
long to have the itching, burning and general unpleasantness of athlete’s
foot under control.
You can also
use GSE as an alternative to tea tree oil to treat toenail fungus.
Simply paint the extract on the infected nails twice a day until you
Digestive Disturbances Associated with Eczema
Eczema is a
common skin disorder that often has links to food choices and digestive
issues. One preliminary human trial investigated the effectiveness of
grapefruit seed extract on atopic eczema patients who also
had intestinal dysbiosis, a microbial imbalance or maladaptation
in the digestive tract. All patients showed severe atopic eczema,
including bleeding lesions over the face, limbs and trunk, while 14 of 25
also had intermittent diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, intestinal
rushes, bloating and abdominal discomfort.
received either two drops of a 0.5 percent liquid concentrate of grapefruit
seed extract twice a day or 150 milligrams of encapsulated grapefruit seed
extract (ParaMicrocidin®) three times a day. After a month, all of the
subjects taking capsules experienced significant improvements in constipation,
flatulence and abdominal discomfort, as well as night rest, while 20 percent of
the subjects taking the liquid experienced significant improvements in their
negative digestive symptoms. The extract was mostly effective against Candida, Geotrichum
sp. and hemolytic E. coli. There
were zero side effects during the entire study. (5)
6. Works as a General
extract benefits can be experienced when it’s taken by mouth for
bacterial, viral and fungal infections, including yeast infections.
(6) But there are also many
grapefruit seed uses that don’t involve ingesting the extract. Due to its
antimicrobial activities, grapefruit seed extract is commonly included in
many throat sprays, nasal sprays, ear drops, mouth washes, toothpastes, shower
gels, wound disinfectant sprays and other personal care products. Instead of
using unnatural and synthetic preservatives, many natural companies turn to
grapefruit seed extract for its ability to preserve a product by killing
Other antimicrobial uses of
grapefruit seed extract include:
- In laundry — to kill fungi and bacteria, add 10 to 15
drops to the final rinse
- In carpet cleaners — to kill pathogenic
- Sterilizing and disinfecting operating rooms
- In nebulizers — one drop GSE to one ounce saline
water for control of respiratory infections
- In humidifiers — three to four drops per gallon
of water to prevent algae growth
- As a better preservative than most chemical
preservatives currently on the market
- Disinfecting surfaces — when mixed with water in a
spray bottle, it’s great for disinfecting cutting boards and other kitchen
as well as bathroom surfaces
- In hot tubs and swimming pools — GSE is added to
lessen the need for high levels of chlorine
- Farming — farmers use the extract in animal feed and
water to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases
By Annie Price, CHHC
September 25, 2017