This is a very personal post for me. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) was just one part of a protocol to treat and ultimately heal our 4 year-old son after a simultaneous Stachybotris mold and Klebsiella exposure that could have taken his life if we didn’t piece together what happened!
We have used grapefruit seed extract since 1997. Providentially, I learned about it from our integrative medicine doctor right when we needed it most! This is one of those very helpful more-natural products you will not be hearing much about, sadly.
Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial
Used as a broad-spectrum, non-toxic, antimicrobial product, it is known to be highly effective for fighting infection. GSE is used as a purifier, antiseptic, and preservative. Scientific research shows that pure, grapefruit seed extract is
- kills antibiotic-resistant UTIs
- against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- vaginal yeast infections
- and digestive trouble associated with eczema
Good vs. Bad Bacteria
GSE is highly effective at rebalancing and differentiating between the “good” microflora (bacteria) and the bad. By destroying the bad bacteria, fungus, and pathogens, the good bacteria has a stronger opportunity to do its work and keep you healthy. (source)
Your body will also have a much stronger resistance to stomach bugs and intestinal ailments.
Who Should Not Take Grapefruit Seed Extract?
Grapefruit seed extract is non-toxic and considered safe in most cases. An independent laboratory found that you would need to take 4,000 times the recommended amount of grapefruit seed extract before the dosage became poisonous.
However, as with any form of supplementation, GSE is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those with serious health conditions are also advised to seek advice from a health professional before commencing GSE treatment. It is possible for GSE to interact with certain medications, so these should be checked first.
Side-effects of GSE are rare. One solid study reported patients suffered no side-effects during a four-week treatment with GSE. Instead, they noticed an overall improvement in digestive health symptoms, including constipation, flatulence, abdominal discomfort and night rest.
Remember that grapefruit seed extract is known to have a large number of drug interactions. In many cases, GSE substantially reduces the effectiveness of prescription medication. If you are taking any medication, make sure to check with your healthcare provider.
Common sense: Never put the extract into your eyes, and don’t use at full strength in your mouth, ears, nose or sensitive areas. If used in full strength on skin it may cause irritation.
Know Your Source
Always buy from a reputable company (we keep Nutribiotic on hand -see customer Q&As about purity) as some commercial brands are not pure and contain benzethonium chloride and triclosan. Dr. Axe mentions this one.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Dosage:
- Adults can take one to two 250 mg capsules or tablets 2-3 times daily with or without meals. GSE liquid is extremely bitter.
- Or adults can mix 5-10 drops of the liquid concentrate into a glass of water (5-6 oz.) OR add to empty capsule and take immediately, 1-3 times daily, with or without meals.
- Grapefruit extract can deplete normal flora (‘good’ bacteria) in the gut when taken very long-term. If taking GSE for 3-4 days or longer, it’s important to consume a probiotic supplement two hours before taking your GSE dose. Use a good probiotic thru-out.
- Grapefruit seed extract concentrated liquid and capsules should not be taken by children except under a doctor’s supervision. Seek out a functional medicine doc.
- If you have candida, it’s best to begin GSE therapy in partnership with a cleansing anti-candida diet. This means avoiding things like sugar, alcohol, dairy and grains.
For breastfeeding mothers with thrush and candida:
According to the Canadian Breastfeeding Association grapefruit seed extract can be used directly (diluted) on affected nipples. It should be diluted (5 to 15 drops, occasionally up to 25 drops, in 1 ounce water), applied on the nipples with cotton ball, allowed to dry, and then covered, sparingly, with ointment. Cover the dilute GSE for more uses. Use it only after nursing.
It may be helpful to treat baby with acidophilus by rolling a wet finger in acidophilus powder (break open a capsule), and let baby suck on the finger right before a feeding. Use 2x first day, 2x second day only. Mother may want to ingest Acidophilus as well, 3x/day for 1-2 weeks. (source)
Other Neat Antimicrobial Uses for Grapefruit Seed Extract:
- In humidifiers – 3-4 drops per gallon of water to prevent algae growth
- In nebulizers – one drop GSE to one ounce saline water for control of respiratory infections
- In laundry – to kill fungi and bacteria, add 10-15 drops to the final rinse
- Disinfecting surfaces (cutting boards, bathroom surfaces) – 15-20 drops mixed in 32 oz.water in a spray bottle
- Farming – in chicken feed and water to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases
Note: I did my research. We had such good success with GSE (as many doctors have). We would rather have our son get well than fear some of the biased criticism out there. See my medical disclaimer and consult a functional doctor (Dr. Axe’s list) who is up to date with safer, non-pharmaceutical alternatives.
How Is He Now?
Today, our son is a strapping, healthy young organic farmer, still prone to candida and sinus infection if he doesn’t watch his sugar intake. He started to grow again after 6-7 years and made up for lost time by growing taller than his mama! Grapefruit seed extract was part of what helped to save his life.
More of the story and what else we did.
One day, maybe I’ll share the 8-day rotation I came up with and kept him on for 3.5 years!