Grapefruit seed extract, commonly known as GSE, has been used as a broad spectrum antibiotic against a number of unknown infections caused by variety of bacteria, viruses, yeast, and fungi. It is gaining popularity all across the globe for its use as an external, as well as internal medicine. Because of its healing properties, this seed extract is used in a number of cosmetics and food supplements.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
The extract is obtained from the seeds, pulp, and the white membranes of the fruit. Pure GSE is made by extracting liquid from the seeds and pulp, and blending it with glycerin. However, commercial GSE contains a lot of added synthetic preservatives.
Its seeds and pulp contain bioflavonoids and polyphenolic compounds. These polyphenolic compounds are unstable, but are converted into more stable quaternary ammonium compounds by chemical reactions during the synthesis of the extract. The quaternary ammonium compounds are very active, and are considered to be responsible for the antimicrobial properties of the grapefruit seed.
Grapefruit seed is known to have antioxidant properties. It is fully loaded with bioflavonoids and vitamin A and vitamin C, which help in reducing the hazardous effects of the free radicals and also, enhance the metabolic functions. This extract, is considered as one of the most alkaline foods and it helps the body to balance its pH, thereby driving many pathogens away, as they cannot thrive in alkaline environment. It supports the immune system and has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
The powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of this extract make it useful in fighting a wide range of pathogens and thus, strengthening the immune system of our body. It effectively cures a number of skin diseases and allergic reactions. One can use this extract for acne, eczema, rashes, chickenpox, cold sores, dandruff, head lice, athlete's foot, ringworm, and warts. Because of the therapeutic properties, it can be used to combat conditions like colds, chronic fatigue syndrome, halitosis, sinusitis, ear inflammation, digestive disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders.
There are no reported side effects of this extract and it can be taken for long periods of time, without any toxic effects. It is safe for consumption by humans, as well as animals. However, people allergic to citrus fruits should be cautious when using it. Although this extract, on its own, does not have harmful side effects, it has the tendency to produce certain effects on interaction with other drugs. It inhibits the digestive enzyme in the intestine, thus, increasing the rate of absorption of other drugs. Hence, consuming it when one is on some other medications like that of blood pressure, should be avoided. Moreover, the synthetic preservatives found in commercial GSE can be responsible for certain health concerns. So, it is advisable to use the extract with minimal synthetic preservatives. The extract can cause extreme irritation, if it accidentally enters the eye. In such a situation, one must wash the eyes with plenty of water to wash away the extract and consult a physician if necessary. Since there is a lack of conclusive evidence on the effects of the extract on pregnant women and nursing mothers, they should refrain from its use. Moreover, studies need to be conducted to analyze drug interactions and the possibility of adverse effects that could occur due to the presence of synthetic preservatives in the extract.
On a concluding note, the aforementioned remedies might prove beneficial to people having problems with the conventional antibiotics, especially those who are on a lookout for natural cures considering that there are no harmful side effects of the same. However, excess of anything is bad, and this applies to the extract as well. Do take it as per the recommended doses. If you do experience any discomfort, it would be best to consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.