Grapefruit Seed Extract – A Natural Treasure
Grapefruit is a very healthy fruit and provides many benefits. Usually, we eat the fruit and throw away the seeds and the peel. In this article, you will learn about the secret power of grapefruit seeds.
Grapefruit seeds have a lot of pro-health properties. However, we are not talking about eating the seeds here. The healthiest form is grapefruit seed extract. It is a concentrated antioxidant as well as an antibacterial, antifungal, and natural antibiotic agent.
Properties and uses of grapefruit seed extract
The American immunologist Jacob Harich in 1972 invented the grapefruit seed extract completely by accident. He observed that the seeds of this fruit do not break down in compost, which indicated that they contained substances that can inhibit the action of microorganisms. This observation inspired research on the properties of this fruit. It was discovered that the extract contained many healing ingredients: flavonoids, hesperidin, kaempferol, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), glycosides, plant sterols, and minerals.
The seeds, pulp, and white membranes of this fruit together form the so-called grapefruit seed extract.
Grapefruit seed extract can be used:
- For immunity
Naringin gives grapefruit its bitter taste. It is also one of the main flavonoids responsible for maintaining the body’s immunity and is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Germs that attack the body before the start of the disease and during the disease are not a problem for this substance. Naringin also seals the vessels and supports the digestive system, which reduces the number of undesirable microorganisms entering the body.
It should also be noted that grapefruit contains Vitamin C, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. It strengthens and supports the body’s natural resources to fight infections.
- To treat oral inflammations
This extract can be used as an antiseptic in cases of throat inflammation. It also works well as a mouth rinse for oral inflammation.
Due to the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of grapefruit seed extract, it can be used for disinfection as in a clinic in the United States. In some countries, grapefruit seeds are used instead of chlorine to disinfect water in laundries and pools.
- As a natural antibiotic
Studies have shown that grapefruit seed extract destroys antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The immune system of people who were given grapefruit seeds orally showed a significant improvement in fighting infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Interestingly, in this study, a better efficacy of antibiotics was observed after the previous use of grapefruit seeds.
- To fight infections (external use)
Grapefruit seed extract can also be used externally, directly on skin infected with fungal infections, or on skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, pruritus, and warts.
- To fight fungal infections
In vitro studies conducted by Polish scientists have shown that 33% grapefruit extract has strong antifungal properties, including against Candida albicans that causes candidiasis (candidiasis is a fungal disease most often manifested by cutaneous lesions in the oral, pharyngeal, and gastrointestinal tract). This extract effectively destroyed the yeast cells.
Grapefruit seed extract can also be used to control skin and nail fungus.
- For flatulence, constipation, and stomach problems
Grapefruit seed extract supports the digestive system. Adding the extract to the main meals reduces the risk of constipation, bloating, and discomfort in the abdomen. It also supports intestinal bacterial flora, which lowers the risk of diseases caused by disturbed intestinal bacterial flora.
- For oral hygiene
Grapefruit-based products are ideal for oral hygiene. They remove deposits and tartar on the teeth. If you make your toothpaste at home, you can think about adding this ingredient.
Side-effects of grapefruit seed extract
Unfortunately, the ingredients in this elixir can interact with certain drugs, reducing their effects and eliminating them from the body. This process increases the risk of side-effects, especially in the case of blood thinners, immunosuppressive drugs, medicines to reduce blood pressure, antiallergics, and hormonal contraceptives.
If you think that grapefruit seed extract should be included in your daily supplementation and you are also taking any of the above medicines, it is best to consult your doctor or pharmacist, who will assess the potential risk of interaction. Always make sure that this extract will not hurt you or cause side-effects.
Grapefruit seed extract rarely causes side effects. However, hypersensitive people may develop skin rashes or a severe allergic reaction with symptoms such as facial swelling, tingling in the mouth, tightness of the chest, and difficulty in breathing.
The concentrated solution should not be used orally as it may cause burns to the mouth, throat, or stomach as well as nausea and vomiting. It is important to know the correct dosage of the extract (quantity and method) before using it.
Pay attention to the composition of the product
Unfortunately, some preparations available in the market contain harmful ingredients such as benzethonium chloride, triclosan, and methylparaben that may cause additional irritation and adversely affect the body.
You should look for a product that does not contain any additives and preservatives other than ascorbic acid, citric acid, or potassium sorbate.
The correct grapefruit seed extract should contain about 33% grapefruit extract. The amount of the main ingredient – naringin – should be at least 400 mg/100 g of extract.