With many natural remedies, it seems that there are those that swear by them and those that think they’re bogus (amber teething necklace?).
I recently came across and tried a remedy that was new to me, grapefruit seed extract or as it’s commonly known, GSE. I originally came to find it when I was researching natural remedies for thrush, as Hallee and I seemed to be battling that.
This particular remedy definitely is one of the more controversial, however, found it to be quite effective. I’ve taken both the liquid form as well as capsules (because I heard the liquid tasted terrible).
Ways I’ve used GSE
I originally bought GSE to fight thrush. I made a little mix (instructions found here) and kept it where I changed Hallee’s diaper. It cleared up her diaper rash better than any remedy I’ve ever used and my nipple soreness dissipated quickly as well.
The bottle of GSE that I bought has one of those hidden labels– you peel open the outer label to reveal an inner label full of ways to use it. I’ve experimented with a few of those.
- in the laundry: I use 10-25 drops of GSE in the laundry to fight the fungi that might lead to yeast infections like thrush
- in the dishwasher: 15-30 drops in the automatic dishwasher detergent tray
- to clean toothbrushes: after a bout of sickness in our house, I cleaned all our toothbrushes in a water/GSE (5-10) drops mixture. This can be done regularly (changing water every few days) as well.
Other uses for GSE
I’ve yet to use GSE in all the ways in can supposedbly be used, such as as a cutting board cleaner, ear rinse and scalp cleanser among others. It can supposedly also be used to fight bacterial infections such as strep throat.
Renee at FIMBY uses GSE in her homemade moisturizing lotion recipe (that I want to try!) and her post is actually where I first read about the controversy.
What the skeptics say
The basic argument against GSE boils down to whether it actually works without having preservatives and/or synthetic antimicobrials (source).
I did find a particularly helpful forum thread, where a user cited a letter from the company whose product I’ve used (NutriBiotic) stating that Citricidal, the ingredient they use, is completely safe and has been known to reveal false positives in tests for benzethonium chloride. The company representative also said that due to recent news about Triclosan in the last few years, they test every batch of Citricidal to prove the absence of Triclosan.
As always, please do your own research and talk to your doctor or naturopath before deciding if GSE is right for you (especially because of potential interactions that grapefruit can have with certain medications). I am not an expert, but rather, am just sharing my own experiences and research.
We always have to weigh the arguments and go with our gut when it comes to controversial remedies. I’ve personally found GSE to be effective, and in my research the companies whose product I’ve used seem trustworthy.
Have you used GSE? Have you found it beneficial?