History of the Extract
It happened in the year 1980 in a compost heap: An attentive hobby gardener
noticed that the grapefruit seeds in his compost didn't rot. As coincidence
would have it, this hobby gardener didn't just enjoy gardening, but was a physician,
an Einstein Laureate physicist, and an immunologist specializing in the investigation
of natural remedies. His curiosity aroused, Dr. Jacob Harich of Florida-the
name of the hobby gardener-took a closer look at the phenomenon in his compost
heap. The result was more than remarkable. A substance was concealed in the
grapefruit seeds that appeared to be more effective, and at the same time less
harmful, than any known antibiotic.
But that wasn't all. Research undertaken by a number of renowned institutes
brought to light an unexpected broad spectrum of efficacy. The extract from
the seeds of the grapefruit was found to not only inactivate viruses and bacteria,
but also yeasts and other fungi, as well as parasites. In comparison, the effect
of conventional antibiotics is limited to bacteria alone.
1. The ideal antimicrobial should be broad spectrum since we rarely know
for sure the individual germ or mix of germs. Research results show that
grapefruit seed extract is effective against approximately 800 bacteria and
virus strains, 100 strains of fungus, as well as a great number of single-cell
parasites. Mo other known antimicrobial can demonstrate such versatility.
2. It should be powerful and effective. Grapefruit seed extract develops
its antimicrobial activity at very low concentrations. Most microbes will be
killed within the range of 2 -1000 ppm (9 drops in a liter is 100 parts per
million). In addition, the previously mentioned versatility of grapefruit seed
extract is clear proof of its powerful potential. In comparison to other remedies,
grapefruit seed extract shows excellent results. An international research team
examined the effect of grapefruit seed extract on 770 strains of bacteria and
93 fungal strains during 1989-90 and compared them with 30 effective antibiotics
and 18 antimycotica (fungicides). Grapefruit seed extract was found to perform
as well as all the tested agents. Similar results were reported by the Great
Smokies Laboratory in Ashville, North Carolina, a leading center for stool analysis,
where grapefruit seed extract is tested routinely together with other natural
and chemical antibiotics on a wide variety of germ cultures. In these studies
also the results for grapefruit seed extract were outstanding.
3. The ideal antimicrobial should be non-toxic. In this respect we
would like to relate a little incident reported by Richard Starr, the president
of the Bio/Chem Research Institute in Lakeport, California. In Peru, where grapefruit
seed extract is used for disinfection of agricultural products, a drunken agricultural
worker inadvertently drank about 3 or 4 fl. oz. of the liquid extract that some
jokester had put into a whiskey bottle. Apparently this unusually high dose
helped more than it hurt: the farm worker passed all kinds of worms and said
he never felt better.
According to scientific research, it would take at least 4,000 times the normal
dose to produce a possible life threatening effect. This means that a person
weighing 180 Ibs. would have to drink about 2.2 pints (American) or 1.75 pints
(Imperial) of 33% liquid grapefruit seed extract (20% extractives) for it to
be potentially fatal.
4. The ideal antimicrobial should be non-weakening to the immune system.
This criterion is more than fulfilled. In fact, grapefruit seed extract has
been used with success for a variety of immunodeficiency diseases since its
broad spectrum antimicrobial activity relieves the immune system of an enormous
5. The beneficial bacteria should remain intact. Initial research indicates
that grapefruit seed extract, taken in a normal dose, doesn't touch the important
Bifidobacteria and only insignificantly reduces the Lactobacilli, despite its
inhibiting effect on harmful intestinal bacteria. In addition, it appears that
the beneficial intestinal flora can thrive much better after yeasts and other
pathogens have been destroyed.
6. The ideal antimicrobial should be largely naturally derived since synthetic
chemicals have an unpredictable shorter long-term effect on the body. Grapefruit
is a gift of nature in all its parts. The extract is made by grinding the seeds
together with a portion of the flesh membrane, thereby fulfilling this criterion
7. The ideal antimicrobial should be hypoallergenic since many of us suffer
from sensitivities to customary antibiotics. Most doctors could not establish
any kind of allergic reaction in the use of grapefruit seed extract. However,
Dr. Allan Sachs points out that about 3 to 5 per cent of all people are allergic
to citrus fruit and could therefore also display a sensitive reaction to grapefruit
seed extract. These people should start with a low dosage and, when possible,
use the pulverized extract with its somewhat lower acidic content in comparison
to the liquid form.
Two further criteria related to cost effectiveness and adequate scientific research.
Both of these points were also satisfactorily fulfilled.
After these convincing results and a fund of personal experience, Dr. Allan
Sachs published a series of articles in American magazines that, along with
other publications, gave rise to growing interest. More and more holistic health
practitioners, doctors, and other medical professionals became aware of the
new substance, that has no side effects. They then began prescribing it to their
patients as an effective alternative to synthetic and mold-derived preparations.
Today there are many doctors who can look back on years of experience with grapefruit
seed extract. The most frequent applications lie in the area of gastrointestinal
diseases, yeast infections, colds, throat- nose- and ear-infections, fungal
diseases of the nails and skin, gum inflammations (gingivitis), and vaginal
infections, to name but a few. An important application is in the support of
the immune system and protection against infections for patients with chronic
immunodeficiency symptoms like AIDS, chronic fatigue, or Candida. Mew applications
are constantly being discovered.
Doctors who have an adequate amount of experience with grapefruit seed extract
are overwhelmingly positive in their evaluation. They appreciate the extract
not just because of its incredible range of application and its effectiveness,
even where other remedies fail, but also because it is very well tolerated by
"There's something unique about this particular substance. Whatever it
does, it does it without debilitating side effects. It has the advantage of
being very safe." This statement comes from the internist Dr. Leo Galland
of Mew York who has prescribed the extract for the past seven years and has
published various reports about its effect on Candida. Dr. Louis Parish, M.D.,
an investigator for the GS Department of Health and the FDA, who treated many
people suffering from intestinal diseases, is also full of praise: "Grapefruit
seed extract gives more symptomatic relief than any other treatment."
The pediatrician and health correspondent of the popular American television
program "Home Show," Dr. Jay M. Gordon of California, emphasizes its
high efficiency in dealing with the frequent yeast infections in both the mouth
and diaper area of his smallest patients, which are often difficult to cure.
In a letter to one of the manufacturers of grapefruit seed extract, he praises
its complete non-toxicity: "You have an excellent, extremely safe formulation
that I have found to be completely safe for even the very youngest babies in
my practice." The German physician Dr. Klaus Kustermann, M.D., of Baden-Baden,
who has treated many of his patients with grapefruit seed extract, discovered
that: "In my opinion, grapefruit seed extract is absolutely the best, most
effective antibiotic and fungicide that nature has given us."
We also met with extraordinary enthusiasm from users of grapefruit seed extract.
They were often astonished at how quickly their symptoms disappeared, how a
few drops of the extract in a glass of water could stop diarrhea or the flu,
how eczema, skin fungus, dandruff, warts, and sweaty feet simply-vanished. Many
of them could hardly believe it when their chronic vaginal or intestinal Candida
or their many years of gum disease finally healed after no other remedy had
brought lasting success. Others came to value grapefruit seed extract as an
indispensable travel companion that helped against food poisoning and cholera,
as well as small wounds. Meanwhile in some family medicine chests, the extract
has become a trusted remedy and a valued friend.
Despite all this, it appears that the potential of grapefruit seed extract has
still not been fully exploited. Research continues at various institutes, such
as the Pasteur Institute in France, one of the leading European institutes in
the research of AIDS, where the extract's efficacy against the HIV virus is
examined. Further tests and studies are currently in progress in Canada, Denmark,
Germany, and Korea. General recognition is gradually growing on a broader basis.
For example, in Austria the substance is widely recognized as the product of
choice against Candida, and in Mexico it is a commonly accepted remedy for various
Yet, the possibilities for using grapefruit seed extract are not limited to
the area of human medicine alone. Animals profit equally from this highly effective
and safe antimicrobial. Organic farmers in Denmark have used the extract for
their animals with excellent results. In large farms for pigs, cattle, and poultry,
as well as in horse-breeding, it has been possible to drastically reduce cases
of disease and death by adding the pulverized grapefruit seed extract to the
feed. (Although we think "factory farming" is undesirable as a matter
of principle, we still want to mention these results. All of the farms concerned
used grapefruit seed extract within the scope of a holistic, healthy way of
feeding and keeping the animals.)
A farmer from Denmark reported that of the 30 piglets born every year on his
farm only 16 survived. The rest died of PRRS (Porcine Reproductive Respiratory
Syndrome). The vet didn't know how to help. After the farmer introduced the
extract, not a single piglet died anymore. Another farmer was advised to butcher
his cows that suffered from mastitis. With the help of grape seed extract, the
mastitis was healed overnight, and the cows were soon back to their normal milk
A further encouraging example for the use of the extract in animals was reported
from Peru. For many years, the high death rate among the alpacas due to various
infectious diseases had been a cause for concern. Vaccinations and antibiotics
had not provided any reliable results. In an experiment with grapefruit seed
extract, carried out by Dr. Guillermo Calderon, Professor for Immunology at
the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, a solution to the problem was finally
in sight. The mortality rate of these graceful animals, which provide us with
the softest and finest type of wool, was reduced from 50% to 2%.
Fish can also benefit from the special qualities of grapefruit seed extract.
In Chile, the zoologist Dr. Carlos Roman tested the extract as a remedy against
the oxygen-stealing algae infestation in salmon tanks. While the tanks remained
free of algae, he did not notice any kind of toxic effect on the fish. Quite
the opposite! In low concentrations, grapefruit seed extract also promotes good
health in fish.
Many people who have learned to value the beneficial effects of grapefruit seed
extract for themselves have also tried it on their pets. Pet-owners were thrilled
to report that they had finally found an effective and healthy alternative to
the customary chemical vermifuges (anti-worm agents). Fungal diseases in animals
were just as effectively healed as those in human beings, and some bothersome
vermin apparently no longer felt as happy in fur sprayed with grapefruit seed
extract. Lovers of aquarium fish were glad to now be able to keep the water
in the aquarium free of algae in a simple and non-toxic way.
Yet, the possible uses of grapefruit seed extract go still beyond the application
for people and animals. In Central America and South America, where the warm
temperatures permit bacteria and mold to quickly destroy agricultural produce,
the extract has been widely adopted as an effective and inexpensive mold- and
spoilage-inhibiting agent. It is used for grains, fruits, and vegetables, as
well as for disinfecting and preserving fish and meat. A test left no doubts
about the efficiency of grapefruit seed extract as a preservative: the shelf
life of fruits and vegetables could be increased three to four times. Organic
farmers in Denmark apply the extract as a natural based pesticide for potatoes,
leeks, and carrots.
The cosmetic industry was also quick to respond to the extremely successful
test results on the versatile, germ-killing properties of this extract. A non-toxic,
odorless preservative was exactly what many manufacturers were looking for in
order to keep their products free from chemicals. The chemicals that are usually
used for preservation are often toxic and can interfere with the activity of
some of the herbal constituents. Grapefruit seed extract appears not only to
perform remarkably as a preservative, it even seems to enhance the activity
of many herbal products.
The extract has also gained entrance to many homes as a safe disinfectant and
is particularly welcome where small children live. A few drops added to diverse
household cleaners, dishwashing soap, or laundry detergents ensure a germ-free
In the USA, the germ-killing properties of grapefruit seed extract are also
valued in many hospitals, where it is used in the cleaning of bed linen and
carpets-the most popular dwelling places for bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens.
Jerry Skidmore, manager of Laundry Operations for the "Florida Hospital"
wrote: "I have had 30 years experience in the laundry industry and it is
only since using it (grapefruit seed extract) that I have had the peace of mind
and assurance that the people in our hospital and the other hospitals we serve
have a complete protection from fungal and bacterial infections that can be
associated with linen. It is very gratifying to know that even after many hours
of exposure to the various bacteria that are always present in hospitals that
our linen has been tested and found free of all harmful or pathogenic organisms."
In higher concentrations, grapefruit seed extract is used for sterilizing and
disinfecting operating rooms, as well as medical equipment such as inhalers.
A great cause for concern in many hospitals is the resistance to the usual disinfectants
by an increasing number of pathogens. Here as well, grapefruit seed extract
offers an effective and completely non-toxic alternative.
In addition, grapefruit seed extract renders excellent service in disinfecting
the skin as a post-operative measure, in contrast to the common agents, it attacks
only the bacteria and not the skin. Dr. J.A. Botine of the University of Sao
Paulo, Brazil, reported that the extract was 100% effective as a disinfectant
compared to 98% effectiveness for the usual agent and only 72% for alcohol.
A further promising possibility for the use of grapefruit seed extract is in
the treatment of drinking water. Many countries, cities, and communities are
looking for less expensive and more progressive and healthy methods of treating
sewage water. Today we know that long-term damage cannot be ruled out by using
chlorine for this purpose. Sensitive intestinal flora can be damaged by chlorinated
water, for example. In addition, various pathogenic micro-organisms like Giardia
lamblia have become resistant to chlorine.
In two independent tests, carried out by the microbiologist John R. Carson and
the Armadillo Environmental Service in the USA, it was found that grapefruit
seed extract is particularly suited for sewage-water treatment. At a dilution
of approx. 350 liters of grapefruit seed extract in 1 million liters of water,
the count of fecal coliform bacteria was consistently reduced to less than 1
per 100 ml; a count of 200 per 100 ml is generally accepted as adequate disinfection.
If we add the lack of toxicity to this effectiveness, we have an ideal, environmentally
friendly agent for treating sewage water.
In 1994, the Danish expert Knud Dencker-Jensen was commissioned by his government
to develop a practicable concept for biological treatment of drinking-water
within the scope of a development-aid project in Thailand. He used grapefruit
seed extract for this purpose-with excellent results. We hope that such projects
will soon be copied in many countries.
In South America, grapefruit seed extract has been used for quite a long time
in lieu of chlorine in a variety of public swimming and bathing applications,
particularly where light clouding of the water by the extract is of no significance.
If exceptional water clarity must be maintained, often a portion of the chlorine
is replaced by grapefruit seed extract. Many private owners of whirlpools or
swimming pools already enjoy chlorine-free- and therefore healthy and odorless-bathing
pleasures, thanks to the miracle in the seed of the grapefruit.
Last but not least, the quick, biological degradability should be mentioned.
Results of a five-year study in the USA with repeated experiments in which solutions
of different strengths were sprayed over the soil showed a complete decomposition
of grapefruit seed extract after one to eight days. The extract was then recognized
in the GSA as being "non-ecotoxic." Wonderful!
From book: Shalila Sharamon & Bodo J. Baginski "The Healing
Power of Grapefruit Seed"