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What is grapefruit seed extract?
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is derived from the seeds, membranes and pulp of grapefruit. GSE is a highly concentrated acidic liquid with a very strong bitter taste. For this reason, it is very important to check the strength and concentration of the extract as it can impact both its benefits and side effects. Grapefruit seed extract is commonly known for its antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties (source), with many potential benefits in fighting infections. Grapefruit seed extract uses may benefit the human body as well as to help sterilize and disinfect your surroundings at home.
Grapefruit seed extract for candida
Grapefruit seed extract can be very beneficial for candida issues due to its strong antifungal properties (source). The full grapefruit seed extract benefits however, are achieved when it used in combination with a candida cleanse treatment. GSE on its own is not effective enough to treat a typical candida overgrowth infection, as many other factors need to be considered and addressed during the treatment.
Grapefruit seed extract may cause side effects when used incorrectly, so it is important to know the right dosage for your body, and at what stage of the candida treatment you can start using it. The quality of the extract used makes a big difference as not all GSE products are made the same.
For the best grapefruit seed extract use for candida, and to make the most out of your candida cleanse:
- Identify the root cause of your candida issues. The root cause may vary from one person to another, and as such, the treatment or type of cleanse you need may be completely different. Certain medications, antibiotics or poor diet are common causes of candida overgrowth and should be addressed before you start the treatment.
- Check whether there is an underlying issue that prevents your body from naturally balancing the candida infection by itself. If you have digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, these must be treated before you use GSE or any antifungal for candida. This is very important in order to prevent die off symptoms and other unpleasant discomforts.
For more info, see our expert guide: What is preventing your body from healing candida by itself
- Start the candida cleanse plan. A candida cleanse typically includes:
- Make sure your candida treatment is tailored to your individual condition, lifestyle and body needs. What worked for 9 people may make the 10th person condition’s worse. For more info see our experts guide:
How to tailor the candida treatment to your body needs
Grapefruit seed extract side effects
Grapefruit seed extract side effects usually occur when it is used incorrectly during the candida treatment, and may include:
- Nausea, vomiting, excess gas and stomach discomfort when used internally for candida.
- Painful irritation of skin when used externally on fungal skin infections, eczema (Atopic dermatitis) or for vaginal yeast infections.
- Mouth irritation, swollen throat or tongue when used as a mouthwash for oral thrush.
If you currently suffer from constipation or digestive issues, make sure to read the candida die off section to prevent the chances you get a healing crises, which is one of the most common grapefruit seed extract side effects.
A common problem with grapefruit seed extract that also lead to many side effects is the ingredients or solvents used when making the extract. This issue was clearly documented by research (source) and is a serious concern for the safety of grapefruit seed extract products. The ingredients or methods used to make the grapefruit seed extract are usually not shown on the product label, which makes it very difficult to know whether the grapefruit seed extract product you just bought is safe to use.
To choose the best grapefruit seed extract product, go for an extract that is derived from organic non GMO grapefruits from a trusted source that shares details on the purity of the extract and method used to make the extract. Conventional non-organic extracts may contain high levels of toxins, pesticides, preservatives and allergens that can cause a strong reaction and side effects that not only can make you feel bad, but can also lead to further health complications.
To read more about how to use antifungals for candida, see our experts guide:
How to use antifungals for candida
Grapefruit seed extract candida die off
Grapefruit seed extract has strong antifungal properties, so it may cause a healing crises and candida die off symptoms due to the toxins released by the dying candida.
A common misconception about candida die off symptoms is that having them is a sign that the treatment is working. When you have die off symptoms, it means that the amount of toxins released by the dying candida is more than what your body can safely handle. The high level of toxins put a lot of stress on internal organs, especially the colon, liver and kidneys that are involved in filtering toxins in the body.
To learn more on candida die off symptoms and how to minimize and manage them, see our experts guide for:
Candida Die Off Symptoms
Grapefruit seed extract interactions
Grapefruit has been well known to affect the metabolism of certain drugs and other ingredients (including natural ingredients). Grapefruit inhibits the cytochrome P450 isoenzyme that plays a key role in drug metabolism in the body, which may increase the risk of getting serious side effects due to higher concentration of the drug or other ingredients (source).
To avoid potential grapefruit seed extract interactions with other drugs or ingredients:
- If you are currently taking any prescription or over the counter medicine, do not use grapefruit seed extract. There are other natural antifungals that are more effective than grapefruit seed extract for candida, and much safer.
- Do not take grapefruit seed extract with other supplements.
To read more about additional safe antifungals for candida, see our experts guide for:
Antifungals for candida
Grapefruit seed extract thrush
Using grapefruit seed extract for thrush in a form of a topical mouthwash may provide some benefits, although based on our practice, gse for thrush is not very effective and can also cause side effects.
The fact that you can safely drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit without any discomfort does not mean that placing a concentrated grapefruit seed extract in your mouth is safe. GSE is very acidic and in many cases cause severe irritation to the delicate mouth tissues, especially if they are already irritated due to the thrush issues. For this reason, we do not recommend using grapefruit seed extract for oral thrush, as the potential side effects outweigh the benefits.
If you currently have oral thrush and are looking for natural remedies, you may want to consider using ozonated olive oil which is considered one of the most effective and safe natural remedies for oral thrush and other fungal infections, especially in cases of oral thrush, gum infections (study) or other skin infections.
To learn more about ozonated olive oil for thrush, see our experts guide:
Top home remedies for thrush
Grapefruit seed extract dosage
Grapefruit seed extract dosage for candida depends on the extract strength and also on how your body responds to grapefruit seed extract. To determine the right grapefruit seed extract dosage you need:
- Start with the lowest possible GSE dosage for 2-3 days.
- Test your body’s response when GSE is taken with and without foods.
- Gradually increase the GSE dosage if needed.
- Some people are more sensitive than others and may get great results using very low dosage.
- This is also a good way to minimize potential grapefruit seed extract side effects. More is definitely not better in this case.