Thursday, December 25, 2008
Flu and Cold Season: Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract
I use very little in the way of homeopathic remedies because they rarely work for me, but one thing which has worked over the years is grapefruit seed extract or GSE. I used to get these horrible sinus infections every time I got a cold, and my colds would drag out for weeks. I suffered from these debilitating viruses ever since college. I think it was the stress, lack of rest, and germy environments.
I was missing a lot of work, and dragging through the winters pumped up on antibiotics after my viruses turned septic. Something was wrong, and I wasn't willing to change the employment situation, so I read about the immunoboosting properties of GSE in a magazine. I bought some and used about 15 drops twice a day in my orange juice. It really helped stave off infections. I still had the bad colds, but I was less likely to go to antibiotics for secondary infections. I turned my MIL onto it as well.
Since I got married and quit my job, I have been much more healthy! Apparently the single childless life and working outside the home was making me sick. I seem to be more in my element physically and mentally as a stay at home mom. I still get colds, but now I can almost avoid them with the GSE. This last time when the family got sick with colds, all I got was a little sore throat for a day while taking the GSE.
Here are some of the supposed benefits of taking GSE internally. GSE can be found at Walmart, Kmart, etc. in the vitamin aisle:
- Additive to beauty products much like Tea-tree oil(Antiseptic, Disinfectant)
Because of it's antibacterial properties, I add it to my homemade moisturizer(virgin olive oil) which is especially helpful with blemish control. I think it also has antioxidant(anti-aging) benefits.
- Insect and fungi control for plants
- Additive to natural cleaners to control mold and disinfect.
Weighing on the safety controversy of GSE: Grapefruit Seed Extract Preservative — Safe for Homemade and Natural Products?
Personally, I have not had a problem with the NutriBiotics brand, and only recently learned about tests which revealed potentially harmful chemical residue(when taken internally).
Nutriteam responses to criticisms and more pro-GSE discussion here.
I'm not sure who to believe, but I did find GSE at Mountain Rose Herbs which claims to be free of harmful additives/residues. They are a certified organic processor through Oregon Tilth which is fully accredited with the USDA National Organic Program. I'll be buying from them in the future, just to be on the safe side.
A few blogs(see comments at links as well) mentioning the efficacy of GSE for home and health:
Angry Chicken - deodorant
Clark Chatter - immunoboost
Urban Mommas- Thrush
Kickboxing Mama - home and health(nice list)
Wisebread - home cleaning
Autumn's Attic - Cold virus
Handprints on the Wall - Produce Spray
I wouldn't use GSE in place of prescription medication. I would use it as a supplement like you would vitamins or chicken soup(Occillococinum). It's not an antibiotic, but reportedly has these properties. I can only say it has worked well for myself as a supplement.