Grapefruit Seed Extract


I was just curious, would it be unwise to mix the two or would it be beneficial?? Does one help the other or is one harmful to the other??? I was wondering because I always use GSE in my babyfood, but there are a few I want to give Lakes lacto. to because they are day ones and I think it would help, but something tells me I should not mix them, does anyone have any ideas on this?

Ha, it so happens I am running swabs and doing the tests for myself on this very issue at the moment! I am getting good lactobacillus growth out of vent swabs on all birds that are receiving the GSE.

Now the question remains though, is the GSE selective and only eliminates Gram negatives and possibly some positives or does it work at all at this strength? I am using three drops per pint of food formula. I remember a post to and from Sam Allen the main company/person selling GSE and he stated to me at the time that GSE does this and we really dont know why?

Although not as negative as some about trying this product, I still think its too early to state that its the end all to all bacterial, viral and fungal problems! I can tell you that with the amateur investigation I am performing on it and the good results so far I still wont use it as my utensil disinfectant! In light of the fact that I have seen bacterial Gram negative growth in chicks and adults in spite of use in water and formula I don’t trust its efficacy yet! It could be concentration problems but it could be something else too!

I know it takes out Candida Yeast infection, Trichomonads and some other protozoan pests in the gut. I wont go so far to say it does anything with viral attacks such as Polyoma even though I related our minimal experience yesterday regarding the Polyoma experiments. So far larger parasites such as Oxyurid and Hookworms aren’t eliminated with its use but again is it the concentration I am using?

Many commercial wormers such as Panacur don’t affect worms with just a single or double treatment, in many instances, either! There are still a lot of questions I have about this stuff! I just wish we had more real data and not just hype and broadly painted recommendations without anything other then anecdotal info to go on!

Don Wells

Regarding the “research” I have done. I am the first to say it really isn’t research but more just testing the product under my conditions. I have reached the end of my rope with so many so called “natural” preparations that are supposed to do everything but make you breakfast in bed! It seems a new one comes down the pike every month!

In the case of the GSE I report my findings to this group only. I am not out to prove anything to anyone at all. This is totally selfish on my part and really I do it as such! If it helps someone else that’s fine . My findings might not be the same elsewhere I have no idea? The last thing I want is for folks to say ” Well Don Wells tried it and said its good so it has to be!”

I suspect we are going to discover like so many other products out there that GSE has good and bad points and is not a cure all. Its just too good to be true and you know what they say about that!

On the same point. I have a good friend in mexico City who is the microbiologist for a huge Mexican food company. She and I have discussed this product because they use it by the gallons at this facility. It seems it is everybit as good as other disinfectants and is safer and easier to use in many cases.She has performed many tests on Grapefruit Seed Extract and is totally convinced its a great product as a food disinfectant. She has no idea how it works as an internal aid.

Don Wells

We have been using GSE for almost 2 years. I mix 3 ml of Citricidal to 1 quart of water. I use it to clean my birds bowls daily (without soap, water & rinsing). Usually, about once a week all bowls will go in the dishwasher for a good cleaning and thorough rinsing. I mostly do this with the Parrotlets whose bowls are small and many. In two years we have had 1 sick adult Parrotlet (we have upwards of 15 pairs) We have raised betwen 20 – 30 clutches in that time and have never had a single bacteria problem with any of the babies. (No so with the other species whose dishes go into the dishwasher daily).

I take all the bowls out of the flights, empty them, spray them and let them sit. I then wipe them out with paper towels and fill them up again. We also clean all of our cages with the same citricidal/water ratio.

I figure that if GSE can be used to clean surgical equipment (a much higher concentration than 20 drops per gallon) it can also be used to cages and bowls.

GSE is produced by different companies. Some companies purchase and rebottle it with their own name and labels. I’ve seen the 20 drop label and believe that it is addressing water treatment and sprouting. The Nutribiotic label (who actually manufacture the product) attests to nothing (on their label). However, the site I listed above provides very interesting information.

I’m don’t sell this product or have stock in it but I wanted to pass along my experience with it.

I also put it in our breeders water (much lower concentration than the 20 drops) and in baby mouth rinse water. I have never gone the extra mile to prove that it is working or not working (I think that the sponge test is great!) and perhaps my sense of security is false. However, it is either working or we are very VERY lucky. Again, I placed my confidence in the statement that it is used to clean surgical instruments.


My assessment here, for what it’s worth is: 1. Like vinegar, certain bacteria, such as pseudomonas, don’t like an acid environment. So, I would guess that it depends on the bacteria. 2. While I believe in ACV and GSE for certain things, I would not let a doctor or dentist work on me, if I thought that he only used GSE, for sterilization. I’d be out of there in a heartbeat! Just my observations.

Here is a site I thought might be of interest.



I’ve gotten a number of inquiries over the past couple days about an experiment with sponges and GSE by someone connected to your list. Would you consider sending the information to Sam Allen for his input? He is head of the international division for Nutriteam (I believe) and he has always been so helpful when I’ve had questions about anything to do with the product. He is very easy to communicate with and I know you will enjoy making his “cyber-acquaintance”. He will be happy to hear from you and I know you will find his unassuming and down to earth manner a pleasure. I hope that your list members will take a look at the professionally-done testing that has already been done on the product. I believe that the results might be posted on the site. Here is the URL for the main page of the site: Carolyn

Hi All, In reading up on the (human) neuroendocrine system, where subtle imbalances can lead to a host of mood, cognitive, and behavioral problems, I was amazed to find out that grapefruit, of all the produce we commonly consume, significantly raises cortisol production. Cortisol is one of the “fight-or-flight” hormones produced by the adrenal cortex.

This can be a very good thing in otherwise-normal individuals who just need a quick immune system boost. BUT, individuals with certain disorders, notably depression, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders like OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), already have abnormally high blood levels of cortisol, and adding concentrated grapefruit extract or grapefruit seed extract to their environment might worsen that imbalance.

Some of you may recognize that grapefruit extract (not GSE, but simply the fruit/peel extract) is added to some “energizing” aromatherapy bath products — that’s the cortisol effect. This is also potentially harmful for anyone with salicylate sensitivity, or who is taking guaifenesin for fibromyalgia.

I am not a biochemist, so what I’m presenting here is *not* the “final word”; rather, it’s a commonsense caution based on the central points of a lot of peoples’ research. And how does this relate to birds?

I would recommend *against* using GSE and even feeding grapefruit to birds that are depressed, show anxiety-based behaviors like pacing or panic attacks, or are PLUCKERS. These birds probably have more than enough cortisol to deal with as it is. Also, if YOU have any of these challenges yourself, please consider avoiding this product regardless of any claims of safety you may receive from the (not-unbiased) distributors.

Best regards,

Sue vG

If you suspect candida or bacteria, then I understand why you are leaning toward GSE. Many people hold its effectiveness in high regard, but I’m not yet a convert. I’ve used it for disinfecting, but I don’t actually know that it disinfects. I’ve used it to retard bacterial and mold growth on sprouts, but I don’t believe it did the job. It doesn’t prevent slime from coating the sides of water cups, so in my mind it won’t retard bacteria. Others say they have had success with it, but I have not.

I was interested in your statements above, because I have been similarly confused. I agree that it does not completely eliminate mold/bacterial growth on sprouts. I breed CAGs in a small number, and run my own cultures on the babies here. Next time I order plates, I think I’ll experiment a little with the GSE. Certainly, the documentation that comes with a bottle of Nutribiotic is pretty impressive in terms of the number of organisms against which it is supposed to be effective. Have you ever seen any documentation of the testing upon which those claims are made?

Regardless of this, however, the grey could be plucking at the crop area for reasons other than yeast or bacteria. If the bird was tested for giardia and zinc, why wasn’t it also cultured for yeast and bacteria? Even a simple gram stain should be able to reveal the presence of yeast or bacteria and it is a much simpler and less expensive test than tests for giardia or zinc are.

Since this client is in Israel, it has been difficult to locate a vet who has experience with birds. As he sought a vet who could help, I have been attempting to research “alternative” or holistic approaches. Since I first posted here, a vet associated with a zoo has been found and a diagnosis of Klebsiella has been made and the bird has just been started on antibiotics.

Personally, I would try to determine the cause before starting a treatment program. To guess and suspect and be wrong is wasting time. It may be that right now the grey has a physical reason for plucking. However, the plucking could develop into a habit that continues even after the initial cause has been taken care of.

We’re in complete agreement here. I deal with many feather picking clients in my behavioral consulting practice, and this instance was not a typical situation, due to the client’s location. At any rate, I appreciate very much the suggestions you gave, and will certainly go to the website and look at Suzanne’s case history form. Perhaps she has some questions that are not on the one I use currently.

The whole problem of feather picking is an interesting one, since it is one in which the veterinary profession and the avian behavioral consulting profession have an interface. The more progressive vets are now saying that between 80% and 90% of feather abusive behavioral are due to physical causes. However, I frequently deal with clients whose vets still believe that 90% of picking is behavioral. It becomes a little dicey trying to get accurate and effective testing performed sometimes, even in the US. For instance, I have another client right now whose macaw has subsisted mostly on the owners favorite foods, which are largely sugars and simple starches. The vet is not very open to testing suggestions, and has stated his disinclination to test for candida, saying that it is not a cause for feather picking.

I run into situations like this frequently, and finally decided to get more information about the holistic treatments for feather picking, in hopes that, when unusual situations do present themselves, I would have some alternative ideas to suggest in these certain cases.


GSE antibiotic Stephen Buhner, in his book “Herbal Antibiotics”, has this to say about GSE: 1. Of all herbs, it is perhaps the only true ‘antibiotic’ the meaning of which is “antilife”. 2. Most studies on GSE have been in the lab (in vitro) not in the body (in vivo). In vitro activity is not always a reliable indicator of in vivo action. There have been few clinical trials using GSE in vivo. 3. In vitro studies have found GSE to be effective in cleaning hospital equipment, swimming pools, and veterinary practice. 4. He used it effectively in the treatment of Heliocobacter pylori, the organism that causes stomach ulcers. 5. GSE and garlic are the two most powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics available for use. The broad activity of GSE is available from minute doses of the extract, whereas garlic must be taken in relatively large doses to be equivalently effective as a straight antibiotic. 6. There are two negatives to GSE. a. Gse will kill off intestinal or skin bacteria where garlic will not, whatever the amount consumed b. GSE is difficult to prepare for use at home, whereas garlic is easily utilized.

You can get a listing of the many laboratory studies on GSE in Shalila Sharmon and Bodo Baginski’s “The Healing Power of Grapefruit Seed” from Lotus Light Publishing (1996)

To Prepare: grind seeds well. Add enough 95% grain alcohol to moisten well without the mixture being soupy. It should look like damp sawdust. Let stand for 24 hours covered. Add 70% vegetable glycerin and 30% spring distilled water in a 1:3 ratio. (10 oz grapefruit seeds to 30 oz liquid of which 21 oz will be vegetable glycerin and 9 oz will be water) Add the liquid to the grapefruit seed and alcohol mixture, mix well. Let stand for 2 weeks. Decant, press the pulp well to extract any remaining moisture, and store in amber bottles out of the sun.

It’s best to use the commercial preparation because all dosages were developed from the commercial extract. GSE extract is extremely bitter. As little as 5 drops in 12 oz of water will taste awful.

Animal dosage 1 drop of extract per 2 lbs (1 kg ) of body weight. GSE is used to treat viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi. Human dosage is 3 to 15 drops in citrus juice (to disguise the taste) 2-3 times a day.

GSE must be diluted before use. Excessive internal doses over extended periods can kill off all intestinal bacteria much as broad-spectrum antibiotics will with the same side-effects. Undiluted extract can cause skin and mucous membrane irritation and sever eye irritation. Never use it for eye infections.

Recommended alternative for GSE is garlic.

This was the only herb book that mentioned Grapefruit seed extract. Even the PDR of herbs doesn’t mention GSE (from citrus paridisi) but it does mention the medicinal qualities and components of lemon (citrus limon) sweet orange (citrus sinensis), Bitter orange, (citrus aurantium) and Lime (citrus aurantifolia)

One of the components that we are aware of in GSE is phenols. Don Wells wrote a little about his work with GSE and phenolic compounds. (aspirin contains phenolic compounds) You can find those articles on the HB website under GSE/giardia and Phenols.

As to acidic…how acidic is GSE? For certain it is bitter, but has anyone dipped a pH strip into GSE to determine the pH?