Grapefruit Seed Extract: What is It?
This liquid is loaded with polyphenolic compounds, including quercitin, helperidin, campherol glycoside, neohelperidin, naringin, apigenin, rutinoside, poncirin, etc. The polyphenols themselves are unstable but are chemically converted into more stable substances that belong to a diverse class of products called quaternary ammonium compounds.
Some quaternary compounds, benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride, for example, are used industrially as antimicrobials, but are toxic to animal life. The B vitamin choline is also a quaternary compound, but is non-toxic and even essential for maintaining healthy neurological function and fat metabolism.
GSE features the best of both worlds: the quaternary compounds derived from grapefruit exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, while evidencing none of the toxic side-effects of chemically-derived quaternaries.
The finished product is a viscous, yellow-amber colored liquid that features a taste that is both bitter and acidic. (Practitioners of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine consider both qualities to be part of the therapeutic process.) Pure vegetable glycerin is added to reduce the bitterness and acidity to a tolerable level and to reduce the possibility that incidental contact could cause irritation to the skin or mucous membranes.
Grapefruit Extract Production
- Grapefruit pulp and seeds(the by-product of expeller-extracted grapefruit juice) is dried and ground into a fine powder.
- The grapefruit powder is dissolved in purified water and distilled to remove the fiber and pectin.
- This distilled slurry is spray dried at low temperatures forming a concentrated grapefruit bioflavonoid powder.
- This concentrated powder is dissolved in vegetable glycerine and heated.
- Food grade ammonium chloride and ascorbic acid are added, and this mixture is heated under pressure.
- This material undergoes catalytic conversion using natural catalysts (including hydrochloric acid and natural enzymes.).
- This slurry is cooled, filtered and treated with ultraviolet light.
How Does it Work?
It should come as no surprise that we know a lot more about what GSE is good for, than exactly how it works.
Take aspirin. Since its development in 1899, billions of people have benefited from its ability to reduce inflammation, lessen pain, and lower fever. But exactly how it works is only recently being better understood.
From Seoul, Korea, Dr. Sung-Hwan of Abcom Chemie Co., Ltd states:
Unraveling the mysteries of GSE and its mechanisms would undoubtedly provide extremely valuable insight into the basic activity of microbes. We might hope that research funds will become available to answer the many questions raised about how it can be so potent and yet so safe.
How was GSE Discovered?
Jacob Harich was eating a grapefruit for breakfast one morning in France and savoring its taste.
World War II had just ended and since fresh fruit was a rare treat in Europe at that time, Jacob savored it all the more - until, that is, he bit into a seed! The extremely bitter taste of the seed interrupted his enjoyment of breakfast but also prompted him to wonder, 'What makes it so bitter?'
For many, such a question would have been of mere passing interest, but for Jacob, a budding scientist, it inspired a compelling inquiry, one that would take decades to answer and years more to 'bear fruit'.
Jacob Harich was born in Yugoslavia in 1919 and educated in Germany. WWII interrupted his studies in nuclear physics. After witnessing the horrors of war as a fighter pilot, young Harich was inspired to devote the rest of his life to improving the human condition. To this end, he augmented his studies in physics with a full university course in medicine, specializing in gynecology and immunology. Arriving in the United States in 1957, Dr. Harich furthered his education at Long Island University, N.Y. But it wasn't until 1963, after moving to the heart of grapefruit country in Florida, that he received the necessary support to carry out his research.
Harich approached Dr. Steven Otwell and Dr. Wayne Marshall, both leading researchers on the effects of microbes on food. Although initially skeptical, they were won over by the demonstration of GSE's amazing ability to protect produce, fish, and poultry from the assault of bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The reputation of these two doctors and the renown of the food science laboratory at the University of Florida, Gainesville, their home base, prompted other institutions to consider the claims being made by Dr. Harich.
Finally, by 1990, holistic health practitioners in the United States began to hear about this remarkable product, understand the implications for their patients, and thereby gave Dr. Harich's work the boost it deserved into scientific credibility.
In 1995 Dr. Harich was invited to Europe as a guest of honor of the Pasteur Institute of France, Europe's leading AIDS research center. For several years the Institute has been researching the potential of GSE as a prophylactic against the HIV virus as well as against some of the secondary infections associated with AIDS. He was also honored by farmers in Europe who now use a powdered form of GSE in fish and poultry feed to fight two potentially lethal bacteria, Salmonella and E. Coli.
Dr. Harich died in May of 1996. It is pleasant to think that he did receive in his lifetime the recognition he deserved for a life devoted to a revolutionary approach to controlling dangerous germs.
Hospitals Use GSE...Environmentally Safe, Non-Toxic, and Potent
Grapefruit Seed Extract is becoming the disinfectant and sanitizing agent of choice for many hospitals and clinics throughout the United States. In the laundry, GSE ensures that the linen is fungi and bacteria free. As little as 10 - 15 drops of GSE added to the final rinse does the trick.
Jerry Skidmore, C.L.M., the Manager of Laundry Operations for Florida Hospitals, wrote, "I have had 30 years experience in the laundry industry and it is only since using (GSE) that I have had the peace of mind and assurance that the patients in our hospital and the other hospitals we serve have complete protection from fungal and bacteria infections that can be associated with linen. It is very gratifying to know that even after many hours of exposure to various bacteria that are always present in hospitals, that our linen has been tested and found free of all harmful or pathogenic organisms."
Hospitals have also added GSE to their carpet shampooers. It is reported that, ten to fifteen drops in the reservoir per gallon is effective in killing Staph, Strep, Aspergillus, Salmonella and many other pathogenic organisms which are present in hospital carpets.
Grapefruit Seed Extract at higher concentrations is used for sterilizing and disinfecting operating rooms and other areas. Ordinary concentrations used equate to around 300 ppm, while operating rooms and similiar applications frequently use grapefruit seed extract at concentrations as high as 1%.
One clinic in Southern California has reportedly acquired GSE to use in
their inhalators for the control of respiratory infections.
Doug Gleason reports(12/19/99):
I just wanted to let you know, five people that I know have now successfully used GSE in a nebulizer to rid themselves of lung and bronchial infections. In all five cases, the symptoms disappeared in less than a day. Four of the five were children with chronic infections unaffected by anti-biotics prescribed by their doctor. This method was first tried by a respiratory therapist I know at a local hospital. She was amazed......probably more than most because that's her living.
Here's the formula: 1 drop Nutribiotic in one ounce saline water (for nebulizers). I couldn't tell you if the saline is absolutely necessary, but that's what she gave me."
It seems that even more diverse uses for grapefruit extract in hospitals will be discovered on an ongoing basis.
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