Grapefruit Seed Extract



by Carolyn Swicegood


Cure & Disinfectant

GSE® is made from organic grapefruits and is the active ingredient of NutriBiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract. Citricidal® is triple the potency of NutriBiotic GSE, which is diluted with vegetable glycerin. GSE is a thick liquid concentrate that can be purchased at health food stores and online at It has been used for bird-related purposes for several years by aviculturists.

In the years since its discovery, grapefruit seed extract has been tested and validated by the FDA, USDA, the Pasteur Institute in France, and numerous physicians. The active ingredient of grapefruit seed extract is non-toxic and is synthesized from the seed and pulp of certified organically grown grapefruit. The process converts the grapefruit bioflavonoids (polyphenolics) into an extremely potent compound that is being used to kill strep, staph, salmonella, E. Coli, candida, herpes, influenza, parasites, fungi, and more.

GSE has been proven in laboratory tests to be 10 to 100 times more effective as a disinfectant than chlorine, colloidal silver, and iodine. The United States Department of Agriculture tested GSE and found it effective against four animal viruses: Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, and Avian influenza.

When the FDA tested grapefruit seed extract in 1990 with 200 patients who had internal parasitic infections, they found that it gave more symptomatic relief than any other treatment. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found the substance to be 100% effective in skin disinfection when used as a pre-surgical preparation compared to a 72% effectiveness rate for alcohol.

Since I find the odor of Clorox bleach objectionable, and do not like the idea that my birds could inhale chlorine gas or consume the chemical residues that bleach leaves on surfaces and produce, I use this product for many cleaning and disinfecting purposes. There is research to back up the claims of GSE's efficacy as a natural antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-protozoan, anti-viral and antiseptic disinfectant.

My first use of it was to prevent molds from forming on sprouts by using it in the soak and rinse water of the seeds to be sprouted. It is sold for that purpose with some sprouting kits. A solution of one tablespoon of Nutribiotic GSE per gallon of water can be used for the initial soak water and subsequent rinse water for sprouts. I now use GSE to sterilize my hands before handling babies, to disinfect surfaces in the nursery, to disinfect syringes and other utensils used in the feeding of babies, and in the rinse water for laundering the cloth bedding that I use for newly-hatched chicks.

Grapefruit Seed Extract also is becoming the disinfectant and sanitizing agent of choice for many hospitals and clinics throughout the U. S. In the laundry, it rids linen of fungi and bacteria. Ten to fifteen drops of GSE added to the final rinse water disinfects a large load of laundry.

Here are some additional uses for Nutribiotic GSE:

  • One of my favorite uses of GSE is cleaning up babies after syringe feedings. It gets their feathers and down squeaky clean and kills the bacteria caused by formula spilled during feeding. I add a few drops to a bowl of warm water to wet the cleaning cloth.
  • GSE may be used for cleaning brooders, incubators, and for sterilizing pipettes, spoons, and syringes.
  • Ten to fifteen drops of GSE added to an eight-ounce pump container of hand soap makes a superior anti-bacterial soap.
  • Three or four drops of GSE per gallon of water in the reservoir of incubators and humidifiers prevent the growth of algae. This is effective wherever standing water is present.
  • For the drinking water of parrots, one drop of Nutribiotic GSE in an eight-ounce water dish prevents the growth of pathogens and removes existing parasites. There are claims that GSE cured several parrots of stubborn cases of Giardia, and there is now documentation that GSE does kill parasites.
  • GSE makes an excellent decontaminant for wood surfaces such as perches. Apply GSE full strength, just a few drops to the cleaned wood while still wet. Let stand for half an hour. As an alternative method, you can also mix a strong solution, a tablespoon in sixteen ounces of clean water, and spray or dip perches, leaving on for half an hour. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • GSE is such a broad-spectrum solution that it is becoming the first-line of defense for many farmers and veterinarians. Our four-legged friends can benefit greatly from use of GSE. It is an excellent remedy for skin diseases and external injuries. It stimulates the immune systems of animals and aids in the absorption of nutrients by eliminating undesirable micro-organisms in the gut. It is compatible with most antibiotics. GSE does not produce the negative side effects associated with antibiotic use. Intestinal flora remains in balance with the use of GSE.
  • For external use, for skin fungi or bacterial diseases of the skin: Mix 30 to 50 drops of GSE liquid extract in a quart of water, and spray on the infected area. This same dilution can be used as a general antiseptic for cages, stalls, or any other contact areas. No need to rinse or remove residue of GSE. It can also be mixed into virtually any topical preparation, like shampoo, flea-dip, cat litter, bedding, etc.

For internal use, the rule of thumb for gastrointestinal disorders, including bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral, is to use one drop of liquid concentrate per 10 pounds (5kg) of live weight. Make your own organic Kitchen & Bath Spray by adding one or two drops per ounce of distilled water. Rinse vegetables and fruits well, or for a more thorough treatment, soak them for fifteen minutes and rinse thoroughly.

Hospitals add GSE to their carpet shampoo machines. It is reported that ten to fifteen drops per gallon in the reservoir is effective in killing staph, strep, aspergillus, salmonella and many other pathogenic organisms that are present in hospital carpets.

Numerous clinics and medical practitioners consider the availability of grapefruit seed extract to be a major therapeutic breakthrough for patients with chronic parasitic and yeast infections. One doctor reports treatment failures in only two cases out of 297!

Gargling with GSE and water will handle the most resistant Strep germs. The necessary dilution of GSE against Streptococcus faecalis is only 1:80,000 in vitro. In vivo, doctors are recommending gargling with two or three drops in five ounces of water. This gives an effective and potent dilution ratio of about 300-500 ppm.

Grapefruit seed extract can be used to clean fungus and mildew off swimming pools and birdbaths. It is user-friendly, and environmentally safe.

GSE can be used in the garden to control aphids, snails, fungus, mildew, and algae. Use in hot-tubs or Jacuzzis (one to two ounces per hundred gallons) or less if you are also treating with ozone. When you compare the cost of GSE to pool chemicals, both monetarily and in medical costs that can result from the exposure to chemical vapors, it compares favorably to other forms of disinfection. Drinking Water can be made safe by ten drops for each gallon of clear water. Agitate or mix vigorously and let it rest for a few minutes. It may be used as a prophylactic agent for those who travel abroad.

A very small amount of Nutribiotic GSE will keep a covered bottle of clean distilled water safe for a very long time. It can be stated that NutriBiotic products like deodorant or dental gel, that have as little as .5% GSE per volume, have an indefinite shelf life. It is an extremely stable product. To demonstrate the safety of GSE, an Acute Oral Toxicity Study was performed (see Northview Pacific Labs Report No. X5E015G, dated 7/6/95). Results showed that GSE is non-toxic by oral ingestion with an LD50 of over 5000 mg/kg of live body weight. This is the equivalent of a two hundred pound person drinking close to one pound of pure GSE daily for two weeks.

Nutribiotic GSE liquid is available in tablets, capsules, powdered concentrate, spray, and ointment. There also is an insect repellent made of it.

Any time that we can replace toxic products with environmentally-friendly products that do no harm, we have done ourselves, our birds, and our planet a favor.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright © 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11