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A Grapefruit League of its Own

The Sunshine State of Florida is famous for many things, being the birthplace of the Apollo space program, Disneyworld, Grapefruit-League baseball, and, last but not least, grapefruit seed extract (GSE) ranks among them in the realm of natural health products.

The journey of discovery prompting the development of GSE began for the Yugoslavian-born Dr. Jacob Harish when he bit into his first grapefruit seed some seventy years ago. The intense, bitter flavour fascinated him, which led to decades of research exploring the bactericidal, antifungal, and antiparasitic potential of grapefruit seed and pulp. His research eventually led him deep in the heart of grapefruit country in Florida. There, he collaborated with scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which culminated in the development of GSE.

This plant-based germicidal has broad-spectrum effectiveness for bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Clinical research has proven GSE to exert bactericidal activity at concentrations as low as 1:152.[1] Its extended disinfectant action is due to the synergy between naturally occurring ascorbic acid, citrus bioflavonoids, and a mosaic of organic acids. The combination of safety for humans, plants, and animals and its broad-spectrum, side effect–free disinfectant properties make GSE a must for every household medicine chest and travel kit.

Its therapeutic applications include treating dysbiosis (e.g. intestinal disturbances), use as a disinfectant for cuts and abrasions, relief from fungal-related infection such as athlete’s foot and ringworm, and for drinking-water safety. A minimum of five drops of GSE per litre is recommended for safe water quality; the same amount in a sink of water also makes an excellent rinse for fruits and vegetables.

In fact, a GSE solution in spray bottle, kept below the kitchen sink, may quickly eclipse many of your potentially toxic household sprays for popularity and effectiveness. This in turn leaves it truly in a league of its own as an all-natural disinfectant.



1.  Heggers, J.P., et al. “The effectiveness of processed grapefruit-seed extract as an antibacterial agent: II. Mechanism of action and in vitro toxicity.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 3 (2002): 333–340.


Gordon Raza, BSc

As the technical writer for Flourish, Gord shares his
unique perspective on natural health products, nutrition,
and active living.