GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT PRODUCTS
Broad Specturm Antiseptics
Grapefruit Seed Extract was originally developed by Jacob
Harich (1919-1996) as an antiparasitic agent. Dr. Harich, a German researcher
who immigrated to the U.S., convinced researchers at the University of
Florida at Gainesville to experiment with the use of grapefruit extract
as an alternative to then-current chemicals for the protection of fruit
and vegetables from mold damage. They were impressed by the ability of
the extract to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungi as well
as other organisms. A modified form of the extract became a commercial
success under the name Citricidal. Tests conducted by the U.S.D.A. indicated
that Citricidal was also effective in inhibiting pathogenic viruses in
animals. Since the mid-1980s, the production team at the Citricidal company
worked closely with Dr. Harich to improve the manufacturing process, open
new facilities, and expand the use of Citricidal beyond it's original
Although described simply as Grapefruit Seed Extract,
Citricidal is more complex: it is synthesized from the polyphenolic (flavonoid)
compounds found in the mixture of grapefruit seeds and pulp that is left
over from production of grapefruit juice. The manufacture is described
- Grapefruit pulp and seed is dried and ground into a fine powder.
- The powder is dissolved in purified water and distilled to remove
the fiber and pectin.
- The distilled slurry is spray dried at low temperatures forming a
concentrated flavonoid 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. The amount of ammonium chloride remaining
in finished Citricidal is 15-19%; the amount of ascorbic acid remaining
- The ammoniated mixture undergoes catalytic conversion using natural
catalysts, including hydrochloric acid and natural enzymes. There is
no residue of hydrochloric acid after the reaction.
- The slurry is cooled, filtered, and treated with ultraviolet light.
The main active components in the finished product
are a group of quaternary ammonium chlorides, including benzethonium
chloride (illustrated here) or a compound nearly identical to it,
that make up about 8-17% of the product. Benzethonium chloride is
a well-known synthetic antiseptic agent; it is not added to the
grapefruit extract, but is formed from the original grapefruit flavonoids
by the ammoniation process. An acute oral toxicity study was performed
on Citricidal, demonstrating that it is safe; there have been no
reports of toxicity from long-term use of Citricidal.
The action of Citricidal involves weakening the mitochondrial
membranes of bacteria and fungi, resulting in death of the organisms.
Antiviral activity may be the result of disrupting the integrity of
the viral proteins. At normal doses, Citricidal has no adverse effects
on plant, animal, or human cells.
Citricidal has been formulated into numerous products
by Allan Sachs, author of the book The
Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract (1997). These products
are distributed by Imhotep, a small company in Ruby, New York; Sachs
prepares herb tinctures that go into the blends, using wild-crafted
and organically grown herbs. The Seed-A-Sept line of Imhotep products
described below are a group of antiseptics usually prescribed by health
professionals. They have been recommended for topical treatment of
various skin diseases, vaginal infections, and oral inflammation,
and, taken internally for intestinal infections and parasites.
Seed-A-Sept Capsules. For internal use,
Citricidal extract (125 mg per capsule) is provided in a base of rice
flour in vegicaps. This is mainly utilized in treating intestinal
infections and parasites, including candida overgrowth, diarrhea due
to pathogenic bacteria, and water-borne amoebas, such as giardia.
The usual dose is 1-2 capsules each time, three times daily. There
are 90 capsules/bottle.
Seed-A-Sept Liquid. For internal or external
use, Citricidal is mixed in a glycerine base. When taking it internally,
5-10 drops are diluted in water; this dose can be taken three times
daily; topically, it can be applied full strength to the skin. The
liquid can also be added to carpet cleaners, laundry loads, and produce
washes as an antiseptic (e.g., 2-3 drops per gallon is used). The
bottle contains 2 fluid ounces.
Seed-A-Sept Spray. Apply topically
to irritated skin; in addition to Citricidal, the formulation
includes four tinctures: calendula, hypericum, plantain (pictured
right), and goldenseal (pictured left) to help heal damaged
skin. The bottle provides 4 fluid ounces.
Fem-Cleanse. To prepare a douche, combine
one capful of this special preparation of Citricidal that includes
goldenseal, calendula, yellow dock, red clover, and red raspberry
leaf extracts in a glycerine base with 2 cups of water. The bottle
contains 2 fluid ounces.
Seed-A-Dent. Citracidal is combined
with extracts of plantain, white oak bark, hamamelis (witchhazel),
and calendula (pictured left) in a glycerine base. It is used
by applying to the toothbrush along with toothpaste; it can
also be diluted in water for use as a mouth wash. The bottle
contains 1 fluid ounce.
Ear Drops. Citricidal is combined
with mullein (pictured right) and plantain, both recommended
for ear infections in Western herbalism. Just 1-2 drops applied
to the affected ear, repeated 1-3 times per day. The bottle
contains 1 fluid ounce.
Antifungal Foot Powder. Citracidal is combined
with a derivative of castor bean oil (undecylenic acid, a fatty acid
with potent anti-fungal properties) and slippery elm in a base of
cassava root powder (a starch powder). The bottle contains 1.8 ounces