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  • Anna Matlock

Ingredient Spotlight: Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)

Grapefruit has all kinds of good for you properties. But I'm gonna tell you right now, they TASTE TERRIBLE. You either love it or hate it... or tolerate it because you know its good for you. Grapefruit seed extract, also known as GSE or citrus seed extract, is derived from the seeds, pulp and white membranes of a grapefruit.


Heres a couple of fun facts about grapefruit:


-It was discovered by American immunologist Jacob Harich in 1972


-It was considered the "forbidden fruit" (duh, because its bitter AF) of Barbados


-Farmers in Europe used a powdered version of GSE in fish and poultry feed to prevent infections caused by salmonella and E. coli bacteria.


-Other uses for diluted grapefruit seed extract include as a mouthwash, throat gargle, acne skin cleanser and disinfectant.


-And my favorite: Many natural companies turn to grapefruit seed extract for its ability to preserve a product by killing unwanted bacteria.


Grapefruit, duh.

Other antimicrobial uses of grapefruit seed extract include:

In laundry — to kill fungi and bacteria, add 10 to 15 drops to the final rinseIn

Carpet cleaners — to kill pathogenic organismsSterilizing and disinfecting operating rooms

In nebulizers — one drop GSE to one ounce saline water for control of respiratory infections

In humidifiers — three to four drops per gallon of water to prevent algae growth

As a better preservative than most chemical preservatives currently on the market

Disinfecting surfaces — when mixed with water in a spray bottle, it’s great for disinfecting cutting boards and other kitchen as well as bathroom surfaces

In hot tubs and swimming pools — GSE is added to lessen the need for high levels of chlorine

Farming — farmers use the extract in animal feed and water to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases


So, why in the world is this an ingredient spotlight? I don't make laundry detergent (yet ;-) ), have a hot tub, or clean your carpet. Well, it helps extend the shelf life of the oils in my recipes. The goal is to help extend the shelf life of the body butters. Most places have a lot of unwanted and unhealthy chemicals that are toxic to you! It only takes 26 seconds to the skin to absorb these ingredients. Using GSE will help keep those harmful ingredients out of the products and on your nightstand longer!


Something to consider if you want to purchase GFE on your own: never purchase a grapefruit seed extract product that contains health-hazardous, synthetic chemicals like methylparaben, benzethonium chloride or triclosan. A typical formula I recommend contains just two ingredients: grapefruit seed extract and vegetable glycerin. The one I use in my produces has those two plus vitamin E.


As always, I hope this was helpful and just a glimpse into what I do!


Stay salty y'all!

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