Grapefruit seed: benefits, use, contraindication

 Grapefruit seed extract, also called EPP, is a natural antibacterial remedy. Its uses are multiple in health prevention or to fight against digestive and respiratory infections, Mycoses, acne, or canker sores. Instructions for use and precautions for use, with Angélina Jeandel, the naturopath.

What is grapefruit seed extract?

The grapefruit seed extract is obtained by grinding the grapefruit seeds of a specific variety of pomelo: Citrus Paradisi. The liquid plant extract is commonly referred to as EPP (Grapefruit Seed Extract). Its natural composition is simple: citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which are natural preservatives. It also contains amino acids, polypeptides, tocopherol and bioflavonoids.

Grapefruit seed: benefits, use, contraindication

What are the benefits?

Antibacterial: EPP helps prevent and relieve different infections. It is effective in case of bacterial and viral infections of the digestive tract, such as parasitosis, nausea, poisonings, gastric ulcers. It also acts against respiratory tract infections: bronchitis, pharyngitis, angina; and on genitourinary infections: infectious cystitis, vaginal infections. "Its biggest advantage is to attack only the 'bad bacteria, and therefore not to destroy the microbiota (intestinal flora)," says Angélina Jeandel, naturopath.

Antifungal: to prevent or treat skin and digestive fungalitis.

Antioxidant: to prevent accelerated cellular aging caused by excess free radicals in the body.

Immune system booster: the active ingredients in EPP help strengthen the body's immune defenses and get through winter epidemics. It helps reduce the incidence of chronic fatigue.

Sanitizer: EPP can be applied to the skin, locally, in case of acne. It can be added to shampoo or toothpaste for better hygiene.

Fight against canker sores: the antiviral properties of EPP are useful in gargling, or in an application for canker sores using a cotton swab.

How to use it?

Grapefruit seed extract can be used pure, in drops or capsules. A few drops can be placed under the tongue (according to the dosage indicated on the bottle), or diluted in water before drinking, or added to a salad seasoning oil. It is possible to add a few drops in the palm of the hand with the shampoo, or on the toothbrush before the toothpaste, to benefit from its antibacterial action. EPP can be applied to the skin as part of the healing of a small wound or to acne, pimples using a cotton pad or compress, referring to the instructions mentioned on the label by the manufacturer of the product. In particular, it is necessary to check beforehand a possible allergic or irritation reaction.


Taking grapefruit seed extract should follow the recommendations on the labels of the product purchased. The naturopath advises to 'start its use with 3 drops in a little water and see if an allergic reaction occurs, before continuing its intake in accordance with the dosages of the product'. It is also necessary to adapt its use: 'if the symptom disappears, we stop taking it. In prevention, it is always advisable to follow a cure of 21 days, no more, to be renewed if necessary after a week of break. ' Examples of taking EPP:

  • In curative case of nausea: 15 drops of EPP in a glass of water for 5 to 6 days.
  • As a preventive of nausea: 3 drops in a glass of water every day for the duration of the trip.
  • For an antioxidant effect: 1 drop per day in a 21-day cure once a year.

'Its use in children is possible, but by reducing the dosage, or by spreading the dose over the day', for example, 1 drop morning, noon and evening, rather than 3 drops in the morning.


The grapefruit seed extract is prohibited in case of:

  • Immunosuppression
  • Taking stating or medication in case of heart problems.

Can I use the pregnant EPP?

"As a precaution, it is better to avoid the use of EPP, or seek the advice of your doctor" advises the naturopath.


'Taking grapefruit seed extract is not recommended in drug treatment, as grapefruit inhibits or increases the effects of drugs tenfold. It is the same with the consumption of the fruit," says the naturopath.

Which grapefruit seed extract to choose from?

There are different compositions of EPP in commercial products. The first criterion of choice must be the flavonoid content, which varies between 400 mg and 5 000 mg per 100 ml. The product is relatively expensive, warns the naturopath, of the order of 15 euros per 50 ml for a good quality of the product.' Avoid products that contain synthetic preservatives which are benzethonium chloride, and parabens, and those that contain the addition of vitamin C. Recommendable products are for example QuantaEpp, CitroBiotic, CitroPlus', quotes the expert.

Where to buy it?

The grapefruit seed extract is available in pharmacies and organic shops.