Candida infections are incredibly common, and they are also notoriously difficult to treat. To get rid of a Candida overgrowth, people need to follow a strict anti-Candida diet, take potent anti-fungal herbs (link product), and focus on restoring their gut flora with beneficial probiotics (link product).
One supplement that is showing promise for helping to treat Candida is grapefruit seed extract (GSE). Grapefruit seed extract is made from the pulp, seeds, and membranes of grapefruits. It has a long history of use for a number of different infections, and many people claim that it is effective for Candida infections as well. The extract is typically found as a liquid concentrate, but there are some capsule or tablet forms as well.
What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that lives on and inside the human body. There are many different species of Candida, and some are more likely to affect our health than others. Small amounts of the Candida fungus typically exist on the skin, and inside the mouth, vagina, and gut. In small amounts, Candida are harmless and cause no symptoms. In fact, they may even play a necessary role in our body’s microbiome (the community of trillions of microorganisms that live on and inside the body, and that help to regulate our health and immunity).
Typically, the bacteria living on and in the body, combined with the efforts of the immune system, help to keep Candida populations under control. However, certain factors can cause this fungus to multiply out of control, resulting in a Candida infection, which is called “candidiasis.” If you would like to learn more about this fungal infection, read our blog "What is Candida?"
Grapefruit Seed Extract for Treating Candida
Grapefruit seed extract is reported to have strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. Since Candida is a type of fungus, it makes sense that a supplement with strong antifungal properties would help to get rid of it.
While there is some research on grapefruit seed extract and its effect on Candida, more research is needed. However, a 2015 review listed grapefruit seed extract as one of the plants with anticandida activity, and a study published in the National Library of Medicine states that Candida effectively inhibits biofilm formation in Candida species.
Candida have an interesting ability to form biofilms, which protects them from external factors such as host immune system defenses and antifungal drugs. Researchers are discovering that some compounds are able to inhibit the formation of these biofilms, which make Candida more vulnerable to the antifungal effects of certain herbs and compounds. Grapefruit seed extract appears to be one of these compounds that can help to inhibit biofilm formation and is also antifungal, helping to kill the Candida yeast. Because of this, it is possible that grapefruit seed extract may be more effective at treating candida infections than some antifungal drugs.
Active Compounds in Grapefruit Seed Extract
The medicinal properties of various plants and plant extracts are typically attributed to the active biochemical compounds that they contain. These compounds have a direct effect on the body and can trigger certain body processes, or they may have a direct effect on organisms within our bodies, such as compounds that help to kill of fungus, parasites and bacteria.
Analysis of grapefruit seed extract shows the phytochemicals within it are flavonoids, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherols, citric acid, limonoids, sterols, and minerals. Research on grapefruit seed extract reveals that it has extremely potent and effective antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and that it can also help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation.
How to Use Grapefruit Seed Extract for Candida
As mentioned earlier, treating Candida can be difficult, and to really overcome this persistent infection one needs to follow a total Candida cleanse protocol that follows three crucial steps:
- Removing sugar from the diet, as Candida use sugar as their primary fuel source.
- Consuming antifungal herbs
- Repopulating the gut with probiotics
Exactly how long one follows this process will vary depending on how severe their Candida infection is. Some people see relief in a few weeks, while others may need to follow this protocol for several months to clear their infection.
Grapefruit seed extract can be included in the diet as part of step 2, consuming antifungal herbs. To use grapefruit seed extract for this purpose, take 10 to 20 drops of the extract per day (or 3 capsules if in pill form).
If using topically for conditions like oral thrush, apply grapefruit seed extract to a Q-tip or cotton ball then apply it directly to the affected area, leaving it to dry. If your skin is sensitive to the grapefruit seed extract, you can first mix the extract with coconut oil to dilute it, which also has its own antifungal properties.
Candida Cleanse Tonic
While grapefruit seed extract shows great promise in helping treat Candida, there is still more research needed to prove its effectiveness. There are, however, many other herbs that have been clinically proven to kill Candida and inhibit the growth of Candida populations. We have used 7 of the most potent anti-candida herbs to create our Candida Cleanse Tonic, which provides the body with an herbal source of specific compounds that support the cleansing of candida fungus and other fungal organisms.
The herbs in our Candida Cleanse tonic have strong anti-fungal properties, as well as properties that aid in the health of the liver, digestive system, and immune system, all of which are important for restoring balance in the body and treating fungal infections like Candida overgrowth. The herbs in this formula are either wildcrafted or organically and biodynamically grown, and work together synergistically to provide a truly supportive formula for assisting with candida overgrowth.
Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that lives on and inside the human body. In small amounts, Candida are harmless and cause no symptoms. However, certain factors can cause this fungus to multiply out of control, resulting in a Candida infection, which is called “candidiasis.” Candidiasis is one of the most common infections in the United States, and most people who suffer from a Candida infection are completely unaware of it.
To treat a Candida infection, one needs to address the problem at the root. The Candida population must be reduced through specific foods and herbs that kill the fungus and promote a healthy gut microbiome and immune system, while simultaneously reducing the foods that feed candida such as refined carbs, sugars and dairy.
Grapefruit seed extract is one antifungal herb that can be useful for treating Candida. Grapefruit seed extract is reported to have strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. Research on this extract shows that it effectively inhibits biofilm formation in Candida species. Being both antifungal and having the ability to prevent biofilm formation, which is one of Candida’s major defenses, it seems that grapefruit seed extract is a great supplement to include in your anti-Candida protocol.