Last Modified on Jul 30, 2014
Grapefruit Seed Extract is a natural remedy that is particularly effective in relieving nasal congestion and treating sinus infections. Pressure, pain and nasal congestion are all common side effects of a sinus infection -- effects that are difficult to live with and even harder to get rid of. This one remedy is often the best option for safely and naturally relieving nasal issues -- whatever the cause.
Why Use Grapefruit Seed Extract for Sinus Infections?
Grapefruit Seed Extract, or GSE, is a safe, natural treatment. The extract is a natural antibiotic that eliminates infection as well as bacteria and fungus. As such, it is especially effective against sinus infection.
This natural cure is particularly versatile as well as gentle enough to use every hour. The most effective treatment involves irrigating the nasal passages with the spray; however, it is also possible to take capsules or drink the extract mixed with water or another liquid. Unlike other treatments which have uncomfortable drying effects, this option will not dehydrate the body. It simply works to naturally relieve congestion and eliminate inflammation.
The 7 Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract
In essence, Grapefruit Seed Extract is a generally effective alternative treatment option because it relieves the cause of nasal congestion. However, the treatment has a number of other benefits as well. The benefits of grapefruit seed extract as a sinus infection treatment include:
1. Safe, natural relief
2. Natural antiseptic properties
3. Stabilizing effect on the body's pH
4. Added nutritional benefits
5. Easy to use treatment options
7. No chemicals or irritants that are harmful to the body
How and why it works:
Grapefruit Seed Extract is derived from the seeds, pulp and white membranes of the grapefruit. This valuable liquid functions as an antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial agent, making it a helpful natural remedy. When used as a sinus infection treatment, the citrus extract delivers vitamin C and a number of other nutrients to the body to eliminate infection. It also functions to relieve the sinuses and reduce inflammation.
How to Use Grapefruit Seed Extract Treatment to Treat Sinus Infections
Add 4 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of warm water. Allow the salt to dissolve in the water. Use the solution to irrigate the nasal cavities using a neti pot or nasal spray bottle. Grapefruit Seed Extract is safe for individuals of all ages. It naturally clears the sinuses and prevents further infection, making it a particularly effective remedy.
Where to Buy Grapefruit Seed Extract and Other Ingredients
We've discovered the following items can all be bought quite inexpensively on Amazon. Health food stores in your area will also typically carry GFSE and neti pots.
[YEA] 04/16/2014: Heather from Santa Monica: "Yep, grapefruit seed extract is my go to remedy for sinus infections. I've tried in my neti pot, but it's too strong. I usually take GFSE drops internally (about 10 drops 3 times a day) but also use sea salt and peroxide in my neti pot to irrigate the sinuses."
01/10/2013: John from Leesburg, Va Usa: "Does one take the GSE orally or by nose or both?"Replies
01/10/2013: Sue M. from Worden, Il, Usa replies: "Hi John... I have been using the GSE for the past month... Mostly the 2 oz of distilled water with 3 to 4 drops of the GSE solution for nose drops. First thing of a morning, I use about 1/3 dropperful for each nostril. After slightly tilting my head back for this (naturally.. lol), I hold my nose and then bend from the waist and have my head down by my knees. Then I shift to the right and then the left and do this about 3 times. When I come back up, I sniff a couple of times (not hard) and then blow my nose. Surpringing what can come out... :( This helps to keep my head clear all day and on a prevention measure during this flu/sinus season, I take 10 drops in about 4c. of water and drink during the day.
The directions on my bottle say to mix 10 drops into 5oz of water or juice 1 to 3 times daily, with or without meals."
[YEA] 10/31/2012: Randall from Sioux City, Iowa: "FOUR MONTHS OF SINUSITIS! TOTALLY MISERABLE! Two rounds(10 days each) of amoxicillin. Nothing. Still having one nostril closed off almost 24/7 and the other half open. Sleep was almost impossible and I was just miserable. I started to Google to find any other way to help. Warm compresses, hot showers, and more antibiotics.
Then I saw GSE. Ordered it and that was the miracle that I was looking for. Took a 2 ounce nasal spray bottle left over(couldn't live without the over the counter spray that at the end only kept my nose open for less than a hour)cleaned it out and put 2 ounces of saline solution and 3 drops of GSE in it. DAY ONE: Took eight ounces of orange juice with 15 drops of GSE concentrate three time a day(45 drops a day total). I then sprayed my homemade GSE nasal mix in my nose 4 times a day with 2 sprays in each nostril each time. By morning two I stared to blow my nose and sorry this may sound gross but the green/yellow mucus was thinning and turning clear. I could not believe it! I woke up with only a small headache for the first time in months and I could breath a little better.
DAY THREE: UNBELIEVABLE! I could breath out of both nostrils! Not completely but well over 50% better! Pressure and pain was less than half. All the antibiotics and hot showers for the last 4 months had done nothing close to the 2 full days of GSE. To make my story short and happy within 6 days of continuing the GSE treatment I was cured! YES CURED! People say that GSE only works because it has some synthetic stuff in it. Why do I care. IT WORKS and no side effects! And the cost is crazy! CHEAP! CHEAP! CHEAP! I will never be without it. I will always keep in touch with my Dr. But GSE will almost always be my first course of action for any cold or sinus problems! You have to try it. IT WORKS MIRACLES!"
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 09/18/2012: Rachel W from San Francisco, Ca, Usa: "I get severe sinus infections at least once a year, either from seasonal changes or developing it when I catch a mild cold from someone.
This time I had a small cough that lasted a week before the infection progressed to my nose (just in time for work on Monday, ugh).
I've previously used saline solution with my neti pot with some success, but only if I do it early enough. When my sinuses get worse it only irritates it even more and causes more swelling. Even Apple Cider Vinegar has only temporary effects on me.
A friend recommended GSE in my netipot and voila! Instant results with just a couple drops of it in the water. It completely drained my nose! It was expensive but very well worth it. It's my first day using it but I plan on doing it every day until it goes away. I'm also adding it to my water to drink. I did notice that my sense of smell/taste were completely gone, which I'm hoping is only temorary until my sinuses are normal again. However, I'd much rather try this than any over the counter colored chemicals that make me drowsy!"
[YEA] 06/27/2012: Sarah from Lebanon, Nh: "I was diagnosed with nasal polyps a month ago. I had chronic sinusitis (not a runny nose, just often stuffed up and a poor sense of smell) which never really bothered me until one of my nostrils became constatntly plugged. First let me say that there is a lot of scary stuff on the internet when you're looking for health information. Sure this condition is annoying, but life is still pretty good!
I went to the ENT, was diagnosed, and he gave me 2 weeks of prednisone, and an antibiotic. Steroids are terrible for you, but they also shrunk the polyp and brought back my breathing, and sense of smell! All the while I wondered what would happen to my nose once I was off the steroids.
By the time I was done with prednisone my nose was not 100%, but it was much improved. My constantly plugged nostril was now open 60% of the time. I then started a steroid nose spray (which supposedly have fewer side effects) to keep things open.
Things seemed pretty stable for a week, and I decided to try some of the homeopathic remedies to see what effects they had. I got really brave, and put two little drops of GSE into my neti pot.
I did my third GSE neti wash tonight, and it seems to be making a difference! My "bad" nostril is open almost all of the time now, and still seems to be on the upswing. I will say this - the GSE certainly isn't hurting anything, and I distinctly feel that it is improving my condition.
I'll write more if anything drastically changes. I got an allergy test which came back totally negative, so what's causing the inflammation in my nose is sort of a mystery. I guess the theory with GSE is that if I have a low level fungal infection, or perhaps an over reaction to normal fungus in the air, the GSE and its potent antifungal properties helps reduce my inflammation. Hmm. as of now, I think I buy it."
[YEA] 03/24/2012: Sarah from London, England: "Grapefruit seed extract for chronic sinus infection: Cannot recommend it enough! Knocked out the 3 month sinus infection that nearly killed me (docs threw useless rounds of antibiotics at it) and reduces the incidence of viruses! I have not had a single sinus infection since I started taking it a year ago and my colds etc arent as bad: 12 drops in a glass of water 3 times a day (Ive cut it down to twice a day now and Im still just fine) Tastes nasty but MAGIC STUFF!
Taking more does no harm and you are meant to take it on an empty stomach, You should also take it at a different time to some meds such as magnesium, fexofenadine antihistamine and monoamine inhibitors (antidepressants I think) or it reduces their effectiveness - grapefruit actually interacts with a few meds so do your research!
As for me, I have TERRIBLE sinus issues from a life of severe allergies (hayfever) that left me with regular infections for all of my young life (I suppose thatd be all my life as im only 24) but since I started GSE I havent had another sinus infection since and it more or less saved my life It also reduces viruses :) (Oil of Oregano is good for this too)"
03/25/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Sarah, I have had good results w/ Liquid Grapefruitseed Extract Concentrate mixed w/ vegetable oil for fungal infection, but nothing noted for viral. As for the interactions, did you mean Grapefruitseed or Grapefruit??? because there appears to be very little or no Naringin in the seed as compared to the fruit. There is a discussion on this somewhere on E.C."
[YEA] 01/28/2011: Robin from Westhampton, Ny, Usa: "I've had a sinus headache for over 2 months with no nasal congestion and no mucus (It actually took me 2 months to figure out it was even a sinus problem at all). Wanting to avoid antibiotics, I tried the Neti pot for the first time ever, using a mixture of salt and colloidal silver. After 5 days of this at 2-3 rinses per day, I had few/no results and not even a runny nose. I still had severe headaches and facial pain in my cheeks and upper jaw.
After reading this site, I tried Grapefruit Seed Extract. Dose 1 opened up the flood gates! I feel THAT strongly about it that I didn't want to wait until tomorrow for Dose 2 to write about it here. I used 7 drops in the saline solution but diluted it half way through because it was too strong to handle."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 12/20/2011: Emersmask from Media, Pa, Usa replies: "I have had a very strong and rather unfortunate reaction to the GSE. I have used it before with some success, and after a chronic season of sinusitis, I attempted another go today. While it is not the most comfortable, soothing remedy in the world, I was not prepared for the extent of the irritation and pain I experienced this time around. Pain--awful--burning that persists four hours later, and the chronic inflammation has gotten much worse.
6 hours later--the problems persist.
The worst part is that I have absolutely NO sense of smell. I'm praying that this in particular resolves very soon.
Either I used too much, or developed a sensitivity. I followed the instructions very closely, diluting a few drops in 8 oz of water, but it is possible I mis-counted.
In any event, this can be effective but I highly suggest you start with a very small dose--2 drops or less--and work your way up to where it does not burn.
And if anyone has this same experience or any insight as to if/when my smell sense will return, please share!"
12/21/2011: Francisca from Zug, Zug, Switzerland replies: "Hi, you must have a different kind of GSE than we have here in Europe! I have tried two brands so far but none of them burns or anything of the kind. Usually I take 15 drops in a glass of water 3 times a day and I have never noticed any side effects. Both times I have taken it I take a bottle and then stop for a few months. I have to say that I don't notice any major changes other than once, when I had a bad cold and my nose was running the whole time the cold was gone within a couple of hours."
12/21/2011: P from Middle Of, Fl replies: "I use the grapefruit seed extract tablets with great success, I've taken up to 3 at a time no problem, but then later on noticed heart burn so I needed to reduce again and no heartburn!
However I've tried sea salt for a cold one day because I waited too long to attend myself and needed a quick fix, and the minute it hit my belly I felt the difference...my nose stop running, stop coughing & fever went away thus aches & pain!
The reason why I mentioned this is because I felt my sinuses declogging, I even heard it making noise, so perhaps it may work for you!
This is what I did:
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 glass of water
and really try to drink it down! Yuk, but worth it!
Thanks to the good people of EC I read the water cure websites and they claim 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt dissolved on your tongue and drink a glass of water and dont babysit the glass of water may do the trick; but keep in mind its less salt therfor you ought to do it more times!
Also half your weight of water in ounces divided into six times a day will do the trick among other tricks!
example; if you weigh 200 pounds drink 100 ounces of water daily! But not all at once! Its like drinking 8-9 bottles of 24oz of water a day will keep you disease free!"
12/29/2011: Nathan from San Rafael, California replies: "I found that GSE as a nasal spray has little effect. A nasal rinse works best Then drink a 10 oz glass of orange juice with at least 15 drops of GSE 3 times a day. The orange juice takes away the bitterness of the GSE. I am presently taking 30 drops in my OJ 4 times a day. I'm finding this to have better results than the antibiotics prescribed by my doctor. I take GSE where ever I travel. It kills parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungus. If I feel a cold or flu coming on. 30 drops immediatly usually does the trick."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 01/31/2012: Elizabeth from Oceanside, Ca replies: "I agree with Emersmask from Media, Pa, Usa. I had the same reaction when I used the GSE in the neti pot as well as ACV in the neti pot (different occasions). Severe symptoms: pain, sneezing, increased inflammation. This went on for hours."
12/02/2012: Kristin from Albuquerque, New Mexico/USA replies: "After fighting a sinus infection for a full year with 5 rounds of antibiotics I finally sought out a natural cure. Resigned to being constantly stuffy and 'nasal' sounding, I was skeptical about these treatments.
After reading this and other sites I put myself on a strict regime of the following:
- Apple cider vinegar (2 Tbls. Mixed in water or juice)- NOT tasty; 3 times a day
- 1000 mg Vit C a day
- Oregano oil (tablets) as directed
- Saline nasal rinse (I use Neil Med bottle/mix) with warm water and 10 drops Grapefruit seed extract; 2 times a day (I started at 5 drops and worked up to 10 to avoid potential burning others described)
My results were not as immediate, however I'm now on day three and for the first time in months my sinus pressure is down, I have drainage (it's finally breaking up in there!), and that stuffy feeling is going away!
After a year of infection built up, I'm not suprised it's taking more time but I believe it's working."
07/12/2010: Stefiec from San Diego, Ca, Usa: "Does anyone know or have you tried putting GSE in a sinus irrigation solution for fungal infections?"Replies
[YEA] 02/19/2011: Libby from Riverside , Florida replies: "I frequently use gse during the winter months as a general precaution against several infections , but especially from sinus problems. Every year in January to March my sinuses give me problems. I am 54, female and hate sniffling as it embarrasses me and probably aggravates anyone near me. I also worry about spreading it.
The gse keeps me healthy IF I remember to begin it about two weeks prior to mid-December.
It is bitter, yes, but that it a minor consideration compared to spreading infection to others just because I could and feel lazy. That is plainly evil to spread disease just because I don't feel like placing a few drops into my daily water supply everyday. And so I use it and so my health is stronger in winter than it was when I was younger and careless."
[YEA] 05/21/2010: Elizabeth from Springfield, Pa, Usa: "After reading your website,I have tried the Grapefruit Seed Extract (5 drops) in my neti pot along with the normal saline. I was on my 3rd round of antibiotics (I'm allergic to many)for sinus infection. I've had headaches for 2-3 months...every day. The crown of my head, base of my skull, but the worst was when I bent over. I thought my forehead would burst.
After the 1st round of the neti/GSE my nose ran for hours and I just kept sneezing. After about 3 hours, I noticed the left side was opened up. It took awhile longer for the right side, and, I'm still waiting for my right ear to pop. I just finished my 3rd neti(which I've always done daily, so, I know it was the GSE that helped) and I can't believe the difference in 24 hrs. This AM was the first morning in MONTHS that I woke up with no headache. I didn't even have to take 1 aspirin! Everything from my nose was clear...just huge amounts. I can't thank everyone enough."Replies
[SIDE EFFECTS] 05/24/2010: Mike from Belgrade, Serbia replies: "When I made my grapefruit seed extract rinse with water and salt I got a severe headache and sinus pressure, there was a lot of mucus and my sinuses congested even more. Should I continue to do this?"
05/30/2010: Elizabeth from Springfield, Pa replies: "I had the same reaction, however, after approximately 5-6 hours, I noticed the release of pressure. Perhaps you put too many drops in (I know I did...didn't have glasses on) and that's why the sudden headache etc. I've continued once a day with 4 drops plus saline in the neti pot. Blow my nose and all is well! I hope this helps."
[YEA] 04/18/2012: Kayla from Los Angeles, Ca replies: "I went to the dentist because I thought I had a cavity, because my tooth felt hot/cold sensitive. The dentist said it was not a cavity but a sinus infection that had caused the root of my tooth to become swollen we looked at the xIrays and I was stunned, at how stuffy my sinus appeared on the x-ray. I had no headache, no pressure, no was I stuffy a slight runny nose, really nothing except the tooth issue. I have suffered from dry eyes, red itchy eyes and crazy itchy tear ducts. So I used a neti pot with purifed water, three drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract and sea salt. My nose and eyes began clearing up within hours and I found the itchy eyes and the itchy tear ducts stopped immediately."
[YEA] 02/06/2010: Ray-ray from East Northport, New York: "I tried using Grapfuit Seed Extract for a sinus infection. 3 drops in 5 oz. of warm water. Eye Dropper full with head back, then tilt head forward, between legs. Adding a couple shakes of Sea Salt takes away the intense pain of water introduced to the sinus cavity by 98%."Replies
04/27/2010: Ana from New York, New York replies: "Hi, I've had a sinus infection (so I think),as I only feel pressure but no mucus, and I've been to 2 doctors a this point and both have been prescribing antibiotics for sinus infection.
Anyway, figured I'd try the grapefruit seed extract to try to relieve some pressure to get some relief. I mixed 4 drops in 8oz of water with 1/2 tsp of salt and put into neti pot. As soon as the mixture hit my nasal passages, I felt a strong burning /stinging feeling and immediate pain in my face & head, as if the pressure was getting worse. I tried a couple more times and felt the same thing, so I stopped and wanted to get feedback first before I continue. Is this normal, the burning/sting? Does it feel worse better it gets better (regarding the pressure)? Thanks."
04/02/2011: Jane from Andover, Ma replies: "You are supposed to use 1/4 tsp fine salt in a Neti Pot... Not 1/2 tsp. Maybe that us why you felt burning? Salt in a wound? Try less salt, and body temp warm water. I hope it's better."
[YEA] 12/23/2009: Rjforshort from Dover, Oh, United States: "Grapefruit seed extract nasal wash cured sinus infection
On sign of a sinus infection, I did a 2 cup nasal cleanse (with the nasal syringe) using 2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and 8 drops grapefruit seed extract. I experienced an immediate 'stuffing up' but by morning was symptom free. I repeated cleanse before I went to work and have had no problems since! Worked great!"
11/19/2009: Laura Coleman from Stroud, Oklahoma: "have had sinus infection 20 years every 2 month on antibotica i am now immune to them and on steriods i take toprol for heart palpations. it a blood preasure med. is it ok to use the grapefruit seed extract in my saline solution? I got to get off antibotica need help with natural remedies. help please"Replies
[YEA] 11/20/2009: Janet from Alexandria, La, United States replies: "Instead of adding GSE to your saline, purchase the a nasal spray with Grapefruit Seed Extract. It has the correct proportions, and does not sting. It worked for my sinus infection, and I have since bought a bottle for each of my grown children. I could only find it at health food stores out-of-town, so I recommend calling first, because 1 out of 5 stores might have it. Just ask if they have nasal spray with GSE, and stress that you don't mean GRAPE, but GRAPEFRUIT."
[YEA] 11/15/2008: Jamila from Washington, DC: "I woke up with a sinus infection on Thursday and suffered through the day on Dayquil. Friday morning, I drank 2 tbs of ACV in 8 oz of water. That helped a little bit. I found this website and read posts about GSE, oil pulling and the neti pot. I went to Whole Foods for the neti pot and GSE. Friday afternoon and evening, the neti pot helped ease sinus pressure and prompted drainage. This morning Saturday, I woke up and did oil pulling. Then, I added 4 drops of GSE to the neti pot (8 oz water with 1/4 tsp salt). I used this combo-one for each nostril.
Right now, I feel great. My sinus pressure is gone and my congestion is rapidly draining as I type this post. I am pretty sure combining the GSE with the neti pot treatment did the trick and I will continue this for at least five days to cure my sinus infection. Good luck and be peaceful!"
[YEA] 03/09/2011: Stacey from Reading, Pa replies: "Amazing! I regularly suffer from sinus infections and had been using apple cider vinegar in warm water to treat it. This time it was just not doing the trick. I tried 4 drops of grapefruit seed extract in my neti pot this evening, and just 3 hours later I am feeling the release of pressure and drainage. I have my fingers crossed for the futher improvement over the next few days with continued treatment - but already I am impressed!"
03/10/2011: Jamie from Lake Worth, Fl replies: "I also had a great experience with grapefruit seed extract. At work a girl came in sick (thanks pal) sore throat, very bad, and flu type ailments. Sure enough we all got it, my throat was not just sore, it felt like it was swollen. Maybe glands, my ears hurt down into my neck. After 2 days of getting worse, I started grapefruit seed extract. 10 drops 4 times a day, after the first day I felt a little better. I put it in warm water and drank it. This was very soothing to the throat. After two full days I was almost all better, I did continue four days, six days total
My coworkers who just let it pass naturally were sick for two weeks, some longer. I really think this stuff helped me, next time I will use it at the onset of an illness."
[YEA] 11/20/2007: MEG from Augusta, Georgia: "I just wanted to share my story as well. I became ill when my son contracted viral meningitis on a trip. Traveling back in the car, I could only take lots of EmergenC. For the next few days, I took the EmergenC with GAIA Echinacea three times a day and got lots of rest. It seemed to work after four days, so I stopped the treatments. Well I think I got a secondary infection because my lymph nodes became swollen and my sinuses became infected. I irrigated my nose with grapefruit seed extract (diluted) but some undiluted liquid got in my right sinus and caused a lot of pain. Discouraged and about to go to the doctor for antibiotics, I come across your wonderful website. I first started back on the C & Echinacea but added the Grapefruit seed extract (5 drops in 12 oz water). My sinuses were cured in one day! That same day I drank 12 oz of water with 3 tbsp. of ACV. The next day the affected area was in my throat. I made warm ACV with lemon (3 tbsp) and honey (2tbsp) and drank as much as I could. The day after that I felt I only had laryngitis. So I found Ted's wonderful receipe for Green Tea with baking soda (1/4 tsp). I have done this for two mornings and feel almost back to normal. Thanks to all your contributors, I am cured in a matter of a few days! You guys are awesome, especially Ted."Replies
[YEA] 07/17/2012: Mlove from Honolulu, Hi replies: "I just wanted to say that I have been taking grapefruit extract in tablet form for years whenever I get a cold or sinus infection. I take 2 little tablets three times a day for about a week and on the third day, I always feel better. Colds do not go into sinus infections if I take it and if I do get a sinus infection (like I did recently from swimming in the ocean), it goes away within a couple of days when I take the tablets. If I don't tke them, I stay miserable. I had a naturalpathic doctor tell me it was okay to take them for as long as a month at a time, but I never need to. They always make me feel better, so I take them anytime I feel a little under the weather and it always works. My husband does the same thing and it works for him too. The tablets are small and easy to get down. No bad side effects for us, only good effects."
[YEA] 05/27/2007: Kim from Bronx, NY: "I have been reading your website and have been especially interested in your sinus remedies. I have been trying acv and grapefruit seed extract. I have been battling sinus infections since September have been on about 5 courses of antibotics. I am on antibotics right now because when I went to the ENT docter he said I have a sinus infection. What I find strange is I never get a runny nose I just get a lot of pain in my teeth pressure on the side of my nose and headache and I feel allergic to everything. Anyway was wondering I notice I started getting the sinus infections when I started taking these diets products that are soy based. Do you think there is a connection ? I feel that the grape fruit seed extract and acv are working the only thing that I notice is about 2 hours after I take the grape fruit seed extract I feel alot of chest congestion then I get this dry cought for a bit. I think its the grape fruit seed extract working. I am looking into the candida possibilities."
[YEA] 02/06/2007: Cathy from Homer, GA: "20 years ago, I had chronic sinus infections that no doctor could explain. I went to a nutritionist who prescribed Grapefruit Seed Extract for yeast buildup. I started doing a sinus rinse with it and cured the infections. I haven't had one since. GLORY! Cathy"Replies
11/19/2009: Diane from Kitchener, Ontario replies: "To Cathy from Homer Geo. How much grapefruit extract would you use in an eight oz. water bottle? I would like to try this cure. thanks, diane"