Grapefruit slices  and knife on an aqua  cutting board

When seeking alternative health products, many consumers turn to grapefruit seed extract or grape seed extract--their uses vary. Also, grape seed extract comes in tablet form, while grapefruit seed extract can come in liquid or powder form. Manufacturers of both claim different health benefits and different uses as well. Grapefruit seed extract is generally used as an antibacterial product, while grape seed extract tablets are taken for a variety of ailments, including heart problems.


Sold as grapefruit seed extract or citrus extract, grapefruit seed extract comes from the liquid derived from the seeds, white membranes and pulp of a grapefruit. It can also be found in powder form. Grape seed extract, on the other hand, is an industrial derivative from grape seeds.


According to The Analyst, an online diagnostic resource, grapefruit seed extract is a powerful natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal treatment. Grapefruit seed extract can be used to treat bacteria, yeast, some viral infections and parasitic infections.

However, though alternative medicine proponents touts its benefits, a study in 2001 by chemist G. Takeoka found that many grapefruit seed extract products also contained preservatives and other disinfectant ingredients. As a matter of fact, the grapefruit seed extract solution that had no other ingredients showed no antimicrobial benefit.

According to the National Center of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, grape seed extract is often used to help treat conditions of the heart, such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, poor circulation and high cholesterol. Grape seed extract may also be helpful in treating diabetes and vision problems. In addition, the National Cancer Institute is currently studying whether grape seed extract prevents or treats cancer.

Using Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract can be used both externally and internally. To use grapefruit seed extract externally, apply a diluted solution to an open wound or affected intact skin. According to The Analyst, grapefruit seed extract was 100 percent effective as a surgical prep, which is a higher rate of effectiveness than both alcohol and surgical soap.

To use grapefruit seed extract internally to treat chronic infections, take it three times a day, but don't exceed 1500 milligrams. To combat the bitter taste, consider taking it with a fruit juice or in capsule form.

Using Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract comes in tablet and capsule forms. Manufacturers generally sell the capsules in 100 or 200 milligrams and recommend taking one to two tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care provider.


Those who have allergies to citrus fruits may also have a reaction to grapefruit seed extract. Avoid the product if citrus fruits have been a problem in the past.

The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine says that grape seed extract side effects are usually mild and include headache, dry, itchy scalp or dizziness. Also, no significant research has been done on grape seed extract's interactions with other medications.