This product is a little wonder bottle of citrus concentrate containing 34% grapefruit seed extract, which is known for having numerous cleaning and preventative properties. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and helps inhibit the growth of parasites. It can be taken internally and externally (will go further into this later) as long as it is diluted and is safe for humans and animals unless they have citrus allergies.
The bottle is a thick White squeezy plastic with a clear plastic dropper fitted at the top and covered by a solid Red plastic lid – all of the plastics are recyclable. It comes in three sizes; 25ml, 45ml and 100ml and is also available in tablet form. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Ingredients: Vegetable glycerine and CitricidalTM grapefruit seed extract 34% (contains grapefruit extractives, glycerine. Antioxidant: ascorbic acid.)
A little goes a long way as I bought the 100ml version approximately 6 months ago for £14 (I can’t remember where from) and it’s not half empty yet. The prices greatly vary between sellers on Amazon, eBay and online health shops so you would have to do a comparison before deciding which is the most value for your needs. Higher Nature sells them directly: 25ml for £6.10, 45ml for £9.30 and 100ml for £18.25, they also offer free first class postage to UK members and free second class for non-members HERE
Why I bought it and what I’ve used it for:
1. Oral Hygiene/Dental Care – I originally bought this and still primarily use it as a mouthwash.
It was quite a journey that brought grapefruit seed extract and more specifically Higher Nature Citricidal to my attention, a story that I think needs outlining in order to best understand how much I’ve come to appreciate this product:
Just over 4 years ago I switched from pre-made and processed toothpastes to homemade toothpaste. I had been using healthy, vegan friendly and occasionally ayurvedic brands for 3 years already but my teeth were still on their way to cavity central crying for fillings and I had a long term issue stemming from a former dislocated jaw 5 years earlier which caused the inside of that area to swell consistently with an unpleasant liquid and of course an added helping of pain. So I thought enough was enough and it was time for a major change.
I had been reading about natural toothpastes and aids and had been using Black, and White herbal tooth powders on top of my regular toothpastes for quite some time. They had proved effective and I would recommend them but they were not enough for me. I had also tried natural toothbrushes, both the brushing and chewing variety (made from various types of wood) but even though I have known a number of people who are fond of them I couldn’t really get used to them enough to reap the benefits. So I decided to make my own toothpaste.
I use an extremely basic mix of bicarbonate of soda and 3% foodgrade hydrogen peroxide and any ‘toppings’ I feel like at the time such as mint, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves (all grounded) etc. Please note that although we use the term ‘baking soda’ interchangeably in the UK for both bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder they are not the same thing. Bicarbonate of soda can be mined naturally but can also be man made and is a quick acting raising agent and alkalizer. Baking Powder is made of at least bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and a filler starch or flour. Many of you who are into baking or cooking will know this but for general information, both can be used in food cooking but they have different uses and it is not recommended to consume baking powder unless cooked and in small amounts. – Anyway, regardless of lots of social misconceptions about bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide (people telling me my teeth would rot because bicarbonate of soda “is corrosive” and many equating hydrogen peroxide to bleach) 4 years later my mouth and teeth are in much better condition; no fillings, rare swelling, no need to brush more than once a day and to begin with, very White teeth. Now they’re more normal looking rather than bright White but as long as they’re healthy and clean I’m not bothered. My gums also stopped receding and I’ve had no problems with tooth erosion. My mother also made the switch with me and her lifelong bleeding gums stopped bleeding and her previously sensitive teeth were no longer sensitive. She used to cringe every time she ate something cold but no more.
THEN came the citricidal!
Despite my oral condition being greatly improved I still felt it was missing something and could be better. I’d found that when I ate too much or not looked after my mouth as well as I should have I’d get bleeding gums and I didn’t feel that my teeth were strong enough at the roots. I needed something as an additional boost to my toothpaste and came across reviews for grapefruit seed extract. I was extremely impressed and found a convenient yet high quality product to try first – Higher Nature’s Citricidal.
As per the instructions to use this as a mouthwash: ‘Allow 4-12 single drops to fall naturally into a full glass (300ml) of water, and stir thoroughly. Swish and/or gargle in mouth for 10 seconds, then rinse with water.’
Both my mum and I conservatively started with 6 drops and by ‘fall naturally’ they mean don’t squeeze the bottle, just let the nozzle drip. At half the dose I didn’t really notice the taste at first until I got to the bottom of the glass, as the liquid is more like a gel and tends to sink. My mother said the water did indeed taste different and we both noticed that it was a bitter taste – quite strong at first but with usage not so much. She felt that it made her mouth feel cleaner but overall she was happy with just the homemade toothpaste and stopped using the citricidal after a while. I on the other hand found more than one benefit using it as a mouthwash.
My personal method is to swish not gargle, and intentionally swish under my tongue as well because that is apparently the most absorbent area. Whilst holding the liquid in my mouth I noticed that at times, as aforementioned where I hadn’t been caring for my mouth as well as I should have, it would sting my gums and in the initial couple of months the sting was painful. However, straightaway my gums stopped bleeding and with continued use my gums no longer sting whilst swishing and no longer bleed. I still use 6 drops on average but when I’ve overeaten or been a bit careless I increase it to 8-9 drops.
As a mouthwash this is nothing like the more well known brands I’d previously tried before going vegan and even though my experience with them was limited to camping trips, to this day they still remind me of paint stripper (not that I’ve ever tried that!) The citricidal is colourless, doesn’t have anywhere near as much of a strong taste or smell and doesn’t look like it should only be used on industrial machinery. It probably doesn’t leave your mouth feeling as fresh for as long as its counterparts but I’m not one for feeling like an overwhelming gust of wind is passing through my mouth every time I breathe. I want my mouth to be clean but relative to what is supposed to be in there; sterilization is not what I am after.
I tried gargling with this once and found it somewhat cleansing but as someone who is sensitive to pollution I usually go for oil pulling (a method of swishing and sucking oil in the mouth which has the side benefit of pulling everything out of the throat). My mother liked gargling with this though before she stopped using it – she found it a lot more refreshing than I did.
3. Digestive Aid
Some of you will know about the digestive benefits of grapefruit and grapefruit juice – as a general rule of thumb eating half a grapefruit after a meal can cut the amount of fat it will turn into sometimes by half. Also, as with most fruit it turns into alkaline in the stomach and can help stabilize the acids in there preventing or treating acid, gas and reflux. The seeds are also known for digestive benefits and hence I decided to try some as per the instructions:
‘By mouth: Allow 4-12 single drops to fall naturally into a full glass (300ml) of water or juice, and stir thoroughly. Consume 30min before or 2 hours after meals. 1-3 times a day (children over 8 years, half a dose) or as your health professional advises. Do not exceed recommended daily intake.’
Using this method my mother and I had different results again – I didn’t notice anything whereas she said her stomach felt much better and digested faster than before. We had used 6 drops but I increased the amount to 10 drops on my second try and still didn’t really notice anything except the heightened bitter taste. In regards to the taste, I felt it was better masked in water than in juice where the tanginess of the fruit can become unpleasant with the citricidal.
Neither of us continued using this method even though it proved half effective because we both think that grapefruit and grapefruit juice do a better job for speedy digestion and weight loss/maintenance. That said after a while they can be a bit too strong for my stomach and palate, whereas she can eat the fruit consistently, and I prefer diluted apple cider vinegar.
4. Skin Cleanser
Lastly, I’ve used this as a backup facial cleanser both when I ran out of my usual product and when I wanted to try it on some unsightly spots. I stuck to my conservative 6 drops, mixed it with a spoonful of water (dinner spoon not a teaspoon or cereal spoon), dabbed cotton wool with it and wiped my face before rinsing and moisturizing. I found it cleaned well, removing a lot of grime that comes with travelling in a city on top of any sweat and in my case cosmetic powder. I didn’t need anymore than a spoonful for my face and neck and I noticed that the spots did reduce quickly after that though the skin didn’t seem softer (as oranges do – some citrus clean and some soften).
What others I know have used it for:
1. Athlete’s foot
I have a friend who has had athlete’s foot all her life and is understandably very conscious of it. She uses this as part of a regular footwash and has noticed some improvement. However from my basic knowledge of the condition I’ve read that it is a manifestation of internal imbalance, usually digestive fungal issues, so treating the symptom will not stop the cause. She’s yet to start taking the citricidal as part of a drink because she doesn’t like bitter or sour tastes…
Another friend of mine has a very sensitive scalp and when I saw instructions on the label for scalp treatment she borrowed my bottle, tried it and then quickly bought her own :). The instructions are as follows:
‘Dilute 4-12 single drops in shampoo for each use. Rinse thoroughly.’
3. Stomach upsets in general
I’ve found from hearsay that this is very helpful for inexplicable stomach aches – you know those stomach aches you randomly get (hopefully rarely) that you just can’t explain and they will go away by themselves but can be distracting or dehabilitating in the meanwhile. Well a few people I know have used and still use this when they get those pangs and find that they subside quickly. (I personally take goldenseal for that and so have never tried citricidal that way.)
Other known uses:
1. Preventing food poisoning when travelling.
2. Water purification – or making safe to drink.
3. Vitamin C boost.
4. On the Higher Nature website one of the listed uses is as a household cleaner. I’ve never tried it but I have used lemon and lime juice for cleaning and would think it works in a similar way.
This product was exactly what I was looking for when I needed a finishing touch to my dental routine but it also came with other surprising and pleasing benefits and is now held in high esteem as an all round fixer-upper when it comes to general cleaning maintenance of the bodily kind. It helps on the inside and the outside and so far I haven’t noticed any negative or unwanted side effects. I thought it was quite pricey when I bought it but now I think it’s value for money and because its concentrated it lasts a very long time.
I rate this as 5/5 stars and take care to note the warning on the label that reads: ‘Never use undiluted. From citrus; irritating to the eyes and skin. In case of skin contact flush with water for 10 minutes; if eye contact then also seek medical assistance immediately.’
For those interested the Higher Nature company they are committed to high quality, natural health products for all the family i.e. adults, children and animal companions. Their products are largely plant based, organic and vegan where they consider possible, they use recyclable packaging and neither they nor their suppliers engage in animal testing. More information is available on their ‘About Us’, ‘Promise’ and ‘Quality Assurance’ pages. In addition to their main website they also host Nutri People which has lots of information about health, conditions and ingredients/nutrients.
Summary: Grapefruit seed extract concentrate for body and home, lasts a long time.
Advantages: Has a range of uses incl. Oral care, scalp & skin care, digestive health.
Disadvantages: Some may find it more effective than others.