Sublingual Grapefruit Seed Extract Incident
October 29, 2007 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I used straight, undiluted Grapefruit Seed Extract under my tongue and now I have sublingual inflammation and a burning sensation on the tip of my tongue like I've sipped tea that is too hot.

It all started when I was beginning to feel a potential cold coming on from a dry raspy throat thing. I've put B-12 and zince lozenges under my tongue before without issues. On this occasion, I squeezed a fair amount of GSE under my tongue and chugged some water. Then I had a zinc lozenge or two while watching the Series in my hotel room. I feel like an idiot, because right there on the bottle of the GSE it warns of direct contact irritation if applied to skin or mouth. This seems like an allergic reaction. So far I've heard things like: take a Benedryl and suck on some ice. I'm wondering if my symptoms will worsen or just go away. Advice?
posted by pranalaxmi to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Listen, all I know is that if the inflammation is at this very moment continuing to get worse, then you should be prepared to go to the hospital immediately. An inflammation in your mouth is a bad thing, it can block your breathing.
posted by creasy boy at 9:14 AM on October 29, 2007

I think the best thing you can do (besides talk to a real doctor) is very simple: start rinsing your mouth with cool water. Sip, swish, spit, repeat.
posted by anaelith at 9:46 AM on October 29, 2007

Are you taking any other medication that might cause you to have a reaction to grapefruit?
posted by citron at 9:57 AM on October 29, 2007

Don't worry; it's probably just acid eating through your face.

(Emergency Room.)
posted by Reggie Digest at 10:30 AM on October 29, 2007

Unless it's continuing to swell, I don't think you really need to go to the ER. I figure it's something like when you eat too many sour patch kids and your tongue gets a big bump on it (same thing happens to me when I eat sour grapefruit, etc).

Is it just owie, or is there noticeable swelling?
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:35 AM on October 29, 2007

Unless your mouth is really swelling, or you have a weird allergy to it, you might be fine with some mouth pains for a while. I personally use Amosan when I get weird mouth problems -- once or twice and the acid (from sour patch kids, biting your lips, weird food burns, etc.) goes away totally. No idea if it's okay with GSE.
posted by barnone at 11:01 AM on October 29, 2007

Best answer: Sounds like the same thing that I heard described by people who ate some of that stuff that makes sour things taste sweet, and then tasted a lot of vinegar / sour stuff. You've probably given the inside of your mouth a mild chemical burn. It feels burned because ... well, it is.

Luckily the inside of your mouth heals pretty quickly. I'd give it 24 hours and if it's still there, then consult a dentist. (I don't know why you'd go to the ER unless it's getting worse or obstructing your eating/breathing -- they're not going to be able to do much for you besides maybe rinse it and give you some painkillers.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2007

It's really, really acidic- like 2-3 pH. So you have an acid burn under your tongue. The stuff is supposed to be diluted to 2% if taken internally.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:20 PM on October 29, 2007

My advice: use this as a cautionary tale for yourself and others when it comes to unsubstantiated and potentially dangerous "nutraceutical" experiments.

Rinse out your mouth aggressively. If the pain worsens, your tongue or oral tissue swells, or you develop any difficulty with swallowing or breathing, obviously seek urgent medical attention. Otherwise, as noted, this sounds more like a mild chemical burn which should heal in time.
posted by drpynchon at 6:27 PM on October 29, 2007

I was warned never to do what you did because it could give a person diarrhea. Hopefully this will not happen to you.

That grapefruit seed extract deserves the proper respect. It works well - it staves off colds. But it needs to be diluted! Hope your mouth feels better soon.
posted by salvia at 11:48 PM on October 29, 2007

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