Pycnogenol refers to the registered trademark name of a product in the US which is made from the pine bark of Pinus Pinaster. Additionally, pycnogenol can also be derived from witch hazel bark, grape seed, and peanut skin. This substance is used for the treatment of different medical conditions, such as problems with blood circulation, high blood pressure, asthma, pains, allergies, soreness of the muscles, diabetes, ringing in the ears, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, painful menstruation, retinopathy, endometriosis, erectile dysfunction, and symptoms of menopause. Aside from this, Pycnogenol is considered to be effective for the prevention of health problems associated with the heart and the blood vessels. Some examples of these medical conditions include heart problems, varicose veins, and stroke.
Apart from its benefits in the treatment and prevention of certain diseases, this substance is also used to keep the skin healthy, enhance the fertility in males, slow down the process of aging, and boost athletic endurance. Because of the active ingredients that it contains, pycnogenol is incorporated in skin creams and other anti-aging products. The active ingredients of pycnogenol also induce antioxidant effects and help improve the immune system, as well as the flow of blood.
It is considered safe to take this substance in dosages of 50mg- 450 mg everyday for 6 months. In order to treat allergies, 50 mg of Pycnogenol is taken twice a day. On the other hand, for the treatment of poor blood circulation, a dosage of 45 mg-360 mg or 50 mg- 100 mg (three times a day) is advised. Lastly, 200 mg is taken daily for the treatment of high blood pressure and for the improvement of athletic performance.
Some of the side effects that may be experienced by people taking Pycnogenol include headaches, dizziness, mouth ulcers, and stomach problems. It has been found that this substance could make the body’s immune system more active. With this, it could result to the worsening of the symptoms of auto-immune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as multiple sclerosis. People who are suffering from these auto-immune diseases are discouraged to take pycnogenol.