French maritime pine bark and its extracts (especially the patented compound pycnogenol) are increasingly being studied by those interested in natural remedies and by biochemists alike for its potential benefits to human health. Other plants and plant products have similar chemical compounds, but maritime pine bark in particular has been studied for potential drugs and natural cures.
Pycnogenol specifically has received extensive attention as a health remedy. It is a compound of biochemical ingredients that include an extensive amount of proanthocyanidins--color chemicals (such as tannins) in plants that seem to offer an extensive number of health benefits.
Natural Cures: French maritime pine bark is recommended to those who have tree pollen allergies, suffer circulation issues (including erectile dysfunction), have high blood pressure, experience eye issues, have varicose veins, and more. The pycnogenol extract is said sometimes to work better than similar complete plant products.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
07/01/2011: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "in addition, take your antioxidants.. Like Alpha Lipoic Acid or Pycnogenol with an Omega 3 oil.. I prefer a good quality molecularly distilled oil to remove impurities... It should be refrigerated as well. Taking the antioxidant with oil will boost it therapeutic effect on the brain.. I prefer taking it before bedtime as it aids in better quality sleep and waking. Here is some good info. On omega 3 from Dr. Mercola.
01/05/2011: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "Hi Merryman, the raw beets just may be healthier, as enzymes may not be destroyed, however the hot juice as is hot tea might assimilate faster. I like both, but find a hot drink more calming. (Like a bowl of Ukranian borscht) Experiment for yourself and find what works best for you. As for Pycnogenol, I like to take it on and off... Switching perhaps with something like Ginseng or Rhodiola. It is good to experiment, introducing remedies to our body, which has a memory, and will intuitively tell us which it might need... & lastly take advice here with a grain of salt.. Only YOU are your best doctor."
01/04/2011: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "Hi Merryanne, As for the beet juice, I use a pressure cooker to cook my beets (1 cup water with a tsp on ACV) I drink the dark red liquid afterwards and find it immediately relaxing and calming. I take pycnogenol as a general anti-oxidant. Noticeable effects are with endurance and concentration... Lifting brain fog, and asthma. Effects are similar for me to Rhodiola.. Other claimed effects (though hard to measure) are skin elasticity, heart, eye health, varicose veins. I take 100mg day, (50 morning, 50 evening)"
01/03/2011: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "High concentrations of nitrates are found in beets, as well as in celery, cabbage, leafy green vegetables like spinach and some lettuce. When you eat high-nitrate foods, good bacteria in the mouth turn nitrate into nitrite. Nitrites can help open up the blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen specifically to places that are lacking oxygen. Also, Pycnogenol increases nitric oxide. Do a search on beet juice and nitric oxide, as well as Pycnogenol & NO.. (these two are my favorites)"
10/14/2010: Tom from Regina, Sk: "I will attempt to reply here on the RA disease portion, since any immune imbalance that can be corrected will also likely help the other problems. First, RA is classed as an autoimmune disease, where the body's own antibodies are found to be attacking "self" cells and tissues.
Here is a basic diagram of how the Th1: Th2 sides must be in balance, else there are diseases manifesting:
Here is a more overall basic diagram of the entire human immune system, showing the TH1 and TH2 sub-branches over on the left:
First question is when does the immune system not perform at good efficiency and balance, and the answer is 'when the terrain (body and all tissues) are ACIDIC'! So the very condition that allows diseases to invade prevents proper optimal functioning of immunity. That must be made right, back to an alkaline state, otherwise many remedies just won't take.
Best, simplest and cheapest remedy by far for restoring a high= alkaline pH is given by Ted here, under BICARBONATE FORMULA:
On to some RA remedies:
French Maritime Pine bark extract aka Pycnogenol, or GSE instead:
When I asked him to elaborate, he told me that he'd never used grape seed extract (GSE) to treat arthritis because he'd never heard of using either GSE or Pycnogenol for arthritis symptoms. Dr. Spreen: 'My comment was due to the fact that, 1) Pycnogenol is expensive, and 2) grape seed extract (much cheaper and more ubiquitous) has been found to supply the same active ingredients. Both are famous for their antioxidant properties. '
Both contain about 40 similar compounds classed as OPCs, by the way as the active ingredients. Dr. Spreen noted that he would recommend 200mg per day of GSE, ...
Next possible nutrient to try for the RA is "ORGANIC GERMANIUM, aka Ge-132":
Note this article is from 1987! It's been quite well researched in Japan. It is very widely available on the net health stores and locally.
Third possibility is plant sterols/sterolins, available generically but also under the original pioneer patented Moducare brand:
Based on the biological activities described above, most studies to date have investigated the ability of ModucareÂ® to control inflammation or induce a shift from a predominantly humoral immune response to a more protective cellular response (i. E. TH2 to TH1 shift)
These supplements take time, 1 to 3 months, and as shown may give only a percentage improvement. There's also possibility #4 niacinamide, widely available and cheap. There is a post under 'Trigger Finger' from OCT 5 on it for arthritis. Dosage is in there, too:
[YEA] 02/05/2012: John Wood from Stanardsville, Virginia: "I need to share what happend to my black lab, Teddy Bear. Maybe some of you reading this will be able to help your pet recover. Teddy developed a knot on his rectum around age 9. I thought it was just a hemmoroid but after several weeks it began bleeding. The area around the opening took on a bruised appearance with yellow, orange, reddish, and black colors and he began to act like he didn't feel well. I took him to the vet and was told it was cancer. He had surgery but withing a few months it was back. I took him in for more surgery. They removed several thumb size tumors and stiched him up. I was told that they didn't think they got it all. At that point I began praying for his recovery. The next day I received a cassete tape in the mail about a product called Pycnogenol. I listened to the tape on the way into work the next day. The narriator talked about all these folks that had cancer and other serious diseases taking this stuff and recovering completely. I had bought some of this stuff for myself about a year earlier in the hopes it would help me with chronic fatigue. It did nothing so I put it in the medicine cabinet and forgot about it. Anyway I heard the narriator tell that the most important thing about taking Pycnogenol is to take it 1 mg per pound of body weight. Well I figured Teddy weighed 90 pounds so I did the math and found that 5 capsules were needed to get close to his weight. I sprinkled the contents of the capsules on his food. Honestly I could not believe what happened next. Within one day of consuming just the first dose his rear end began to turn pink. He began to act like he felt a bit better. I gave him a second dose the next day and again daily from then on. By the time a week had passed you wouldn't believe it was the same dog. He was running and barking like he was a pup again. I kept him on the product until the bottle ran out. Withing a couple of weeks he began getting another spot on his butt so I put him back on the product. The knot went away. He stayed on Pyconogenol the rest of his life but he lived to the ripe old age of 17. I had to put him to sleep because his hips gave out, he couldn't walk, and he couldn't control his bladder & bowels any longer. I hated to do it but I had tried all that I knew to do. I stiil miss him....... But he lived 8 years longer than he would have if I hadn't had my prayer answered. Thank you Lord.
Let me say that there are differences between Pycnogenol and pine bark extract. Pine bark extract is a little bit cheaper than Pycnogenol but did not produce any effects for Teddy. I did not notice any difference between Pycnogenol brands."
[YEA] 01/29/2007: Maureen from Buffalo Grove, IL: "I've suffered with poor circulation of the legs for a few years now. Standing for short periods of time left my legs feeling tired and achy. My legs had a heavy feeling when walking, too. Worse, any pressure applied to my ankle area resulted in pain. My doctor put his hands around them to see if I was retaining fluid and I could have cried from the pain. After doing research online, I started taking 900 mgs of horse chestnut and 350 mgs of pycnogenol each day. It's been only four weeks, but the difference has been amazing. My legs feel lighter, no more pain near the ankles, no more fatigue when standing for long periods. There have been medical studies on this, which is why I decided to try it myself. I highly recommend taking these supplements at these doses each day for improved circulation of the legs."
01/30/2011: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "The solution may involve a wholistic approach... Sounds like you're holding the weight of performance in bed... She will leave you if you don't perform is a tremendous burden and enough to bring on both impotence and premature ejaculation. Communication might be the solution. However, for the physical problem, I would recommend some of the many aphrodisiac herbs and supplements... This can be a trial and error to see which works best for you... Especially if you are experiencing performance anxiety you don't need to be more stressed. I would try Ashwaghanda, Pycnogenol with Arginine, (vasiodialators) and in addition refer to Dr. Ray Sahelian (google him) he has his own formulation that is quite effective. If you don't wish to purchase it look up the ingredients and experiment with them individually. He has extensive info on all the aphrodisiac herbs.
Some find a rotational method works best for them.. That is, taking a separate one each day."
01/09/2011: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "I would recommend trying Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Pycnogenol, before resorting to Borax. These will increase blood flow. You can take the Carnitine with Alpha Lipoic Acid for further health benefits. Some take a successful combo of Pycnogenol and L-argnine for erectile dysfunction. see here: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDN/is_4_8/ai_111304013/
Also, look into some adaptogens like Ashwaganda, or Ginseng, or Rhodiola. To increase testosterone, look into Freeze Dried Stinging Nettle Root, and Tribulus Terrestris... and things will be looking up..:)"
01/18/2012: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "I've only come across one anecdotal report of pycnogenol helping with floaters. (on iherb) but another said it didn't help at all.. But the general protocol for eye supplements are.. Bilberry, Pycnogenol, Mixed Cartenoids with Astaxanthin, in addition perhaps Krill oil and Hyaluronic acid.. Unfortunately as Francisca says there doesn't seem to be anything definite yet to help with these.
two links here....
08/06/2010: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "Look into Pycnogenol and Resveratrol... Pycnogenol (bark extract) can help with micro-circulation to the eyes.. It is well researched & plenty of info. On the web & this on eye health & Resveratrol from Weil's blog...
09/17/2011: Rob from Manhattan, Ny: "In addition to the other remedies above... (also, you see a little above your post how oil pulling helped.)
Start taking CoQ10, I take 100mg before bed... there is much on the web about it's benefits for gums.
You also might consider Pycnogenol or it's generic form Maritime Bark Extract (cheaper) just for it's anti-oxidant and increased micro circulation ability. It is known to help speed up wound healing.
Diabetes or not, it is a good idea for all to decrease their glycemic load... Cut out the sugar and simple carbs... simple diets of raw and lightly cooked vegetables and whole grains...
Of course if you smoke...quit...
Weight bearing exercise is known to increase bone density..
A recent study on how berries (at least in rats) increased bone density.. http://www.drweilblog.com/home/2011/9/6/berry-good-news-for-bones.html
I have also posted before, how I rub my floss with a little essential oil mixture... Base of olive with cinnamon and clove, thyme, .. Etc... Sometimes I use a Theives oil recipe on web... (This is only recent so I can only confirm it might help after a few more visits to the dentist)"
04/26/2012: Suanne from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Uk.: "I want to thank you soooo much for your advice on Vit e for my anal fissures. It has taken me simply ages to get my hands on the suppositories you recommended, but today they have arrived! I also ordered some capsules to be taken orally. So, one up - two down about 3 hours ago and I'm already sitting (a miracle in itself) here taking to you, no pain, no discomfort and indeed a happy bunny at long long last. Why oh why dont the Docs recommend this for all the poor suffering souls with this affliction, that takes over your life with pain and discomfort and results in your ability to function day to day.
For the past few weeks I have been dealing with my hemmoroids (internal and external), using Butchers Broom and Horse chestnut tinctures, also Pine Bark tablets, not forgetting Olive oil daily for bowels. I have to say with quite some success, but the fissures have still been causing real agony on a daily basis - up till now!
I cant thank you enough for your help Jennifer. Forever grateful, Suanne."
[YEA] 02/19/2007: Dennis from Marshall, OK: "I read on internet that taking horse chestnut orally will cure hemorrhoids, so I'm taking that right now and I think that it's working. Horse chestnut is also good for chronic venous insufficiency or swelling of the legs which was the main reason I was taking it in the first place. The swelling in my left leg is slowly subsiding but I think it's working for that also. Horse chestnut is good for also coughs, arthritis, and some other things I can't remember at this time. Pycnogenol is suppose to be better for hemorrhoids than horse chestnut, but I don't know, I'm just trying the horse chestnut for now, and if I'm not satisfied with the results, I will try pycnogenol instead, in which it's supposed to work better for leg swelling"
05/17/2011: Moi from Redmond, Wa: "Hi Carol, Did you notice if you were bloated with the pine bark? I have tried so many remedies and the ones that worked always caused me to be bloated which was just so depressing as I have already gained a ton of weight over the past few years. Thanks"