What is pycnogenol used for?
Pycnogenol is an active ingredient derived from the pine bark of a tree known as Pinus pinaster. Pycnogenol is used for treating these following conditions, such as:
- Circulation problems
- Ringing in the ears
- High blood pressure
- Muscle soreness
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Endometriosis – a disease of the female reproductive system
- Menopausal symptoms
- Painful menstrual periods
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Retinopathy – eye disease
- High cholesterol
- Disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins
Pycnogenol is also used to slow the aging process, maintain healthy skin, improve athletic endurance, and improve male fertility.
Pycnogenol may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How does it work?
There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, there are some studies that show pycnogenol contains substances that might improve blood flow. It might also stimulate the immune system and have antioxidant effects.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using pycnogenol?
Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
- You have allergy with any substances of pycnogenol or other medications or other herbals.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.
How safe is pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol might be safe when taken by mouth in short-term.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding:
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking pycnogenol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Stop using pycnogenol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
What kind of side effects may I have from pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol can cause dizziness, gut problems, headache, and mouth ulcers. Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.
What interactions may I have with pycnogenol?
This herbal supplement may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbal healer or doctor before using.
These health conditions or medications may include:
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Taking pycnogenol along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride, glyburide, insulin, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone and others. The mechanism of action is unclear.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Pycnogenol seems to increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, Pycnogenol might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine, basiliximab, cyclosporine, daclizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, sirolimus, prednisone, corticosteroids and others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Pycnogenol might slow blood clotting. Taking pycnogenol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine, warfarin and others.
Auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions
Pycnogenol might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.
Bleeding conditions, diabetes
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for pycnogenol?
For allergies: the recommended dose is 50 mg twice daily.
For asthma in children: the recommended dose is 1 mg per pound of body weight given in two divided doses.
For poor circulation: the recommended dose is 45-360 mg daily, or 50-100 mg three times daily.
For diseases of the retina, including those related to diabetes: the recommended dose is 50 mg three times daily.
For mild high blood pressure: the recommended dose is 200 mg of pycnogenol daily.
For improving exercise capacity in athletes: the recommended dose is 200 mg daily.
The dose for this herbal supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.
What form does pycnogenol come in?
This herbal supplement may be available in the following dosage forms:
- Liquid extract
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.