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 –  The maritime pine or Pinus pinaster is a hardwood pine tree that grows in regions surrounding the Mediterranean. For centuries, cultures in northern Africa have used the bark of the tree as an herbal remedy for a variety of medical conditions. In the United States, this natural extract is found in a supplement called Pycnogenol®. While science is still evaluating the benefits of supplementation with the extract, many in the medical community believe the herb can contribute to a healthier, more comfortable lifestyle for certain individuals.
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Pycnogenol For Allergies

Seasonal allergies affect millions and result in symptoms like itching eyes, nasal congestion and sneezing. Some scientists believe that by taking Pycnogenol before allergy season begins, those prone to such symptoms may experience less discomfort. In a clinical trial of 39 individuals conducted at KGK Synergize Inc. in London, Ontario, daily use of a Pycnogenol supplement beginning 5 to 8 weeks before allergy symptoms demonstrated a 35 percent reduction in eye-related allergy symptoms and a 20 percent reduction in nasal symptoms compared to those who did not take the supplement.

Is Pycnogenol Effective For Asthma?

Asthma is another chronic problem that affects the respiratory system and can be life-threatening if symptoms are not properly managed. Research into the benefits of taking Pycnogenol to address symptoms of asthma is just beginning, but a small study has shown potentially promising results. A very small trial at the College of Public Health and School of Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson found that 22 individuals who took Pycnogenol for 4 weeks had fewer asthma-related symptoms than those who were given a placebo.

In a study of people that suffered from allergic asthma at the Irvine3 Labs Department of Biomedical Sciences Chieti at Pescara University in Italy, participants who used a Pycnogenol supplement were able to decrease the use of inhalers for allergic asthma by 55 percent.

Potential Vision Benefits of Pycnogenol

Some scientists believe that Pycnogenol helps promote healthy circulation and as a result can be beneficial for various medical problems. For example, people with diabetes often develop vision problems due to reduced circulation to their retinas. Scientists at Irvine2 Vascular Labs and Microcirculation, Physiology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at G D'Annunzio University in San Valentino, Italy, found that diabetic patients may experience an improvement in retinal blood circulation accompanied by regression of edema which improves vision if the supplement is taken for 3 months at a very early stage of retinopathy.

Is Pycnogenol Good For High Blood Pressure?

Other small investigations into the benefits of Pycnogenol have revealed more potential uses for the supplement. Based on these studies, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists Pycnogenol as "possibly effective" for boosting endurance levels in athletes, reducing blood pressure levels and minimizing the appearance of varicose veins. The benefits of the herb must be studied further for conclusive evidence that Pycnogenol is beneficial for these or any other conditions.

drugstore.com offers a variety of Pycnogenol supplements in different doses to meet your needs. Before you add any supplement to your diet, it's important to speak with a medical professional. After discussing your concerns and reviewing your medical history, you can get an expert's opinion as to whether or not Pycnogenol is right for you. Then, search drugstore.com, where you'll find the ideal product to help you meet your doctor or natural practitioner's recommendations.

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