Wellness Forum by Nathan Kagan

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Herbal remedies

Pycnogenol

healing bark

Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years to treat lung disorders and are still considered a primary asthma treatment in many countries. Some have shown promise in research, but more studies are still needed to find out for certain what works and what’s safe.

French maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol)

Vitamins and supplements
Supplements that seem promising include:

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Pycnogenol® for skin disorders

Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California (Berkeley USA) has discovered the mechanism how Pycnogenol®, the famous French maritime pine bark extract, may act to improve psoriasis and other dermal disorders. Since years people with psoriasis have reported that the occurrence of the itching red blotches was dramatically reduced when they took Pycnogenol®. But until now, it was not clear how Pycnogenol® does it.

Dr. Packer pinpointed the action for Pycnogenol®’s help for skin disorders in the genes of human skin cells. The skin of patients with psoriasis and various other dermatoses have high levels of particular proteins called calgranulins. These proteins are typically associated with inflammatory conditions, prevalent in various skin disorders. According to Dr. Packer, Pycnogenol® would dramatically decrease (nearly 22 times) the activation of genes in skin cells encoding these unfavourable proteins. In consequence, dermal inflammations are counteracted and skin conditions are brought back to normal, argues Dr. Packer.

This result is an agreement with a recent clinical study conducted by Dr. Ronald Watson (University of Arizona, Tucson) and published together with Dr. Packer. In this study it was shown that human volunteers irradiated with UV light were more resistant against getting sunburn when they took Pycnogenol®. Exposure of the skin to UV-light causes production of harmful free radicals, which are quickly removed by Pycnogenol®. But more than that, cells of the skin were prevented from initiating an inflammation by Pycnogenol®, thus preventing further harm to the skin. This is how Pycnogenol® prevents the process known as photo-aging of the skin.

Pycnogenol® is among the most powerful antioxidants, but unlike the multitude of other antioxidants, Pycnogenol® provides immediately visible benefits to the consumer. The current studies of Dr. Packer point at the value of Pycnogenol® for a normal, beautiful and healthy skin.

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Pycnogenol®, a patented, proprietary extract made exclusively from French maritime
pine bark (Pinus pinaster, manufactured by Horphag Research, Geneva, Switzerland). Pycnogenol extract is standardized to contain 70 ± 5% procyanidins in compliance with USP 28, compounds known for relatively significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, among other actions. Pycnogenol was ranked among the top 30 selling herbal dietary supplements in the United States in mainstream retail outlets (food, drug, and mass market stores) in 2008 in terms of dollar sales and had a total sales increase of nearly 34% over the previous year.
Dosage and Duration of Ad ministration
The following doses were used in the clinical trials reported in the
table in the full monograph. [Note: Some of the doses are based on
single studies or uncontrolled studies.]
ADHD: 1 mg/kg of body weight/day
Asthma: 1 mg/lb of body weight/day
Cholesterol/dyslipidemia: 120-150 mg/day
Chronic Venous Insufficiency: 150-360 mg/day
Diabetes: 50-200 mg/day
Dysmenorrhea: 30-60 mg/day
Endometriosis: 60 mg/day
Erectile dysfunction: 120 mg/day
Hypertension: 100-200 mg/day
Melasma: 75 mg/day
Muscle cramps: 200 mg/day
Osteoarthritis: 100-150 mg/day
Perimenopause: 200 mg/day
Platelet function: 25-200 mg/day
Retinopathy: 20-160 mg/day

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