I admit that I am affectionately referred to by family and friends as the Supplement Queen. Guilty as charged! However, in all my research and experience, I have never met a supplement quite like this one. It helps with allergies, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and erectile dysfunction. (Yes, you heard me correctly, erectile dysfunction.) Not surprisingly this is a fairly well-kept secret, given the US culture in which pharmaceutical companies dictate the solutions to all of these problems. The well-kept secret to which I am referring is Pycnogenol.
Pycnogenol comes from a particular type of pine tree bark that only grows along the south west coast of France in the Les Landis de Gascogne area. Researchers have been studying this amazing substance for over 60 years now. Pycnogenol has potent antioxidant properties, helps to reduce blood sugar, has positive effects on the cardiovascular and circulatory health systems, and more. But it is best-known for it’s amazing ability to treat allergies.
The following list of issues/problems can all benefit from this amazing supplement:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Symptoms of Menopause
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Vision Loss
- Ringing in the Ears
- Wound Healing
As well as a list of recommended doses.
We do not know why some people develop allergies while other people do not, or why someone who has never been allergic to something suddenly becomes allergic. We do know that many things can trigger allergies. The most common are pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, latex, and certain food and medications. The most common food allergies in adults are peanuts, fish, shellfish (shrimp, lobster) and tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews).
Although we do not know why people get allergies, we do know how they get them.
Allergy symptoms appear when a substance enters the body that the body deems a threat. At that point, an allergy is born. We do not really know why the body deems the substance a threat. It makes more sense in some cases than in others. Likewise, we may not be allergic to something all of our lives and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, we are allergic to it.
What we do know is that when a substance becomes a threat, the immune system produces special antibodies which can recognize that substance the next time it enters the body and launch a defense. This triggers a series of reactions designed to rid the body of the “attacker” and an allergic reaction is born. These reactions may involve tissue destruction, blood vessel dilation, and the production of inflammatory substances, the most important of which is histamine.
It is the histamine that produces all of the nasty reactions we associate with an allergy attack such as itchy, watery eyes, nasal and sinus congestion, headache, sneezing, scratchy throat, hives, shortness of breath, etc. Other less common reactions to histamine are balance disturbances, skin irritations such as eczema, and even respiratory problems like asthma.
Allergy meds like Allegra, work by keeping the histamine that is released from triggering the allergy symptoms. But such medications come with many side effects, some of which are the same as the problem they are designed to treat.
According to the experts, these are the possible side effects of taking Allegra:
- back pain or body aches
- common cold
- difficulty with moving
- ear congestion or ear-ache
- joint pain
- loss of voice
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle pains or stiffness
- nasal congestion
- pain in arms or legs
- pain or tenderness around eyes or cheekbones
- painful menstrual bleeding
- redness or swelling in ear
- ringing or buzzing in ears
- runny or stuffy nose
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- sore throat
- stomach upset
- swollen joints
- unusual feeling of tiredness or weakness
- viral infection (such as cold and flu)
Wow! Of course, not everyone is going to experience all of these side-effects, but most people will experience a few of them.
Enter the mighty Pycnogenol. For starters, it works by preventing the release of histamine in the first place, effectively keeping you allergy free. But it also has a number of important “side effects” such as lowering blood sugar, improving circulation, strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance and increasing mental and attentional acuity. As a result, it may be contraindicated for people with low blood sugar or diabetes, autoimmune disease and bleeding conditions.
Otherwise it works incredibly well for the following conditions:
Pycnogenol is a miracle worker when it comes to erectile dysfunction. In fact, it operates in a similar way to Viagra, but without the use of unnatural chemicals. It works by keeping your blood vessels healthy, so that blood and oxygen, two critical elements in achieving and maintaining an erection, can flow freely throughout the body.
Pycnogenol also helps boost your body’s natural nitric oxide (NO) which is another substance that is critical to healthy erectile function. This combined with L-arginine, which also boosts the body’s NO, can give you even greater sexual enhancement and gratification. In studies, 92.5% of participants showed improvement while taking 40 mg of Pycnogenol and 1.5 g of L-arginine.
Symptoms of Menopause
In studies with menopausal women, six of the most common symptoms – hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness – were decreased in groups supplementing with Pycnogenol.
It worked by lowering the body’s oxidative stress, which was measured by the level of free radicals in the small blood vessels. Free radicals are the cells that age us and cause disease. The only time your body stops making free radicals is if you are asleep from sundown to midnight. At midnight free radicals begin again to age us. Pycnogenol is an alternative way of fighting free radicals for some of you night owls. For those of you already practicing good sleep hygiene, it is added protection.
Pycnogenol has been shown to stop the beta-amyloid plaque, that what accumulates in the brain and causes Alzheimer’s. Other studies have shown it to be effective in improving memory and thinking in the elderly as well. Finally it also helps with ADD and ADHD.
Pycnogenol is like a natural Coumadin, but without the terrible side effects. Basically, it keeps your blood ‘clot-free’ and flowing by supporting the body’s own microcirculation. It also works to reduce the deep vein thrombosis and swelling which cause so many of today’s biggest health threats.
The way Pycnogenol benefits microcirculation is by targeting collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks that line our blood vessels. Unfortunately, a combination of aging and less than ideal food choices cause collagen and elastin to breakdown. Pycnogenol helps the body replenish these two critical substances, and in so doing keeps your blood vessels from getting clogged.
Pycnogenol has been shown to sharpen vision, reverse the aging process, and halting the primary cause of cataracts – free-radical damage. It also defends against retinopathy.
Whether it is hissing, ringing or buzzing Pycnogenol can help. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unbearable. Usually the medical profession is stumped. However, recently Italian researchers discovered that Pycnogenol decreased tinnitus by 62% with just 150 milligrams.
Not clearly understood is Pycnogenol’s ability to offer protection from sunburn, but it’s like a built-in SPF!
Shortens the time for wound healing and reduces scarring. Because it increases collagen and elastin it promotes wrinkle-free skin and reduces the itchy scaly skin of psoriasis.
According to the experts the following are dosages guides. Always consult your alternative medicine physician first. Also Pycnogenol is a patented extract, so make sure you choose a version of it with the registered trademark (Pycnogenol ®.)
- 20 mg for antioxidant protection
- 50 – 100 mg for general health
- 100 mg for heart health, blood pressure, blood clotting, and circulation issues As well as arthritis
- 100 – 200 mg for diabetics
I use the Swanson Pycnogenol because it is trademarked and doesn’t contain unnecessary fillers. It is dosed at 150 and is less expensive than some brands that are lower in dose and have more fillers.
If you or a loved one is struggling with disordered eating please reach out to me. I am the Eating Disorder Pro and I can help.
Does someone you love suffer from an eating disorder?
Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.
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