Pycnogenol is an herb that was extracted from the bark of a French maritime pint tree. It is a powerful anti oxidant that has a similar effect to vitamin C in the body. However, it is twenty times more effective than vitamin C in the body and fifty times stronger than vitamin E. It has the capacity to destroy free radicals that can damage tissues and lead to degenerative conditions. Pycnogenol is found in the seeds of red grapes. It is considered safe to use, with twenty five years of laboratory research and clinical studies.

Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints, and is commonly treated with prescription anti inflammatory medications or corticosteroid drugs. Gout occurs when a waste product, uric acid, accumulates in the body’s tissues and forms needle like crystals in the joints. There are natural remedies, such as pycnogenol, that are very effective and used in gout treatment as it decreases the inflammation. Pycnogenol is a United States registered trademark name. The active ingredients can be extracted from other sources including peanut skin, grape seed and witch hazel bark. It is used to treat circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in ears, high blood pressure, diabetes, endometriosis, osteoarthritis, erectile dysfunction, an eye disease called retinopathy and attention deficit hyperactivity. It is also used for preventing disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Pycnogenol is used to slow the aging process, maintain healthy skin, improve athletic endurance and improve male fertility. The Memorial Sloane Kettering Center notes that pycnogenol may lower inflammation by lowering the production of inflammatory proteins.

Pycnogenol is available over the counter in capsules or tablets and can be purchased in pharmacies and health food stores. Side effects of pycnogenol include gastrointestinal discomfort, swelling of mouth or throat, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, dizziness and headaches. It can increase the immune system, thus lowering the effect of other medications that normally ower the immune system. Pycnogenol has an anticoagulant effect and may prevent blood platelets from sticking together. Pycnogenol can also lower blood sugar, thus increasing the risk of low blood sugar for people taking insulin.

Pyenogenol can be effective and used in the treatment for a number of conditions: If taken by mouth, for allergies and circulation problems, there is a significant decrease in leg pain as well as fluid retention. It will slow up or prevent further worsening of retinal disease, of the eye, caused by diabetes, atherosclerosis or other diseases. It can also improve eyesight. It has been known to improve endurance in athletes. In high blood pressure, it reduces the systolic blood pressure but does not significantly lower the diastolic blood pressure. Pyenogenol should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

Pyenogenol is just one of the many natural applications that can be used for the treatment of gout. Due to its strong anti inflammatory characteristics, it is being used as treatment to reduce the symptoms and, in conjunction with diet and exercise, prevent a recurrence of a number of illnesses and conditions.