Pycnogenol: what is it for and how to use it

Pycnogenol, or pycnogenol, is a natural remedy made from the extract of the bark of the medicinal plant. pinus pinaster, which is rich in antioxidant substances, such as phenolic compounds, proanthocyanidins and catechins, which help to fight the damage caused by free radicals in the cells, being therefore indicated to improve the appearance, increase the hydration and elasticity of the skin.

This medicine can be found in pharmacies, drugstores or compounding pharmacies, in the form of 150 mg capsules and must be used with medical advice or a phytotherapist.

In addition, the bark extract of this medicinal plant can also be found in the form of 50 mg tablets, under the trade name Flebon, indicated for the treatment or prevention of circulatory problems such as swelling in the legs or thrombosis. See how to use Flebon.

what is it for

Pycnogenol has antioxidant action that helps fight the effects of free radicals on cells, and is usually indicated for:

  • Protect skin cells;
  • Prevent premature aging;
  • Reduce wrinkles and expression lines;
  • Lighten the skin;
  • Reduce blemishes and melasma on the skin;
  • Protect the skin from the action of the sun’s rays;
  • Increase the firmness, softness, elasticity and uniformity of the skin.
  • Increase skin hydration;
  • Improve blood circulation;
  • Reduce swelling and the feeling of heaviness or tiredness in the legs.

Pycnogenol can also be indicated for the prevention of traveler’s syndrome, characterized by swelling of the legs from sitting for a long time, due to long journeys, and in this way, it helps to prevent thrombosis.

Furthermore, some studies [1,2] show that Pycnogenol may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications in menopause or metabolic syndrome by helping to lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as lowering blood sugar levels or high blood pressure.

It is important to point out that Pycnogenol must be used as prescribed by a doctor and does not replace treatment with conventional medicines prescribed by the doctor.

How to use

Pycnogenol should be taken orally, with a glass of water, the recommended dose is normally 1 capsule of 150 mg per day, before or after a meal.

The duration of treatment with Pycnogenol must be guided by the doctor, according to the condition to be treated, and therefore, its use must always be done under medical supervision.

Possible side effects

Pycnogenol is generally well tolerated, however, although rare, side effects such as discomfort or stomach pain can occur. To reduce the risk of this type of discomfort, the drug can be taken after meals.

who shouldn’t use

Pycnogenol should not be used by children, pregnant or nursing women, or people allergic to extracts of pinus pinaster​ or to any of the components of the formula.

Also, Pycnogenol should not be used by people who have hypoglycemia, which is characterized by low blood sugar levels.

This remedy should also not be used by people who have high blood pressure, unless directed by their doctor.

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