10 Health Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark (2023)

French pine trees add glory to the beautiful and lush forests of southern France.

Not many people know that pine bark is a good source of numerous phytochemicals which are natural compounds occurring in plants to support better health.

The discovery of the effectiveness of French pine bark dates back to 1535. French explorer Jacques Cartier and his sailors struggled with scurvy, a disease caused due to the severe deficiency of Vitamin C. The sailors were able to recover from it by having tea made out of french pine bark-an ancient ancestral wisdom shared by the natives.

More light into the effectiveness of French pine bark was revealed by Cartier, who found that the bark is rich in the most potent phytochemical compounds.

What is French Maritime Pine Bark extract?

It is a nutritional supplement made from the bark of pine trees grown along the coast of southwest France.

Modern-day research has revealed some of the vital phytochemical constituents present in the pine bark that are responsible for its healing properties. This includes flavonoids, procyanidins, and proanthocyanidins.

Is French maritime pine bark extract the same as Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is a standardized and patented extract of French maritime pine bark which grows extensively in the southwest of France.

The quality is prescribed in the United States Pharmacopeia.

This standardized version contains 65-75% procyanidins, a particular class of flavonoids and polyphenols, similar to those found in blueberries, wine, grape, cocoa and citrus fruits.

Let us take a closer look at some of the health benefits of French Maritime pine bark.

Benefits of French maritime pine bark

1. Improves cardiovascular health

10 Health Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark (1)

Studies have shown that the number of people who are affected by heart disease is on a steady rise worldwide.

The extract of pine bark helps to lower LDL cholesterol which clogs the arteries to create cardiovascular issues. Additionally, it helps in elevating the good HDL cholesterol.

(Video) Pine Bark Extract

Some researchers are of the opinion that Pycnogenol present in the pine barks is effective in relaxing blood vessels, reducing free radicals and lowering inflammation. This, in turn, has a positive effect on the overall reduction of blood pressure.

In a study conducted on 58 patients, it was suggested that regularly consuming Pycnogenol quantity as low as 100 mg/day may help in improving cardiac health significantly. After periodically consuming for 12 weeks, many participants have reduced the dosage of their potent medications.

2. Helps to control asthma symptoms

Studies have shown that consuming Pycnogenol may help to keep asthma symptoms under control.

Research has shown several valid proof that the regular use of Pycnogenol helped to improve airflow in the lungs and reduced the chances of cough and night awakenings.

A study conducted on 26 asthma patients for four weeks showed a significant improvement in their symptoms.

Another study conducted on 60 children with mild-to-moderate asthma has shown a significant reduction in the use of inhalers.

In another study that was conducted on 76 patients, Pycnogenol was added to their regularly used inhalers with a daily dosage of 100 mg. After six months, it was noted that more than half of the volunteers had reduced the frequency of usage.

3. Is an Anti-aging supplement?

French pine bark extracts are rich in natural compounds that help to increase the microcirculation in the skin. This helps in achieving a healthy glow and an overall improvement in the appearance of the skin.

Several anti-ageing compounds in the extract help with the production of collagen and elastin, making it wrinkle-free and youthful-looking.

A study conducted on 20 post-menopausal women who took 75 mg of the supplement regularly for 12 weeks showed a significant improvement in the skin elasticity. Along with this, visible signs of ageing such as dark circles and wrinkles were reduced, giving a youthful look to the skin.

4. Help to treat Erectile dysfunction.

Various studies have shown that Pycnogenol helps to boost sexual performance as it has a direct effect on the blood flow. The extracts of French pine bark are, therefore, used in treating erectile dysfunction in men.

A study conducted on a group of 40 men showed an increased vigour and higher sexual function when a combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol were supplemented for three months.

In another clinical study, subjects were asked to take supplements of Pycnogenol 60 mg/day, L-arginine 690 mg/day and aspartic acid 552 mg/day for eight weeks. An improvement in hardness of erection and improved sexual function was noticed.

(Video) Maritime Pine Bark Extract with Dr. Ramon Velazquez, Ph.D. | Mind Lab Pro®

5. Helps to control menopausal symptoms

Pycnogenol is effective in treating menopause-related symptoms such as irregular body heat, sleep disorder, hot flashes and so on.

In a study conducted on a group of 35 women who were supplemented with Pycnogenol 100mg/day, it was observed that after eight weeks, their overall health improved along with and improvement or vital parameters.

In another study conducted on a group of 170 women who were given a low dose of Pycnogenol (60 mg/day), the painful menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and mood swings were significantly improved.

6. Controls diabetes

It is estimated that more than 422 million people in the world have diabetes.

Diabetes has a direct effect on the kidneys, eyes, heart and the brain. If the blood sugar levels are not controlled, the arterial walls get damaged, leading to blockages.

This may eventually lead to severe conditions like stroke or heart attack. Diabetes also has a direct connection to Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study involving 77 people with type 2 diabetes, taking 100mg of pycnogenol/day for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in the blood sugar levels.

In another trial involving 48 individuals,12 weeks of supplementation of french pine bark extract significantly improved blood sugar levels.

7. Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease developed in people with diabetes as a result of damage to the retinal blood vessels. This can lead to vision impairment and even complete blindness.

Studies have shown that using French pine bark extracts for two months helped to improve the circulation in the eyes. It is also suggested that the compound could help prevent blindness if used at an early stage.

8. Reduces Risk of Cataract

Globally, it is estimated that at least 65.2 million people have vision impairment or blindness due to cataract.

This is one of the most common causes of vision loss in people over the age of 40.

In a research experiment conducted by John R. Trevithick and his colleagues, they found that treating cataract with dietary Pycnogenol showed positive results on eye lenses without any side effects.

(Video) Pine Bark Extract Benefits | Longevity, Immunity, Sexuality, And Healthy Circulation

9. Boosts the athletic performance10 Health Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark (2)

Research has shown that pine bark extracts help to improve endurance and athletic performance.

Pine bark extracts have been extensively studied for its relationship to exercise performance and oxidative stress in the body.

Studies have shown that athletes who used pine bark extracts took a long time to reach fatigue. Besides, they also experienced less muscle pain and cramping.

10. Improves oral health10 Health Benefits of French Maritime Pine Bark (3)

Pycnogenol has a tremendous positive impact on the oral health of a person. It helps to control bad breath and eliminate harmful bacteria from the mouth.

A controlled study was conducted on eight subjects between the ages of 45 and 55 years old who experienced dry mouth symptoms. The volunteers were supplemented with 150mg of Pycnogenol daily for two weeks.

After the end of 8 weeks study, the participants reported improved dry mouth symptoms with bad breath highly reduced.

In another study, it was shown that using chewing gum with French pine extract regularly for four weeks reduced bad breath and mouth bacteria.

Side effects of French Maritime Pine Bark

French pine bark extract is relatively safe when taken orally or when topically applied as an ointment.

For clinical research studies, doses of up to 300 mg/day have been used for a year without any safety issue.

While most of the research studies don’t indicate any significant side effects, some of the possible side effects include

  • Fatigue
  • irritability
  • Headache &
  • Nausea

Drug interactions

If you are taking blood-thinning medications, it is best to avoid consuming this supplement.

Consuming vitamin C supplements, along with this extract, could raise your blood pressure levels, especially if you are suffering from hypertension.

It is also suggested to avoid this extract if you are on medicine to reduce the blood sugar levels.

(Video) Why ORGANIC PINE BARK EXTRACT with OPCs Offers Even Greater Benefits

For people suffering with any existing medical conditions, it is advisable to consult a certified physician before planning to take the supplement.

Dosage

Pine bark extracts are available in a variety of forms such as tablets, capsules or liquid.

Currently, there is insufficient evidence to determine the exact dosage.

A standard dose of 100-200 mg/day can be consumed without any side effects

That said, it is recommended to check with your doctor to determine the accurate dosage rather than experimenting on yourself.

  • Retinal disease: 50mg, three times a day.
  • Improper blood circulation:50–100mg thrice daily.
  • Allergies:50mg thrice daily.
  • Increase stamina:50–100mg thrice daily.

Bottomline

When it comes to choosing a supplement to increase the overall health and vitality, nothing works better than French pine bark extract. It has all the essential ingredients to ensure a healthy and happy life, protecting your body from common diseases like diabetes, cardiac issues and enhancing sexual function.

Make sure to consult your health care practitioner and take it in the right dosage to reap maximum benefits.

References

Thomas A. Gaziano, Asaf Bitton, Shuchi Anand, Shafika Abrahams-Gessel, and Adrianna Murphy(2 Feb 2010) Growing Epidemic of Coronary Heart Disease in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Cardiology Available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/current-problems-in-cardiology/vol/35/issue/2[Accessed 8 June 2020]

Ximing Liu, Junping Wei, Fengsen, Tan Sheng ming Zhou, Gudrun Würthwein, Peter Rohdewald( 2 Jan 2004)Pycnogenol, French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Improves Endothelial Function of Hypertensive Patients, Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14659974/[Accessed 8 June 2020]

Saeed Hosseini, S. Pishnamazi, M.H. Sadrzadeh, F. Farid, R. Farid, Ronald R. Watson( 7 July 2004 ) pycnogenol((R)) in the Management of Asthma, Journal of Medicinal Food Available at https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/10966200152744472[Accessed 8 June 2020]

R Stanislavov, V Nikolova( 30 Nov 2010) Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction with Pycnogenol and L-arginine, Journal of SEX and Marital Therapy, Available at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926230390155104[Accessed 8 June 2020]

FAQs

What is French maritime pine bark good for? ›

Its bark may be helpful for asthma and improved leg circulation. Maritime pine contains chemicals that might improve blood flow, stimulate the immune system, reduce swelling, prevent infections, and have antioxidant effects.

How much pine bark extract should you take a day? ›

Dosing. Doses of pine bark extract have been studied in clinical trials, most commonly at 150 mg per day in 3 divided doses.

Does pine bark raise blood pressure? ›

Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher of the study. "The results of this study demonstrated Pycnogenol®'s ability not only to reduce blood pressure, but also to relieve the kidney damage caused by chronic hypertension."

When do you take French pine bark? ›

When is the best time of day to take this product and what should I take it with? Take 1-2 tablets per day with water or fruit juice 30 minutes before, or between, meals. Avoid taking MASQUELIER's® French Pine Bark Extract with protein-rich foods, such as yogurt or milk as they may reduce efficacy.

Is pine bark good for kidneys? ›

The current data showed a significant increase in the total phenolic content in pine bark extract in compared with the fruit extract. Conclusion: The pine bark and fruit can be useful in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones due to the high diuretic properties and antioxidant activity.

Is French pine bark effective? ›

Clinical studies indicate that PYC is effective in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and retinal micro-hemorrhages. PYC protects against oxidative stress in several cell systems by doubling the intracellular synthesis of anti-oxidative enzymes and by acting as a potent scavenger of free radicals.

Is pine bark good for your heart? ›

At the conclusion of the 12-week study, there was significant decrease of systolic and diastolic pressure as well as a decrease in heart rate in the PycnoQ10® group, compared to marginal improvements in the control group.

What does pine do to your body? ›

Pine is used for upper and lower respiratory tract swelling (inflammation), stuffy nose, hoarseness, common cold, cough or bronchitis, fevers, tendency towards infection, and blood pressure problems. Some people apply pine directly to the skin for mild muscle pain and nerve pain.

How long can you take pine bark extract? ›

According to the National Institutes of Health, it's safe for adults to take 50 to 450 milligrams of pine bark extract daily for up to one year. As a skin cream, it's safe to use for about seven days. As a skin powder, however, you can use it safely for up to six weeks.

Is pine bark good for diabetes? ›

One of these inspiring natural treatments is Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol® is a trademarked supplement derived from the bark of the French Maritime Pine tree, rich in antioxidants called oligomeric procyanidins (or OPCs). Pycnogenol® appears to lower blood glucose and improves diabetic changes to the small blood vessels.

Is pine good for lungs? ›

Pine offers relief in sinus and lung congestion through its stimulating expectorant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory qualities. The fresh, younger needles also contain Vitamin C.

Does pine bark have side effects? ›

Is it safe? No major side-effects have been reported in previous trials, although minor side-effects include stomach upsets and headaches. In theory, pine bark may lower blood pressure and blood sugar level, and these effects have also been reported in some RCTs.

Is pine bark extract good for your eyes? ›

Mirtogenol, the patented combination of Mirtoselect (bilberry extract) and Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) is one of the first nutritional approaches developed to address eye health. In several studies, Pycnogenol has been shown to positively affect eye health by strengthening retinal capillaries.

How long does it take for Pycnogenol to start working? ›

Limited research suggests that pycnogenol, used alone or in combination with L-arginine, might improve sexual function in men with ED. It seems to take up to 3 months of treatment for significant improvement.

Does pine bark increase testosterone? ›

Several studies have shown that pine bark extract when combined with L-arginine, is very effective in increasing testosterone production and improve sexual health in men.

Does pine bark lower cholesterol? ›

Moreover, in addition to its antioxidant effects, PYC significantly reduced LDL-cholesterol levels and increased HDL-cholesterol levels in plasma of two-thirds of the subjects.

How can I keep my kidneys strong? ›

What can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
  1. Make healthy food choices. ...
  2. Make physical activity part of your routine. ...
  3. Aim for a healthy weight. ...
  4. Get enough sleep. ...
  5. Stop smoking. ...
  6. Limit alcohol intake link. ...
  7. Explore stress-reducing activities. ...
  8. Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Does pine bark increase estrogen? ›

In addition, the pine bark extract was associated with a reduction in levels of oxidative stress. “Pycnogenol does not appear to have any phyto-estrogen-like activity and in a study with women suffering endometriosis Pycnogenol was found to have no influence on women's estrogen levels,”​ they added. Authors: S.

Is drinking pine good for you? ›

It is rich in vitamin C (5 times the concentration of vitamin C found in lemons) and can bring relief to conditions such as heart disease, varicose veins, skin complaints and fatigue. Vitamin C is also an immune system booster which means that pine needle tea can help to fight illness and infections.

Is pine good for pain? ›

Pine essential oil is also touted as having anti-inflammatory effects. In theory, such effects could do two things: Ease symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. Alleviate pain from related health conditions, such as arthritis and muscle pain.

Which pine is medicinal? ›

In addition to its prized uses as a building material, and its beauty in the landscape, Eastern White Pine (pinus strobus) is a valuable medicinal plant and even a source of food.

How long does pine stay in your system? ›

How long does pine bark extract stay in your body after you take it? Since the beneficial substances in pine bark extract are water-soluble, they should only stay in your body for 2-3 days.

Is pine bark extract Good for circulation? ›

Pine bark extract helps the body to produce nitric oxide, which improves circulation and relaxes blood vessels to lower blood pressure. Can help with varicose veins: a 2015 study showed that pine bark extract can improve circulation and reduce the swelling of varicose veins.

Which plant is used for controlling diabetes? ›

Ocimum sanctum: (holy basil)

It is commonly known as Tulsi. Since ancient times, this plant is known for its medicinal properties. The aqueous extract of leaves of Ocimum sanctum showed the significant reduction in blood sugar level in both normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats [41].

What plant is used to treat diabetes? ›

Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia) – This particular plant, also known as bitter melon, has attracted considerable interest for its ability to regulate blood sugar (5). Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens) – This is another herb used in alleviating pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

Which tree bark is used for diabetes? ›

Terminalia arjuna bark, an indigenous plant used in ayurvedic medicine in India, primarily as a cardiotonic is also used in treating diabetes, anemia, tumors and hypertension.

What is the healthiest thing for your lungs? ›

Consuming a diet high in nutritious foods and beverages is a smart way to support and protect lung health. Coffee, dark leafy greens, fatty fish, peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, oysters, blueberries, and pumpkin are just some examples of foods and drinks that have been shown to benefit lung function.

Is pine good for inflammation? ›

Pine essential oil is also touted as having anti-inflammatory effects. In theory, such effects could do two things: Ease symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. Alleviate pain from related health conditions, such as arthritis and muscle pain.

Which pine tree has the most health benefits? ›

The pine species most often written about in connection with traditional health is the Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Does pine bark extract lower blood pressure? ›

After two and three months of Pycnogenol treatment at 150 milligrams per day, the researchers found that all four groups had increased blood flow and reduced blood pressure.

Is pine bark good for glaucoma? ›

Four-week supplementation with French maritime pine bark/bilberry fruit extracts can further reduce intraocular pressure even in Japanese patients with controlled primary open-angle glaucoma.

Should I use Pycnogenol in the morning or night? ›

How do you use pycnogenol in a skincare routine? Dr Tillo recommends finding a serum containing pycnogenol and using it before heavier creams such as moisturiser and SPF. "I would recommend using it once a day, in the morning," he says.

Does Pycnogenol affect sleep? ›

Pycnogenol was found to be especially effective for improving vasomotor and insomnia/sleep problem symptoms, which were significantly better after 4 and 12 weeks than with placebo (p < 0.05).

When is the best time of day to take Pycnogenol? ›

Pescatore generally recommends taking 100 mg of Pycnogenol daily with a meal to prevent stomach upset. Higher dosages may be beneficial in some situations. These are dosages used in studies of various conditions: Skin health: 100 mg daily.

What plant produces the most testosterone? ›

It was confirmed that Pinus species are a rich source of testosterone since it was further detected in P. tabulaeformis and P. bungeana and in the reproductive organs of other plant species, including ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) and lily (Lilium davidii) [57].

Does masturbating reduce testosterone? ›

No. Masturbation and ejaculation haven't been shown to have any long-term or negative effects on testosterone levels, also known as T levels.

Which herb is best for testosterone booster? ›

The main findings of this review indicate that 2 herbal extracts, fenugreek seed extracts and ashwagandha root and root/leaf extracts, have positive effects on testosterone concentrations in men. Also, some evidence exists for another herb and herbal extract, Asian red ginseng and forskohlii root extract.

Is French maritime pine bark extract the same as Pycnogenol? ›

Pycnogenol(®), a herbal dietary supplement derived from French maritime pine bark extract, is standardised to contain 70% procyanidin which is a powerful antioxidant. Pycnogenol(®) is marketed as a supplement for preventing or treating a wide range of chronic conditions.

Is pine bark good for all plants? ›

Any organic mulch benefits soil and plants by retaining moisture, protecting plants from extreme cold or heat, and preventing the spread of soil-borne diseases. This is true of pine bark mulch as well. Pine bark mulch is especially beneficial to acid-loving garden plants.

Is pine bark good fertilizer? ›

Pine bark is more acid (lower pH) than other mulches, which is very beneficial for most landscape plants. It also uses less nitrogen to decompose, so less fertilizer is needed to keep plants healthy. A few years ago we discovered pine fines, “the Cadillac of mulches”.

Does pine bark supplement side effects? ›

No major side-effects have been reported in previous trials, although minor side-effects include stomach upsets and headaches. In theory, pine bark may lower blood pressure and blood sugar level, and these effects have also been reported in some RCTs.

Does Pycnogenol cause liver damage? ›

Although it has positive effects in both the treatment and control of cancer, it also has several side effects. The most well-known side effect is nephrotoxicity, which can cause severe liver damage and result in kidney failure [7].

How long does it take Pycnogenol to work? ›

Pycnogenol seems to help with asthma and allergies. Early research shows that taking it at least 5 weeks before the start of allergy season seems to lessen symptoms.

Can you survive eating pine bark? ›

While most tree barks are safe to eat, two that are easier to identify are pine and birch. The inner bark of all birch and pine trees is nutritious and perfect as emergency food.

What are the disadvantages of bark? ›

They will draw more nitrogen from the soil and that can damage your plants. Bark mulches add acidity to the soil and can disrupt the pH balance. Make sure you choose the right mulch for your plants before you add it to your soil.

Is pine bark toxic? ›

White pine is generally considered to taste the best, and you should avoid Norfolk Island Pine, Ponderosa Pines, and Yew trees as these can be toxic. Once you've found a safe tree to eat, you need to properly harvest and cook pine bark, so it's fit to eat.

What is the pH of pine bark? ›

pH of Pine Bark

Pine bark should have a natural pH between 4.0 and 5.0, ideal for blueberries.

What is pine bark made of? ›

Pine bark is made from pine tree's shredded barks. Even evergreen tree bark is also added to this mulch. Some of the mulching material is obtained from the pine tree logs, and rest is the small pieces collected by the screening of pine nuggets.

Will pine bark stop weeds? ›

Both types of mulch can help deter the growth and spread of weeds. Bark mulches can do this naturally.

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