At this time, there seems to be enough reliable, scientific evidence to say that Pycnogenol probably works for treating asthma, chronic venous insufficiency, high blood pressure, and retinopathy. It also seems to slightly improve athletic performance.
For treating asthma, Pycnogenol (when used in conjunction with the usual asthma medications) may improve breathing, decrease asthma symptoms, and decrease the need for "rescue inhaler" use in children. However, it should not be used as the only asthma treatment, as it cannot provide the fast relief that is often needed in emergency situations. Make sure to include your child's healthcare provider in your plans to use Pycnogenol for asthma. Your child's healthcare provider can monitor your child's progress and may also be interested to see how the product works for your child.
For treating chronic venous insufficiency, Pycnogenol seems to reduce the symptoms of leg pain, leg heaviness, and swelling of the legs.
For treating retinopathy, Pycnogenol may help to slow down (or even stop) further damage to the retina. For some people, this could mean an improvement in vision. Because retinopathy is a serious condition that can result in blindness, make sure to tell your healthcare provider about your plans to use Pycnogenol. He or she can monitor your progress and may recommend more conventional treatments, especially if Pycnogenol doesn't seem to be helping.
Does Pycnogenol Work for Other Uses?
There is early evidence that Pycnogenol may work for numerous other uses. However, more studies -- especially larger and more carefully designed studies -- are necessary before Pycnogenol should be recommended for these uses. If you choose to use it for these uses, be sure to include your healthcare provider in your plans. He or she can help you monitor your progress and can help you decide when more conventional treatments are necessary.
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