Herbal Meds

Preventing heart disease and cancer with Grape Seed Extract

The use of grapes, grape leaves and grape seeds as herbal supplements are as old as time.

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians realized the value of grapes many thousands of years ago.  Traditional European folk healers used the sap from grapevines to make an ointment to treat skin diseases.  Grape leaves were used to stop bleeding and relieve inflammation.

Researchers today are finding more ways that grapes and grape seeds improve our general health and wellbeing.  

Grape seeds are rich in flavonoids, which are plant substances with powerful anti-oxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage.  Free radical damage occurs when the natural free radicals in your body are increased due to pollution, radiation, smoking and ultraviolet damage.  This can lead to cell damage, premature aging and blood vessel disorders.  Grape seed extract contains PCO's (procyanidolic oligomers), which are believed to have the ability to prevent heart disease and cancer.

Grape seed extract is oil- and water-soluble, meaning that it can penetrate all kinds of cell membranes, making sure that its anti-oxidant properties are released throughout your entire body.  This herbal extract is able to cross the blood-brain barrier protecting brain cells from free radical damage.  Enhancing the overall health of blood vessels, grape seed extract reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

This anti-oxidant strenghens weakened capillaries and increases blood flow to the extremities, making it useful in treating blood circulation disorders such as Raynaud's disease.  People who suffer from any kind of vascular insufficiency will benefit from using grape seed extract as it successfully treats varicose veins, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs and even leg cramps.

As it is able to affect even the tiniest of blood vessels, it also benefits the circulation in the eye.  Health care practitioners recommend grape seed extract to prevent and treat macular degeneration, cataracts and night blindness.  If you are a regular computer user, eyestrain caused by the computer monitor will greatly improve.

Tumors form when there is damage to the genetic material of cells.  Using grape seed extract will help to correct the damage to these cells and will decrease the chances of cancerous tumors forming.  People undergoing chemotherapy can use grape seed extract to minimize the damage caused by this cancer treatment.

Grape seed extract is also recommended to treat connective tissue disorders as it helps to rebuild and preserve collagen in your skin.  It is for this reason that many skin care products today contain extracts of grape seed.  

If you suffer from allergies, grape seed will lessen the severity of the symptoms.  This herbal extract works by inhibiting the release of histamine, which is a compound responsible for allergic reactions such as hay fever or hives.

Women who suffer from endometriosis find relief from pain and inflammation caused by chemicals known as prostaglandins. Grape seed extract blocks the release of prostaglandins, thereby reducing pain and inflammation.

Grape seed oil should not be confused with grape seed extract, but the oil may offer health benefits as well.  A study conducted in New York at the University Health Science Center found that adding two tablespoons of grape seed oil to the subjects' daily diet increased the good cholesterol (HDL) and reduced triglycerides.

Damage to the cardiovascular system in people who smoke is reduced with the use of grape seed extract.  High blood pressure can also be treated with the use of this herbal remedy as it helps to repair damage to blood vessels.

If you have diabetes, grape seed extract can help to regulate your blood sugar levels and also increase vascular function, which is often affected by this disease.

In a recent study it was found that grape seed extract is highly efficient at treating chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), as it reduced the severity and frequency of abdominal pain.

What are the side effects of Grape seed extract?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

No side effects or toxic reactions from the use of grape seed extract have ever been reported.  No known interactions exist between grape seed extract and conventional medicines.  

How do I use Grape seed extract?

Only about 28 percent of grape seed extract's active compounds remain in the body after 24 hours.  It is therefore important to take the herbal supplement at the same time everyday, especially if you are using it to treat a disease.

You can take grape seed supplements with or without food.

For anti-oxidant protection, take 100 mg daily.  To treat disease, take 200 mg daily.  Ensure that you purchase grape seed supplements standardized to contain 92-95 percent procyanidolic oligomers (PCO's).

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