A recent study has added another use for the well-recognized anti-inflammatory extract pycnogenol from pine bark. This study of 170 perimenopausal women between 42 and 58 years of age in Taiwan found that pycnogenol in a 60 mg daily dosage significantly reduced the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and tiredness compared to a placebo. Pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin like grape seed extract. These potent antioxidants have many clinical uses as pain relievers and anti-aging supplements. One other study has also identified pycnogenol as an aid to these menopausal symptoms.
These studies allow us to add pycnogenol to the other well-recognized herbal supplements that help relieve menopausal discomfort (black cohosh, rhapontic rhubarb). Other treatments including progesterone cream and Chinese herbal formulas that support Kidney yin will round out the holistic treatment of the perimenopausal years.
Kohama T and Negami M, Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 2013;58:39-46.