Pine bark extract is one of the newest ingredients taken with Essiac to boost its healthful qualities. Originally made out of rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark and burdock root, this dietary supplement is now currently being modified to meet the nutritional requirements of different users.
Pine bark extract is harvested from the maritime pine tree, which is said to contain naturally occurring proanthocyanidins. Purported to have antioxidant properties, they are currently packaged as capsules and sold at varying strengths. Mediterranean pine pretty much equal grape seeds as a natural source, with the added bonus of accessibility and sustainability. See, maritime pine is a widely cultivated plant life in the western and southwestern Mediterranean region, extending over to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Otherwise known as Turkish pine, they stand 20 to 35 meters tall with trunks that have a diameter of 3.3 to 6.6 feet. The bark is characterized to be thick, flaky, deeply fissured and orange-red. And its leaves are stout and long, commonly paired and bluish-green in color.
Prior to being used for wellness reasons, the Mediterranean pine was solely applied for carpentry and was one of the popular timber in the area. It was also regarded as an ornamental tree because of its interesting shape. But in 1951, French researcher Jacques Masquelier discovered accounts of an explorer named Jacques Cartier who was able to reverse vitamin C deficiency among his men with a Native American tea made out of tree bark. He studied this claim and came across European coastal pine trees that produced significant amounts of proanthocyanidins, catechins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids – substances which would later be found in natural supplements processed from grape seeds and garlic, to name a few.
Clinical trials for the actual effects of pine bark extract are still on-going and speculations on its positive impact on circulation disorders have…