For centuries, grapes, or vitis vinifera, have been hailed for their medicinal value. The Egyptians of 6,000 years ago included grapes as part of their diet. Ancient Greek philosophers even praised the fruit for its healing power.
In Europe, grapes have been used as traditional treatment for eye and skin diseases. Folk healers have been known to create ointments out of grapevine saps to cure infections. Today, the fruits, along with the seeds, leaves and sap, are used to remedy a wide range of health problems.
Grapes are native to Asia, but were later shipped to Europe and North America. They are fruiting berries of the genus Vitis. Their leaves are large and jagged and the fruits range in color from red, purple, and to green.
Who Can Benefit from It
The antioxidant effects of grapes come from the substance flavonoid, which is known for lowering bad cholesterol. Antioxidants destroy free radicals that cause damage to the DNA. Red grapes contain the most antioxidants compared to the purple and white varieties.
Grape leaves, on the other hand, are used for heavy menstrual bleeding and canker sores. They have astringent effects and can reduce inflammation.
Grape seeds are byproducts of wine manufacturing. Ground-up red wine seeds are commonly bought from wineries for their extracts. Although fairly new to the US market, grape seed extracts have quickly become popular dietary supplements to many, either in liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Grape seed oil is highly concentrated in Vitamin E and linoleic acid.
A great deal of research on the therapeutic properties of grape seed extracts has been conducted over the years. Primary benefits include treating poor circulation, healing wounds and nerve damage. Other health paybacks encompass:
- reducing swelling after an injury or surgery
- curing wounds
- protecting the blood vessels
- improving bone strength
- regulating blood pressure
Some studies also point out the positive effect of grape seed extract to complications brought by diabetes. They have also found that it may prevent growth of cancer cells and reduce the risk of developing cancer of the breast, lung, and prostate. It is also sometimes suggested for treating Alzheimer’s disease and hemorrhoids, improving night vision and combatting aging.
Although the FDA has not yet evaluated grape seed extract for safety and effectiveness, a lot of people have testified to its healing properties. From being a powerful antioxidant, to supplemental cure for heart problems, diabetes, and cancer, the benefits from grapes could fill a long list.