For centuries, grapes, or vitis vinifera, have been hailed for their medicinal uses and benefits. 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.
General Medicinal Uses of the Grape Vine
The antioxidant effects of grapes come from the substance flavonoid, which is known for lowering bad cholesterol. The specific antioxidant compound in grapeseed extract us called oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC).
Antioxidants destroy free radicals that cause damage to the DNA. Red grapes contain the most antioxidants compared to the purple and white varieties.
The phenolic substances in grape seed extract are very antiviral and antibacterial.
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.
Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract
A great deal of research on the therapeutic properties of grape seed extract has been conducted over the years.
Primary benefits include treating poor circulation, healing wounds and nerve damage. Other holistic health uses 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 combating aging.
As more scientific studies and clinical trials are being done we’re beginning to send benefits that extend to testosterone enhancement, weight loss, hair loss and more. The reviews are pretty amazing.
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 including diastolic heart failure, diabetes, and cancer, the benefits from grapes could fill a long list.
There is growing evidence of its efficacy for weight loss and skin.
Follow dosage information on the liquid tea or tincture or dried extract powder capsules product label. You can find herbal supplements and essential oil at Walmart, Amazon, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, etc. Please do more research to understand potential side effects and contraindications.
Is grape seed extract and resveratrol the same thing?
No. While they both come from grapes, resveratrol comes specifically from the skins of grapes used to make red wines. And while both components have similar activity in the body, they are different and have different medicinal uses and benefits.
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