Herb of the Month: Grape Seed (Vitis Vinifera)

Author: Angelique Bone   Date Posted:1 May 2019 

Grapes and grape leaves have a long history of use in Greece to help promote health. In the 1970’s, Grape seed extract was developed, ¹ and it is now one of the main sources or oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds. ²

 

One of the main functions Grape Seed is commonly used for is as an antioxidant. It is able to scavenge free-radicals, preventing damage to cells, and this effect has been shown to be stronger than that of Vitamins C and E. It also seems to help the amount of vitamin E which is lost through the neutralization of free radicals. ²

 

Grape seed also helps to improve blood flow and assists poor circulation, aiding in the relief of cold hands and feet.³ Evidence also supports the use of this herb to help reduce fluid retention in women who get this symptoms pre-menstrually.² It also has a strengthening effect on capillary walls and can support minor wound healing, due to grape seed containing compounds which assist with the cross-linking of collagen fibres. ²

 

 

Since Grape Seed has a strong antioxidant effect, and also exerts an anti-inflammatory effect, it seems reasonable that it would also be of benefit in supporting heart health. A Meta-Analysis of controlled trials found that Grapeseed did indeed offer some support for a healthy heart, though further trials would be beneficial. ⁴

 

Grapeseed is available as a single ingredient supplement or it can also be found in combination antioxidant formulas. Some women’s multivitamins also contain grapeseed for added health benefits.

 

References:

2. Braun, L & Cohen, M. 2015, “Herbs and Natural Supplements – 4th Edition” Chapter: Grapeseed Extract, pp. 503 – 510, Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood, NSW, Australia

4. Feringa HHH; Laskey DA; Dickson JE et al. 2011, “The effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular risk markers: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”, Vol. 111(8), pp. 1173 – 1181. [

 

Written by Angelique Bone

Angelique (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a passion for herbal medicine and helping other people feel the best that they can. She believes that balance and moderation is important in maintaining good health.

Angelique enjoys reading, spending time with her family and baking goodies with her two young boys.


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