Medically reviewed on Jun 7, 2018
What is Maritime Pine?
P. pinaster Aiton (previously named Pinus maritima Mill.) and P. radiata are medium-sized pines growing up to 30 m tall with bright red-brown, deeply fissured bark. They have stout needles occurring in clusters, and produce oval cones 10 to 20 cm long. The tree is native to the western and southwestern Mediterranean regions but has rapidly naturalized to other countries, including the US, England, South Africa, and Australia. The largest man-made forest in the world, the 900,000 hectare Les Landes on the Atlantic coast of southwestern France is populated almost entirely by P. pinaster.
Pinus pinaster Aiton and Pinus radiata
Maritime pine extract, Monterey pine extract, pine bark extract, Enzogenol, Pycnogenol
What is it used for?
In 1535, a French explorer is said to have used tea made from the bark of the maritime pine to treat scurvy among his sailors when his ship became icebound. The extract has been used for anemia, inflammation, and heart/blood vessel conditions. Pine bark has been used as a food source in emergencies. Pine bark extract is available without a prescription in US health food stores and pharmacies, as well as from online sources.
Pine bark extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions and has been studied for a wide range of ailments, including asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, long-term blood flow problems, heart/blood vessel conditions, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction. However, many clinical studies have been small and poorly designed.
What is the recommended dosage?
Doses of pine bark extract have been studied in clinical trials, most commonly at 150 mg per day in 3 divided doses.
Contraindications have not been identified.
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.
None well documented.
Pine bark extract is generally well tolerated, with minor stomach discomfort, dizziness, nausea, and headache sometimes reported.
Pine bark extract is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), based on data from animal studies and clinical trials; however, few studies test safety as a main outcome.