Multiple recent studies reveal that an ancient remedy’s healing properties are now backed up by significant modern research.
New research from the Jamia Hamdard’s Faculty of Pharmacy in New Delhi has confirmed that the ancient Ayurvedic and Nepalese remedy referred to as Bhadradaru and Salla come not only with thousands of years of clinical use, but now is backed up by science.
Himalayan Pinus roxburghii pine bark has many healing benefits
The herbal remedy is derived from the resin from the bark of the of Pinus roxburghii tree – a tree that is indigenous to the Himalayan region, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the hills of Southern India. The tree has many relatives around the world as well.
Now the ability of resin from Pinus roxburghii and other pine resins to fight infection and inflammatory conditions is being confirmed in research.
Pine resins derivatives have been shown to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, E. faecalis and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The resin has also shown antifungal activity against Mucor racemosus, Syncephalastrum racemosum and Rhizopus stolonifer. These are yeasts that can wreak havoc with infections.
Methanol extracts of P. roxburghii were found to have wound healing effects as well.
Other research finds Pinus roxburghii kills cancer cells
Recent animal research found P. roxburghii improved cognition, and stimulated glutathione within the frontal cortex and hippocampus.
P. roxburghii has a number of constituents. A study from the University of Alabama isolated 81 compounds and identified 78 of them. These included sesquiterpenes such as caryophyllene and humulene, and terpinenol, terpineol and carene. This and other research has isolated pinene, limonene, phellandrene, dipentene, carinene, azulene, borneol, longifolene, cadinene along with multiple sesquiterpenes within pine bark and pine needle extracts.
This study from the University of Alabama also found that P. roxburghii killed breast cancer cells, and displayed antifungal activity against the toxic Aspergillus niger fungus – which causes black mold.
Researchers from India’s Kurukshetra University found that P. roxburghii leaf extract had significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects in their laboratory studies.
Pine bark resins have been used with success for thousands of years
Pine resin has been used for thousands of years in many cultures of the world. Native Americans utilized pine resin for treating inflammation and rheumatism, and for treating skin wounds and burns. Spruce pine resin was used by American colonists to remedy coughs and colds. Tuberculosis and influenza were also treated with pine resin for centuries. In Chinese medicine, pine resin has been sued for treating abscesses.
One particular type of pine bark extract – this from the French maritime pine – has undergone significant study over the past decade. These studies – using either Pycnogenol or Flavangenol (registered trademarks for Pinus pinaster bark extract) – have illustrated pine bark extracts’ tremendous health effects.
These health effects found in clinical studies of these pine bark extracts have included improvements in epithelial-vascular function (blood vessel health) – including chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, venous ulcers and hemorrhoids), improvement of perimenopausal symptoms, asthma, photoaging and other inflammation-related conditions.
These studies and others illustrate that the effects of P. roxburghii and other pine bark resins discovered by traditional cultures and now by modern science were not imaginary. In fact, they provide the best type of clinical study – the application of the remedy within the randomization and double-blind elements of nature and indigenous cultures.
Pycnogenol Pine Bark Extract
Shuaib M, Ali M, Ahamad J, Jaquvi KJ, Ahmad MI. Pharmacognosy of Pinus roxburghii: A review. Jnl Pharmac Phytochem. 2013. 2(1);8192.
Tewari H; Vivekanand. Removal of heavy metals from industrial effluent using Pinus roxburghii leaves as biosorbent: equilibrium modelling. Water Sci Technol. 2013;67(9):1894-900. doi: 10.2166/wst.2013.034.
Chaudhary AK, Ahmad S, Mazumder A. Cognitive enhancement after administration of Pinus roxburghii Sarg. and Cedrus deodara Loud. with demonstrated antioxidant properties. J Nat Med. 2013 May 5.
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Furumura M, Sato N, Kusaba N, Takagaki K, Nakayama J. Oral administration of French maritime pine bark extract (Flavangenol(®)) improves clinical symptoms in photoaged facial skin. Clin Interv Aging. 2012;7:275-86. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S33165.
Schoonees A, Visser J, Musekiwa A, Volmink J. Pycnogenol® (extract of French maritime pine bark) for the treatment of chronic disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Apr 18;4:CD008294. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008294.pub4.
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Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.