Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Difference Between Grape Seed Extract & Pycnogenol? Benefits of Vitamin B-6?

Q: What is the difference between Grape Seed Extract and Pycnogenol?

A: Both of these are rich sources of flavonoids, antioxidants which protect against free radicals that damage cells and tissues. It is obvious where grape seed extract comes from, but what about Pycnogenol? It is a registered brand made from French Maritime pine bark. As you probably know, flavonoids occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. Both of these herbal products seem to ease the symptoms of inflammatory diseases and help relieve allergies. Grape Seed extracts offer cardio-protective benefits that are associated with red wine. If you are someone that does not always eat the recommended five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, you might want to think about taking one of these extracts.

Q: What are the benefits of Vitamin B-6?

A: B-6, aka Pyridoxine, is one of the most beneficial and utilized vitamins in the body. It affects both physical and mental health. It can reverse symptoms of edema, lower homocysteine levels, and helps improve complications associated with diabetes. It is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid and the absorption of fats and proteins. It also helps balance sodium and potassium levels and promotes red blood cell formation. It is needed for normal brain function and required by the nervous system. It helps with depression because B-6 is needed to produce neurotransmitters, namely serotonin. Studies have been done on carpal tunnel syndrome and they have shown great improvement in those that suffer from this condition. Vitamin B-6 is important for health maintenance and has therapeutic value as well. Consult with your health care provider on proper dosage if you are dealing with a health issue.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.