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Egyptians consumed grapes at least 6,000 years ago, and several ancient Greek philosophers praised the healing power of grapes, almost always in the form of wine. Folk healers in europe developed an ointment from the sap of grapevines to cure skin and eye diseases. Grape leaves were used to stop bleeding, inflammation, and pain, such as the kind brought on by hemorrhoids. Unripe grapes were used to treat sore throats and dried grapes (raisins) were used to heal consumption, constipation, and thirst. The round, ripe, sweet grapes, were used to treat a range of health problems including cancer, cholera, smallpox, nausea, eye infections, and skin, kidney, and liver diseases.
But as science is now discovering most if not all of grapes healing properties may come from the seeds themselves.
Among the beneficial effects, the active compounds in grape seed are believed to have antioxidant properties. Recent studies of healthy volunteers found that supplementation with grape seed extract substantially increased levels of antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants are substances that destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals are damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA (genetic material), and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, smoke, certain prescription and non-prescription drugs, and air pollution) can cause an increase the number of these dangerous particles. Free radicals are believed to contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants found in grape seeds can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Grape seed can be used by anyone looking to help or improve his/her health.
Grape seed extracts are typically used as capsules or tablets usually containing 50 mg or 100 mg, or as a liquid to add drops to water and/or other drinks. Always follow the manufactures recommended dosage when taking and supplement unless in structed by your doctor or physican utherwise.
The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) reports that oral administration of grape seed extract was well tolerated in people over 8 weeks of a clinical trial. In one completed clinical trial, grape seed extract did not alleviate the hardening of breast tissue in female patients undergoing radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.
Other NCCAM advisories
Due to the action of proanthocyanidins on limiting platelet adhesion, grape seed extract may increase the clotting time of blood. Consult your doctor before use if on any medication!
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