Grape Seed (Vitis Vinifera)

2014

Medical Uses

Grape seed extract is used as an antioxidant and for circulatory problems, varicose veins, sports injuries, and vision problems.

Historical Uses

Grapes have been eaten and consumed in wines for centuries. Grape seed extract was patented in 1970.

Growth

Wild grapes grow in warm regions of the northern hemisphere, South Africa, and South America.

Part Used

• Seed (red grape, crushed)

Major Chemical Compounds

• Essential fatty acids

• Vitamin E

• Procyanidins (antioxidant chemicals)

Flavonoids

Grape Seed: Clinical Uses

Grape seed extract is used as an antioxidant and for circulatory problems, varicose veins, sports injuries, and vision problems. It may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis.

Mechanism of Action

Grape seed extract protects against free radicals, which results in its antioxidant effects. Procyanidins strengthen blood vessels. A beneficial effect of grape seed proanthocyanidins is the chemoprevention of cellular damage, although its mechanism is not clearly understood.

Grape Seed: Dosage

Grape seed extract is standardized to 85 to 95 percent procyanidins.

Capsules and tablets: 50 to 100 mg a day for prevention and 150 to 300 mg a day for illness. May take up to 300 mg daily for a maximum of 3 weeks and then decrease to 40 to 80 mg for prevention (Natural Medicines, 2000). Always start with the lowest possible dose.

Side Effects

Grape seed extract may cause mild stomach upset, dizziness, and rash.

Contraindications

• None are known.

Herb-Drug Interactions

Large doses of grape seed should be used cautiously if the patient is taking an anticoagulant.

Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding

No restrictions are known.

Grape Seed: Warnings

• Grape seed may cause mild stomach upset, dizziness, and rash.

• Use grape seed cautiously if you take a blood thinner.