Pycnogenol in chronic venous insufficiency

Fitoterapia. 2000 Jun;71(3):236-44. doi: 10.1016/s0367-326x(99)00164-1.


Forty patients with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and varices of the legs were selected and double-blindly randomly assigned to a treatment with Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract), 100 mg x 3/day or a placebo for 2 months, according to a double-blind experimental design. The effects of the treatment were evaluated by scoring the symptomatology with a semi-quantitative scale, and the venous blood flow by means of a hand-held Doppler ultrasound. The tolerability was evaluated by recording the adverse effects and by means of hematology and blood chemistry parameters, before and at the end of the treatment. Pycnogenol treatment induced a significant reduction in subcutaneous edema as well as heaviness and pain in the legs, on both after 30 and 60 days, the evaluation time periods. Approximately 60% of patients treated with Pycnogenol(R) experienced a complete disappearance of edema (the most rapidly disappearing symptom) and pain at the end of the treatment, while almost all the patients reported a reduction in leg heaviness which disappeared in approximately 33% of patients. These changes were statistically significant. No effect was observed in the placebo-treated subjects. No effect on the venous blood flow was observed in either of the experimental groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Insufficiency / drug therapy*


  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • pycnogenols