More than 50 million Americans will suffer tinnitus in their lifetime. This hearing condition causes the constant misperception of sound, including hissing, ringing and rushing noises. A new study has found that an extract of pine tree — commercially known as “Pycnogenol” — is effective in relieving tinnitus symptoms by improving blood flow in the inner ear.
Tinnitus is a frustrating and even debilitating condition that can take a toll on your quality of life. Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause. The new study has uncovered a potentially great natural way to clear it up.
Researchers took 82 patients between the ages of 35 and 55 with mild-to-moderate tinnitus in only one ear and studied them for one month. Tinnitus in all was caused by restricted blood supply to the inner ear.
Patients were divided into three groups: A; B; and control. Group A consisted of 24 patients who took 150 mg/day of pine bark extract. Group B had 34 patients who took 100 mg/day. The control group had 24 patients who didn’t take pine bark.
At the beginning of the study, blood flow levels indicated that patients had insufficient blood reaching the ear. Researchers found that, after four weeks of treatment with pine bark, inner ear blood flow velocities to the affected ear rose quite significantly. The results show that the herbal agent improved circulation and reduced tinnitus — and could even suggest pine bark extract as a possible treatment for the condition.
The study also looked in detail at how pine bark affected symptoms of tinnitus. Patients rated their symptoms from 0 (low intensity of symptoms) to 15 (constant and severe symptoms). Before the study, pine bark takers rated an average of 8.8. After the study, these people rated an average of 5.2 in the lower-dose group and 3.3 in the higher-dose group.
This demonstrated a dramatic reduction of the disturbing background noise in the affected ear. Researchers say their study clearly shows that Pycnogenol could improve vascular function and relieve the severity of tinnitus symptoms. If you are searching for help with this frustrating condition, ask your doctor if pine bark is worth a shot.