French Maritime Pine Tree Extract Found Effective in Hemorrhoids

Aastha Kapoor   by Aastha Kapoor, MS, Biotechnology    Last updated on November 24, 2020,

A Research Study

A study published in one of the Phytotherapy Research journal issues reveals that Pycnogenol is beneficial for patients suffering from hemorrhoids. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant plant extract obtained from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It has vital anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties, which can be used for the treatment of acute and chronic hemorrhoid patients. It also prevents the occurrence of a new hemorrhoidal attack.

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse estimates that about half of the United States population will have hemorrhoids by the age of 50.  Most doctors prescribe over-the-counter remedies to treat hemorrhoids. Patients do not report their symptoms until they experience an acute hemorrhoidal attack, which causes severe distress and excessive bleeding to the patient. 

Professor Peter Rohdewald states that topical medications, lifestyle changes, and vigilant hygiene practices are needed for most patients to control their hemorrhoid symptoms.

This study analyzes topical and oral Pycnogenol treatment to reduce the intensity and duration of hemorrhoidal pain and bleeding in patients.  It also reduces the number of medical procedures and hospital admissions that usually occur in severe cases of hemorrhoids.

Read About Over the Counter Hemorrhoid Treatment


G D'Annunzio University, Italy, conducted a randomized, controlled study. They investigated 84 patients suffering from an acute episode of external hemorrhoids 24 - 48 hours before the study. The most commonly observed symptoms were hemorrhoidal bleedings, severe perineal pain, and intravascular thrombus. These symptoms were evaluated during the study period of two weeks. 

All patients were randomly allocated to one of three different treatment groups, which included:

Group 1- They were provided with an initial dose of 300 mg of Pycnogenol tablets daily for four days, and then followed by a 150 mg tablet for three days.

Group 2- They were given the same treatment as Group 1, plus 0.5% Pycnogenol topical cream was applied on their hemorrhoidal tissue.

Group 3- This group was given placebo treatment. During the hemorrhoidal attacks, symptoms were assessed, and the duration of peak pain was observed and recorded. The signs and symptoms were recorded from its initiation till the departure of severe, debilitating pain in patients.

They measured the results by monitoring the following parameters:

  • They studied variation in patients' signs and symptoms, such as bleeding severity, acute intravascular thrombus, severe perineal pain, and tenderness.
  • They studied certain quality of life parameters, such as impairment in walking, standing, sitting, embarrassment, or social withdrawal.
  • They analyzed the duration of peak pain time.
  • They studied the cost associated with the loss of working days.

Read About Hemorrhoid Pillow, Hemorrhoid Cushion and Hemorrhoid Pads

Observations and Results

The following observations and results were drawn as follows:

  • The complications of hemorrhoids were completely absent in the Pycnogenol group of patients after seven days, whereas in the placebo group, the complications continued for the next two weeks. 
  • Results for quality of life parameters confirmed a significant improvement in their social functions for those taking Pycnogenol tablets orally along with the application of topical Pycnogenol.
  • Results also confirmed a significant reduction in peak pain duration in the combined oral plus topical Pycnogenol group of patients.
  • They observed a decrease in the number of lost working days and a significant decrease in the recurrence of complications and overall treatment costs, usually employed in the following months, for both Pycnogenol group of patients.

The scientist concluded a significant decrease in acute peri-anal pain using a grading scale ranging from 0 to maximum 4.

  • An average 3.2 measure at baseline to 0.8 in Group 1
  • An average 3.3 measure at baseline to 0.3 in Group 2
  • An average 3.4 measure at baseline to 1.2 in Group 3

The scores progressively decreased in all groups under study during the two-week observation period. Higher decreases in symptoms were observed in Pycnogenol groups as compared to the control group. This showed the efficacy of Pycnogenol molecule in relieving signs and symptoms of acute external hemorrhoids in patients.

Through his study, Professor Rohdewald concludes that Pycnogenol is an effective, natural solution to control troubling symptoms of hemorrhoids. It also contributes to relieving hemorrhoidal attacks and offer pain relief to patients. Our study suggests that Pycnogenol will help with all the major symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Pycnogenol dietary supplements are readily available in your nearby health food stores, grocery stores, or any Internet platform.  A topical formula specifically used for treating hemorrhoids is in the development phase. Further studies using Pycnogenol are in progress, which investigates preventative effects for new hemorrhoidal attacks and better management of hemorrhoids.

Aastha Kapoor

Aastha Kapoor is a biotechnologist who loves to work for the human field and, at the same time, explore biotechnology. She pursued Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University, Noida, and has worked as a Research Trainee at the School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Aastha has worked as a Senior Research Associate at Maxinov Solutions.

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