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Grapes have been considered to be a good source of nutrients for thousands of years. In addition, other parts of the plant have been used to treat a variety of conditions including using the leaves to stop bleeding, vine sap to treat skin and eye diseases, and dried grapes (raisins) for constipation and thirst.
Why grape seed is used
Grapes have long been recognized as a source of strong antioxidants. Antioxidants work in the body to protect cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are particles that are made when the body digests food. Free radicals can also come from outside factors such as tobacco smoke. Free radicals are harmful to the body because they damage cells and may be involved in the development of heart disease, cancer, and other medical conditions. Antioxidants work to trap free radicals which prevents them from causing damage to cells.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not analyzed or approved grape seed, other scientific studies show that taking grape seed can boost antioxidant levels in the body. Grape seed may be beneficial in treating these conditions:
• Chronic venous insufficiency – Poor circulation in the legs causes blood to pool in the legs which can cause pain, swelling, and varicose veins. Grape seed may help reduce these symptoms.
• Edema – Grape seed may help reduce swelling in body tissues that is caused by surgery or an injury.
• High cholesterol – Although testing is not complete, some early studies suggest that grape seed might be beneficial at lowering cholesterol levels.
• High blood pressure – Antioxidants are known to help protect blood vessels from damage. This implies that grape seed may help reduce high blood pressure. Studies are needed to prove that this is true.
• Cancer – Studies show that grape seed can help prevent the growth of certain cancers inside test tubes in the lab. Human testing is needed to see if this same benefit takes place in the human body.
How grape seed is used
Grape seed supplements are made from the seeds of grapes.