Grape Vine - Very Useful Herb for Health

Grape Vine

Vitis vinifera Vitaceae


For thousands cf years the grape vine has provided fruit, wine and herbal medication. It bears clusters of sweet-smelling pale green flowers followed by bunches if grapesJjruits which contain .four seeds. Its leaves turn fiery red in autumn.


Parts used

  • Leaves and grape seed
  • The leaves and seeds are collected when the grapes ripen in autumn.
  • The precise moment for harvesting the leaves is determined chemically in order to maximise the amount of active constituents.
  • The leaves are air-dried away from sunlight and used to make iniusions, powders (for capsules), tinctures and extracts.
  • The seeds are separated from the grape and used to make extracts.

CAUTIONS

No toxicity or side effects have been recorded to date, even after prolonged use.


Constituents

The leaves are rich in anthocyanins pigments that give them their autumn colour and their capacity to strengthen blood 'Jessels. Ine'j also contain organic acids, sugars and vitamins A, B1' B2 and C as well as tannins that have anti-inflammatory properties. Both leaves and seeds contain antioxidants that may offer protection against certain cancers and heart disease.


Medicinal uses

Studies have confirmed that vine constituents benefit the circulatory system. in 1994, Italian researchers showed that vine anthocyanins prevented free radical damage to tiny blood capillaries. Grape seed extract is one of the richest sources of antioxidant proanthocyanidins. Vine may help to erase marks and spots beneath the skin caused by capillary bleeding - a condition known medically as purpura.


Clinical trials in Milan in 1999 also confirmed that anthocyan ins are good for treating chronic (long-term) vein weakness. Vine is thus an appropriate treatment for oedema heaviness and swelling in the lower legs. It is also prescribed for piles.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT vascular disorders, haemorrhoids, blood marks under the skin
INFUSION Add 2g dried leaves to a cup 01 'Doi\ing \Noi.~L Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.Take 1-3 cups a day.GRAPE SEED CAPSULES Take 30-100mg a day.
UQU\D EXIRA.c.i lo\<.~ 3()m\ liquid extract a day (providing 50mg grape seed extract).


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Other therapeutic uses include the treatment of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels.


Herbalists may also recommend grape vine for heavy periods, some Liver and urinary complaints. diarrhoea and as a digestive aid.


Grape seed is used externally to treat eye inflammation. It is also an expectorant and can soothe coughs.


Cultivation

Vines can be grown on a warm, south-facing wall or in a greenhouse or conservatory. They do best on shaly clay soils.



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