Pycnogenol is a compound of natural chemicals. It comes from the bark of a European pine tree.
Pycnogenol is thought to be an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
Pycnogenol is the registered trademark name for a French formula. The active ingredients in pycnogenol can also be extracted from other sources, including peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark.
Concentration, coordination, and endurance do seem to improve when taking schisandra fruit extract.
Another use of schisandra is to attempt to protect the liver from poisons or to treat liver disease (hepatitis). Schisandra extract lowers levels of an enzyme that is a marker for liver damage. It appears to improve liver function in people with hepatitis.
More research is needed to confirm whether products combining schisandra with other herbs are safe and effective.
People also use schisandra to try to maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure, speed recovery after surgery, prevent motion sickness or infection, or improve vision.
Risks. Avoid using schisandra while pregnant. That's because its fruit might stimulate the uterus. Also, don't use it while breastfeeding. There isn't enough evidence to know whether or not it is safe for you and your baby.