Home Medicinal Plants Red grapevine: Does it help against chronic venous insufficiency?

Red grapevine: Does it help against chronic venous insufficiency?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 180 views

The grapevine has long been used as a fruit plant and for wine production. It also has healing powers: Red vine leaves, for example, are recommended for chronic venous insufficiency. Read more about the grapevine and its medicinal uses!

What healing power is in the grapevine?

The healing powers of the red grapevine (Vitis vinifera var. tinctoria) are in its leaves and fruits, i.e. the grapes with the seeds (pips).

Red grapevine leaves contain flavonoids, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins. On the one hand, the ingredients work against water accumulation in the body (oedema) – also preventively by sealing the walls of the finest blood vessels (capillaries) and thus inhibiting the escape of liquid into the surrounding tissue.

In addition, red vine leaves have an anti-inflammatory effect, can intercept cell-damaging free radicals in the blood (antioxidant effect) and inhibit the clumping of blood platelets and thus the formation of blood clots.

Thanks to positive study results and many years of experience, the internal use of grapevine leaves for symptoms of chronic venous weakness (chronic venous insufficiency, CVI) is medically recognized. These symptoms include swelling, pain and heaviness in the legs, itching and tightness in the calves, and calf cramps. Many patients also develop varicose veins. With the latter as well as with spider veins, the grapevine is also used externally.

Traditionally, the grapevine leaves are used for hemorrhoids to relieve burning and itching in the anal region.

An extract is obtained from the seeds of the grapevine, which is said to have healing powers for a wide variety of complaints and diseases – for example in venous weakness (like the leaves of the grapevine), for wound healing and for the treatment of inflammation.

The most important ingredients include antioxidant compounds such as vitamin E and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). Their possible effectiveness in preventing and treating various diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s is the subject of research.

How is the grapevine used?

To ensure a good effect, take the leaves of the vine in the form of standardized finished medicinal products such as vine capsules or dragees. Dry or liquid extracts of plant parts are used to make the preparations.

For information on the correct application and dosage, please refer to the respective package leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you want to do without ready-made preparations, you can prepare a tea from red grapevine leaves. However, the effectiveness cannot be guaranteed here due to fluctuating amounts of active ingredients.

To prepare the tea, pour around 150 milliliters of boiling water over three to six grams of dried and finely chopped red vine leaves . After 10 to 15 minutes, you can strain the leaves. Drink a cup of vine leaf tea two to three times a day to support vein health. No more than 20 grams of dried grape leaves should be prepared and consumed as tea daily.

For external use, ointments or creams with active ingredients from the grapevine are available. They are said to provide relief for tired and heavy legs.

Grape seed extract is available as a dietary supplement . Your pharmacist will advise you on the correct use.

What side effects can grapevine cause?

Ingesting grapevine leaves can cause skin irritation (itching, rashes, etc.), nausea and other gastrointestinal disorders, as well as headaches. In addition, the urine can turn greenish-brown during ingestion, but this is harmless.

Grape seed extract is generally well tolerated when taken in moderate amounts.

What you should consider when using the grapevine

Adhere to the dosage and duration of use recommended in the package leaflet or by the doctor or pharmacist.

If you have inflamed skin, thrombosis or hardening of the subcutaneous fatty tissue, you should definitely seek medical advice before using red grapevine. This also applies to severe pain, ulcers or swelling of the legs as well as heart or kidney failure.

Discuss the use of grapevine and its products during pregnancy and breastfeeding with the doctor or pharmacist first. There is not enough knowledge about the harmlessness.

Grape seed extract may not be suitable for people who have a blood clotting disorder, are taking anticoagulant medication (such as warfarin or acetylsalicylic acid = ASA) or are about to have an operation.

How to get the grapevine and its products

In your pharmacy or drugstore you will find a wide variety of finished medicinal products based on grapevines. For the correct application, please read the respective leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Grapevine: What is it?

The grapevine or vine (Vitis vinifera) is a woody climber native to the Caucasus. In the meantime, it is cultivated almost worldwide in numerous varieties, especially for wine production.

Grapevines belong to the grapevine family (Vitaceae). They cling to the ground with tendrils and can climb several meters in the air. The heart-hand-shaped, five- to seven-lobed leaves, which are characteristic of vines, grow on the widely branched tendrils.

At the flowering time, numerous small, yellow-green and fragrant flowers grow in dense panicles (“clusters”). After fertilization, either greenish-yellow or red to blue-black fruits develop from them. In the wild form of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris), the fruits are small and sour. In contrast, the various cultivars of the noble grapevine (Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera) carry fleshy and sweet grapes that are used as fruit and for wine production.

The red grapevine (Vitis vinifera var. tinctoria) is used medicinally. This cultivar has red leaves and red berries with red flesh.


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