Thousands of people take flights every single day, sometimes multiple flights in a day to get where they are going. Arguably, the time when most people are getting in planes and traveling is the holiday season. That is a lot of travel, a lot of luggage, several time zones jumped, and a whole lot of jet lag. This is made worse as holiday travel is found to be more stressful than air travel during any other time of year.
There are numerous products that people take for jet lag, but with so much backlash over pharmaceuticals, many people are turning to natural remedies. For those who suffer from jet lag, there may be some hope in a tree that comes from France. There is an extract that has been derived from the cluster pine tree, found around the coastal regions of France, that is supposedly able to reduce the various symptoms of jet lag by a significant margin.
This is according to a study done in Italy that has also been published in an Italian medical journal. The results of the study shows that pycnogenol, the name given to the extract that comes from this pine tree’s bark, has provided massive relief of jet lag symptoms. This includes any brain swelling, headache, insomnia, and exhaustion. The airline passengers studied that took pine bark extract reported less severe symptoms all around. Jet lag, or desynchronosis as it is called in the medical community, is a very real and debilitating condition, the severity of debilitation depending on the individual along with the circumstances of the flight.
This condition has both physical and mental effects on those who suffer from it. It is experienced by thousands of air travelers all over, mostly affecting passengers on intercontinental flights. The cause is the body’s natural timing systems or clock, if you will, becoming disoriented when a person travels through one or more time zones. All of the symptoms from concentration difficulties to grumpiness to insomnia, etc., are a result of the body’s internal clock trying to reset itself and become adjusted to the new time zone.
There have been studies performed before regarding the effects of this extract on jet lag symptoms, but this latest Italian study only studied jet lag sufferers and the effects of pycnogenol on passengers who took it before flights. It is believed that pycnogenol’s effectiveness comes from the antioxidant properties contained within it along with those that supplement blood circulation health.
The study had two groups of passengers who took flights that went over six but less than ten hours in length. One was given pycnogenol while the other group was given nothing. The pine bark extract group was given an oral dosage of 50 mg, starting a couple of days before the flight occurred. Both groups were analyzed with a series of tests of jet lag symptoms during and after the flight. The group that took the pycnogenol reported a far lower percentage of symptoms related to jet lag. This reduction was in overall symptoms, severity, and duration.
Another test was done with two groups of people, again a pycnogenol group and a group that was given nothing. This time, CT scans were performed on the passengers. Again, the group who had taken the pine bark extract had a significantly lower score of symptoms experienced, by more than 50% in fact. The reduction was in overall symptoms experienced, severity, and duration, much the same as the first experiment.