A friend I had given some active B12s to returned the favour, since he himself is always looking for something that will make his mind sharper. He gave me something that is in Taiwan known as Pycnomax. A tablet has 20mg of pycnogenol (a fancy name for the extract of bark from pine trees in France) and 500mg of L-arginine. It also costs a fair amount of money in Taiwan – around 100USD for 90 tablets.
I searched the Internet and did not find anything that indicated pycnogenol actually made any difference in brain function (though it often seems to be combined with substances that do, like CoQ10). However, I did find claims that it reduced redness from sunburn. Given that I gave myself a nice sunburn over the weekend from hiking, I thought I would try the tablets given to me to see if they had any effect.
They did! In concert with the olive oil I had already been spreading on my skin, the redness reduced significantly. Now my skin is still burnt, but it looks more tan than red. The olive oil only made it softer, it did not reduce the redness.
For your information, the main reason most people would take pycnogenol is to reduce joint pain. It seems to be very effective for people who have undergone various operations. Since I didn’t have any particular pain beyond the sunburn, I haven’t had an opportunity to test the claims about pain.
Good for my friend, I have found where I can order it for much less and at greater strength from overseas. Even with the insane customs charges on health supplements here.