I love the story of how Pycnogenol was discovered. Supposedly King Francis of France commissioned Jacques Cartier to explore the New World in 1535. Cartier's ship became trapped near what is now Quebec. His crew became very ill with scurvy and about one fourth of them died. The local natives came to their rescue brewing them this tea made of needles and bark of the Canadian pine trees. All the sailors were well within days. It is reported that the Cree, the Anishinabeg, the Ojibwe, the Pottawatomie and the Ottawa all used this tea for its healing purposes.
The studies that I came across that looked at Pycnogenol and ADHD were all positive studies. That is, they all yielded improved results. The results, however, were in the order of 10 to 20 percent improvement in hyperactivity and inattention. If you compare this to the 80 percent improvement that you get with a stimulant, Pycnogenol is hardly worth the effort.
If you are going the natural route then Pycnogenol may be worth getting. No one is exactly sure how it helps cognitive function but that is not too surprising. We are only now figuring out the complex interactions and functions of the brain's hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. You need to be careful to buy the extract of the French maritime pine. There is another supplement called pycnogenol that is not made of French maritime bark but is sold under the same name. The true French maritime pine product also sometime comes with grape seed oil and other combinations. The combinations have not been proven to add any benefit as far as I could tell from reading the scientific literature.
Amazon has this product. This is straight French maritime pine extract. The correct dose is 1 mg per Kg of body weight which translates to roughly 1/2 mg per pound. If you weigh 150 lbs, you take 75 mg of Pyconogenol. It is considered safe. If you get it in capsule form it will not hurt you to take 100 mg instead of 75 mg.
Medline Plus, the National Institutes of Health Medical Library gives Pycnogenol a 'C' rating and reports that more studies are necessary. Regarding side effects they report; “Pycnogenol® is generally reported as being well tolerated. Because of its astringent taste and occasional minor stomach discomfort, it may be best to take Pycnogenol® with or after meals. To date, no serious adverse effects have been reported".
The supplement is not terribly cheap but if you are trying out natural products, it is worth a try. Let me know if it helps you. I am going to add it to my arsenal. I will let you know how it goes.