The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland, which is a part of the male reproductive system, which wraps around the urethra. The main function of this gland is to add fluid that carries the sperm to the semen. The prostate has two phases of growth. It is during the first phase, during the teenage years, when its size doubles. It keeps on growing for the rest of a man’s life after 25 years of age. An enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or the BPH, is a common problem among men. The enlarged prostrate clamps down the urethra which affects the urine flow from the bladder. If one suffers from nighttime urination (nocturia), frequent urination, urinary hesitation, weaker urine stream, urinary tract infections, or having trouble in emptying the bladder completely, they may be diagnosed with BPH. There are different types of treatments available for treating an enlarged prostate. Some popular herbal treatments for treating enlarged prostate are as follows:
One of the most popular herbal treatments for enlarged prostate is the use of saw palmetto. There are several studies that indicate that saw palmetto helps reduce the size of the inner lining of the prostate by inhibiting the production of testosterone.
African Plum Extract or Pygeum
The African plum extract has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the urogenital tract because of the high amount of alcohols, fatty acids, and sterols such as the beta-sitosterol. Studies show that having around 100–200 mg of pygeum extract daily or splitting it into half and consuming it twice a day helps in reducing BPH symptoms.
Zishen Yutai Pill or the ZYP
The ZYP is an ancient Chinese mixture of three plants dating back to the 13th century. This is one of the herbal treatments for prostate enlargement that is still being studied for its effectiveness. Research has shown that the Zishen formula can help reduce the occurrence of BPH. However, more studies are being conducted for the same.
Most of the pharmaceutical supplements that are used for the BPH treatments have rye-grass pollen. Using supplements made from rye-grass pollen is one of the effective herbal treatments for prostate enlargement. Even though this has shown effectiveness in shrinking the prostate, there has not been any large-scale study of the same.
This is a species of palm tree commonly seen in Brazil. Many Brazilian tribal communities use the dried and the ground kernels from the tree to treat the symptoms of urogenital problems. The oil from the babassu nuts has also exhibited effectiveness in the production of testosterone. The other parts of the nuts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics.
Another effective herbal treatment for prostate enlargement involves consuming around 10g of pumpkin seed extract daily. Beta-sitosterol, a compound similar to cholesterol, has been found in the pumpkin seeds. Beta-sitosterol helps in improving the urine flow. It also helps in reducing the amount of urine left in the bladder.
Like in the case of pygeum and saw palmetto, stinging nettle also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that are very effective in the treatment of an enlarged prostate. Sometimes, the nettle roots are combined with saw palmetto and are then used.
This natural pigment found in most of the fruits and vegetables has been found to be one of the most effective herbal treatments for prostate enlargement. It helps in slowing the progression of BPH. The lycopene content is higher if the fruit or vegetable is deep pink in color. This antioxidant is found mostly in tomatoes, papaya, watermelon, guava, grapefruit, apricots, red bell pepper, and red cabbage.
BPH is likely to increase if the chronic zinc deficiency in your body increases. Intake of dietary zinc or zinc supplements will help in reducing the urine-related symptoms associated with the BPH. Poultry, seeds, nuts, and seafood are some of the sources of zinc.
Catechins are antioxidants found in green tea that have shown positive results in the treatment of an enlarged prostate. Green tea also contains caffeine that stimulates the bladder and increases the urge to urinate, which can potentially have a negative effect on BHP symptoms.
Keep in mind that one may have an enlarged prostate without experiencing any BPH symptoms, whereas some others might experience advanced urinary problems without the enlargement of the prostate. Therefore, it is better to consult a doctor if you seem to have any of these symptoms. Moreover, it is recommended to follow the above mentioned herbal treatments for an enlarged prostate after consulting a doctor. Even though this is not a life-threatening disease, it is always better to improve your prostate health, and thereby enhance your urinary health through natural treatments.