The prostate is a genital organ subjected to the emergence of benign and malignant tumors. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an augmentation of the prostate and is a widely spread urological disease characterized by males aged over 50 years. Among BPH symptoms are frequent urination, obstruction of urinary stream, loss of bladder control, and bladder stones. The causes of the disease are unclear, as BPH can be transferred genetically or can root from other illnesses, hormone balance, and lack of exercise. The conventional treatment is mainly applied to treating benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Researches say that treatment includes medical therapy, surgery, or a-blockers that may cause adverse side effects as hypertension and dizziness (Park E. et al., 2018, p.1). Moreover, elderly patients are more susceptible to negative side effects. Even though traditional remedies are mainly applied to the process of treatment, many doctors prescribe herbal supplements to reduce the symptoms of BPH.
L. L., a 67-year-old male, was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Therefore, he encountered problems connected with urinating. Currently, the patient is on Cozaar 100mg for hypertension, and his blood pressure is well controlled. He does not take any medications prescribed by his doctor, but he is willing to use herbal supplements before taking medicine.
Recommendations for Herbal Treatment
The usage of alternative medicine for treating BPH has proved to be efficient for slowing down hyperplasic processes. However, it may be used as an additional component for healing as it does not provide complete recovery from the disease. Here are the herbal ingredients that doctors recommend:
Keehn A. & Lowe FC (2015) suggest they saw palmetto for relieving BHP symptoms as it suppresses the production of testosterone, meliorates urinary function, decreases the sizes of the prostate, and boosts libido and fertility. Saw palmetto could be used in combination with other medications, but there are some minor side effects like gastrointestinal problems (if not taken with a meal) or headaches. According to Novara, G. et al. (2016), the extract of saw palmetto allows improving urinary flow if taken daily in a dose of 320mg for six months.
Pygeum Africanism has been used for treating problems of the urinary tract since ancient times. This supplement helps with emptying a bladder and provides antioxidant effects. Therefore, consuming 100 or 200 mg pygeum daily or splitting this dose twice may reduce the symptoms within a 6-8 weeks cycle. However, it also causes an upset stomach, gastric pain, and diarrhea.
Some use cernilton, which is made from ryegrass pollen and proves to mitigate the symptoms of BPH and reduce the size of the prostate. The adverse effects are nausea, stomach swelling, and heartburn. The prescription says to take 126mg of a rye-pollen supplement orally three times a day.
Undoubtedly, seeing a doctor before taking any remedy is a necessary procedure. Phytotherapy does not exclude visiting a specialist, as taking the wrong medication may worsen the situation. Even though herbal supplements are widely used, the dosage and precise preparation should be prescribed. Phytotherapy aims to fasten circulation; hence, it affects the acceleration of the blood flow. Thus, in the case of L. L. consuming herbal preparations may affect the cardiovascular system, even though the patient’s blood pressure is under control. Moreover, there are not many types of research that proved the efficacy of the phytotherapeutic agents, so conventional medicine should not be in decline.
Keehn A., Lowe FC (2015). Complementary and alternative medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Canadian Journal of Urology, 22(1), 18-23.
Novara, G., Giannarini, G., Alcaraz, A., Cózar-Olmo, J.-M., Descazeaud, A., Montorsi, F., & Ficarra, V. (2016). Efficacy and safety of hexanoic lipidosterolic extract of Serenoa repens (permission) in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Urology Focus, 2(5), 553–561.
Park, E., Lee, M.-Y., Jeon, W.-Y., Seo, C.-S., You, S., & Shin, H.-K. (2018). Panjang-San, a traditional herbal medicine, attenuates benign prostatic hyperplasia in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 218, 109–115.