Prostate enlargement or BPH is a problem that affects half of males by the age of 50. BPH is caused by an accumulation of a chemical that comes from converting testosterone to dihydrotesterone (DHT). Excess DHT can be caused by many things, including lack of zinc, lack of vitamin B6, lack of essential fatty acids, toxic chemicals like cadmium and pesticides, parasites and bacteria. BPH causes many symptoms including pain, inflammation, swelling, urinary issues and impotence. If you have considered treating your prostate with herbs, the following ten herbs are the most popular.
1. Saw Palmetto – Serenoa repens
Saw palmetto is a berry from a common tree. It is the most popular and well researched herb used to treat the prostate. Some say it works better than the typical prescription drugs used to treat the condition. Saw palmetto contains beta sisterol, which interferes with DHT conversion by stopping the prostate tissues from using testosterone. Taking this herb shrinks the prostate and relieves urinary problems. In addition, it is known to increase sperm production. Unfortunately, saw palmetto tastes terrible, so it must be taken in diluted form when using the liquid. It also comes in capsules or tablets.
2. Red Clover
Red Clover is a member of the pea family. This herb contains antioxidants that fight cancer by inhibiting DHT formation in the prostate. Red Clover comes in capsules and tea.
3. Echinacea –
Echinacea treats irritation and inflammation of the prostate. It is an immune system stimulant that can also treat infections. Echinacea comes in many forms. You can get it in capsules, tea, gummies and candy drops.
4. Pygeum – P. africanum
Pygeum reduces prostate swelling nad accompanying urinary problems. This herb reduces the bad effects of testosterone. It comes in pill or liquid form. Unfortunately, the availability of this herb is threatened because of the demand for the tree bark. Pygeum comes in capsules with saw palmetto.
5. Nettle leaves – urtica dioica
Nettle leaves are a diuretic herb that treat inflammation. This herb works by inhibiting an enzyme that processes the hormones in the prostate. Nettle leaves come in tea or capsules.
6. Evening primrose – Oenothera biennis
Evening Primrose Oil is also known as EPO. This herb contains gamma linoleic acid, which is known to reduce inflammation of the prostate. Evening primrose oil comes in softgel capsules.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds encourage GLA or gamma linoleic acid production. This substance reduces inflammation of the prostate and relieves urinary symptoms. Pumpkin seeds are known to contain an unusual amino acid, cucurbitin. Pumpkin seeds come dry roasted and can be found at health food stores, grocery stores and whole foods stores. Sometimes they are mixed with other seeds, such as flax seeds.
8. Flax seed Oil
Flax seed oil encourages GLA production, which reduces inflammation of the prostate. Flax seed oil can be taken daily in small doses to get relief. Flax seed oil comes in liquid form, gel capsules and whole seeds. It is recommended to crush the seeds to get the most benefit of the oil.
Rosemary is an herb that can be used for soaking in a sitz bath to encourage pelvic circulation. Rosemary oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can be applied topically to relieve symptoms. Rosemary oil can be found in drugstores, the health and beauty supply section of health food stores and at beauty supply stores.
10. Wild Yam Root
Wild yams have relaxing properties which calm the muscles and help relieve urinary blockages. Wild yam root comes in capsules.
The herbs listed above have been used to treat problems with the prostate. These herbs are easy to find in most local drugstores and online retailers. In addition to using herbs for prostate problems, you can also take zinc and vitamin B6 supplements. Also, you can increase consumption of lycopene, a carotenoid found in cooked tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon. This substance contains antioxidants and prevents inflammation and cancer. Finally, you can eat broccoli, which prevents cancers like prostate cancer.