Prostate is a small gland specific to men, located beneath the urinary bladder and wrapped around the urethra. The healthy human prostate is slightly larger than a walnut and, although it is called a gland, since it is made of two lobes completely surrounded by an outer tissue layer, the term ‘organ’ is more fitting description. The prostate gland serves to usher urine through the body in a tube called the urethra. The prostate’s main role is to produce an essential portion of the seminal fluid which protects, enriches and carries sperm. This walnut-shaped gland located just below a man’s bladder starts to kick in near puberty and continues to grow. This enlargement doesn’t usually cause symptoms until after age 40, and it usually doesn’t cause problems until age 60 or later. Most men over the age of 60 (and some in their 50s) develop some symptoms of prostate problems. The three most common disorders are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate; prostatitis, an inflammatory infection; and prostate cancer.
What is BHP (Benign prostatic hyperplasia)?
BHP is the result of the natural aging process. As men age, their prostate continues to grow in response to the male hormone testosterone. Eventually, the prostate becomes so large that it squeezes the urethra and inhibits urination. Pressure from the enlarged prostate can also affect bladder control. It is associated with a frequent and urgent need to urinate, the inability to start a stream of urine, leaking from the penis and difficulty in stopping urine flow. An enlarged prostate is problematic because it presses on the urethra, creating difficulties with urination and weakening the bladder. Some of the symptoms of prostate problems include:
Lower back and thigh pain
Frequent urination, especially at night
Difficulty starting the urinary stream
An inability to empty the bladder, urine retention
Burning with urination and a discharge from the penis
Pain behind the scrotum
What is Prostatitis?
Prostatitis is often caused by a bacterial infection. The presence of bacteria triggers the body’s defences and may lead to significant inflammation. Recurrent bacterial prostatitis may indicate an abnormality in the prostate that allows the bacteria to repeatedly cause infections. Symptoms of acute prostatitis include fever and chills, groin pain, pain on urination, and difficulty initiating a stream of urine. Urine analysis shows bacteria and white blood cells in the urine. Prostatitis also presents in a chronic form where the symptoms are milder but prolonged. Typically, men with chronic prostatitis experience lower back pain, groin discomfort, mild pain on urination, and, sometimes, difficulty urinating. Occasionally, the infection may spread from the prostate to the bladder, causing typical bladder infection symptoms, such as burning, urinary urgency, and frequent urination.
What is Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is almost as prevalent as lung cancer and is quickly becoming the number-one cancer killer of men. Prostate cancer is linked to excess testosterone, which is believed to increase with a high-fat diet.
Herbal Remedies for Prostate Problems
Ignoring prostate problems, will not be a smart idea. Left untreated, prostate problems can get progressively worse, become more painful, and can lead to dangerous complications, including bladder and kidney infections. Changes in diet can help relieve some prostate discomforts and, in some cases, may reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer. To avoid prostate issues, individuals should partake in diets that are low in fat, especially saturated fat. Instead, persons should seek to eat complex carbohydrates such as organic fruits and vegetables, raw juices, and whole grains. Nuts and seeds may also be beneficial.
Treatment may involve antibiotics, medications to shrink or relax the prostate or bladder, soaking in a warm tub of water and frequent ejaculation. The goal is to avoid reaching the point of urinary retention, where one can’t urinate at all. Sometimes men may take antibiotics for a long period of time without any true benefit. In fact, many of these conditions are not infections but simply muscle spasms involving the prostate and surrounding tissue. This is a condition called prostatosis or prostadynia. Treatment for this includes muscle relaxants and warm baths. Hytrin or Cardura, typically used for high blood pressure are also muscle relaxants and have been shown to be successful. These days, however, flowmax or uroxitrol are more often prescribed.
There are many clinically proven natural herbal remedies that have been shown to promote prostate health in a natural manner without harmful side effects. In Europe and many other countries, natural remedies are widely prescribed even by conventional doctors to treat prostate conditions as well as promote prostate health in a preventative manner. High doses of vitamin C, selenium, copper, and magnesium help bodies fight off prostate cancer. Many cancer patients use intravenous dosages of vitamin C to provide the help they need to fight off cancer.
Pumpkin seeds were used by German doctors to treat difficult urination that accompanies an enlarged prostate that is not cancerous. The seeds contain diuretic properties and plenty of zinc, which helps repair and build the immune system. The tastiest way to enjoy pumpkin seeds is to eat them plain. Remove the shells and don’t add salt. You can also try a tea. Crush a handful of fresh seeds and place in the bottom of a 1-pint jar. Fill with boiling water. Let cool to room temperature. Strain and drink a pint of pumpkin seed tea a day.
Saw palmetto. The extract of the berries of this plant has been shown to work as well or better than prescription drugs in improving urinary flow rates and reducing the symptoms of BPH, such as urinary hesitancy and weak flow. The extract works by altering certain hormone levels, thus reducing prostate enlargement. Palmetto extracts can be purchased at the health food store. Consult your physician for recommended dosages.
Vitamin C: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some doctors recommend vitamin C for the prostatitis. Vitamin C may hinder the growth of E. Coli, a bacteria that causes prostatitis. The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that vitamin C may also delay progression of some cancers. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, kiwi fruit, oranges, broccoli and green peppers. The body cannot store vitamin C, so it must be obtained daily by eating a varied diet or taking a vitamin C supplement.
Corn silk. The silk from corn has been used by Amish men for generations as a remedy for the symptoms of prostate enlargement. When fresh corn is in season, cut the silk from 6 ears of corn. (Corn silk can be dried for later use, too.) Put in 1 quart water, boil, and simmer for ten minutes. Strain and drink a cup. Drink 3 cups a week.
Fish. From the deep comes a way to fight prostate cancer and tumor growth. Try to get 2 servings a week of fish high in omega-3 oils (the good oil), such as tuna, mackerel, or salmon.
Soy. Using soy foods is an easy and good way to help nip prostate problems in the bud. Soy-based foods contain phytoestrogens, which are thought to help reduce testosterone production, which is believed to aggravate prostate cancer growth. The phytoestrogens are believed to limit the growth of blood capillaries that form around tumors of the prostate.
Tomatoes. Add more tomatoes to your diet. Studies have shown that as little as 2 servings of tomatoes (including cooked tomatoes) a week can help men reduce their risk of prostate cancer by half. These red orbs are full of lycopene, an antioxidant compound that helps fight cancer. Also it helps in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Lycopene: Men who consume lycopene-rich foods are less likely to get prostate cancer, states biochemist Laurence Johnston, Ph.D. Some examples of lycopene-rich foods are tomatoes, guava and watermelon. Lycopene is available as a nutritional supplement. It not only prevents prostate cancer but also may reduce tumor size. Fresh fruit contains natural sugar that protects prostate cells against cancer. A Harvard Medical School study found that high fruit intake was related to a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. Lycopene is the substance responsible for the red color of tomatoes and other fruits. It is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Watermelon seeds. The Amish use watermelon tea to flush out the system and help with bladder problems and prostate problems. Enjoy a slice of watermelon and spit the seeds in a cup. When you have 1/8 cup fresh watermelon seeds, put them in a 1-pint jar and fill with boiling water. Let the tea cool, strain, and drink. Drink 1 pint of tea every day for ten days.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Stinging nettle has been used in Europe for more than a decade, and studies have shown it to reduce symptoms of prostate problems. Nettle helps by inhibiting binding of testosterone-related proteins to their receptor sites on prostate cell membranes. Take stinging nettle in extract form (as capsules). Check with your physician for the correct dosage.
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen African tree that can work to reduce edema and prevent painful urination. Pygeum contains a lot of phytosterols, which prevent the synthesis of prostaglandins, the substance responsible for prostate inflammation.
Some herbs help when the body is producing too much testosterone, including Siberian ginseng, wintergreen, and hydrangea root.
Essaic or Essiac Tea, marketed as Flor Essence, is a blend of herbs promoted as an alternative treatment for cancer and other illnesses. As with many alternative remedies, the exact composition of essiac is unclear, but it reportedly contains burdock, Indian rhubarb, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark. Some formulations may also contain watercress, blessed thistle, red clover, and kelp.
Willow Herb (Epilobium parviflorum): There are several species of willow herb with medicinal properties used for various conditions, including prostate problems. Small flowered willow herb is the best known due to the work of German healer and author, Maria Treben, who recommended it for prostate growths and infections. Willow herb consists of the stem, leaves and flowers of the plant and is considered to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, according to “Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices of Herbal Medicine.”
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) is a purple coneflower bush common to the prairies of the western United States. The flowers and roots of Echinacea can be consumed as an herbal infusion and are known to boost the immune system. According to “The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs,” echinacea simulates the synthesis of white blood cells such as lymphocytes, which can seek out and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses that can infect the prostate, causing prostatitis.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a perennial herb also native to North America. Goldenseal root was traditionally used as an external antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, although it can be ground along with its leaves to make an herbal infusion. Goldenseal is often used with other herbs to boost their medicinal effects, although it is considered a strong antiviral on its own. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of prostatitis, although sexually transmitted viruses are thought to cause up to 20 percent of cases, according to “Professional Guide to Diseases.”
Bee pollen has been shown to reduce an enlarged prostate. It is a good natural remedy. Dose of 15gr of pollen or one full spoon of it is recommended three times per day everyday: once in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that rye grass pollen may alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia including urinary urge and frequency. Writing on the health information website netdoctor.co.uk, urologic surgeon Mr. John McFarlane notes that while herbal remedies are generally not recommended for prostate problems, there is some evidence to support the use of rye grass pollen extract. RxList.com recommends 126mg of rye grass pollen extract three times daily to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Propolis extract also, should be good natural cure for prostate problems. Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.
Green Tea: Green tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. According to the scientific researches, green tea can significantly slow the process of prostate cancer. The constituent of green tea called polifenon E can noticeably helps in the reduction of markers which help in monitoring of development of prostate cancer. For example, patients who took the capsules of polifenon E during one month, had, after that period of time, 30% less key markers than at the beginning. To achieve this effect, researchers recommend to drink 12 cups of concentration of green tea per day.
Small milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is excellent natural remedy for every type of inflammation of prostate and cancer. By using this natural cure, it is possible to ease and remove symptoms of ill prostate and avoid the operation. If the surgical operation is inevitable, tea made of milkweed will ease pricking and help in overall recovery of patient. This tea can be prepared in the usual way: one small spoon of milkweed is a measure for one cup of tea. It is recommended to keep prepared tea for 5 minutes, intact. The tea needs to be taken only twice a day: once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening (half an hour before dinner).
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon): It is a matter of scientific research that cranberry as a natural cure has anti-cancer effect. The tea made of cranberry can be used in prevention and treating of all types of bacteria in urinary tract. Also, it is good in prevention against cancer of prostate.
The tea of Bearberry (bear grape) (Uva ursi) is widely-known because of its good effects in case of enlarged prostate and problems with each urinary organ. It has antiseptic, diuretic, and tonic properties that help benefit both prostate cancer and prostatic hypertrophy by healing the bladder, kidneys, and urinary tract.
Sabal serrulata: Hypoxis rooperi and Sabal serrulata are also well known for improving prostate health, supporting the immune system and guarding against urinary tract infections.
Seeds of Sunflower, cucumber, flax and sesame also have a beneficial effect in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.
Apple, sweet lime, mango, melon, pear, orange etc. are good to have in prostate condition.
Pure unsweetened cranberry juice is also beneficial to prevent urinary infections associated with enlarged prostate in some men. Pomegranate juice has cancer-inhibiting antioxidants.
Other fruits, like blueberries and cantaloupe, and vegetables such as broccoli are cancer-fighters.
The amino acids alanine, glutamic acid, and glycine can reduce prostate gland swelling.
Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory substances in the spice turmeric may be helpful for prostatitis.
Take part in some form of physical exercise everyday – even a quick stroll around the block when you get home.
Soak in a warm bath or hot tub for 20 minutes (maximum) two or three times per day. The heat of the water will penetrate the prostate to reduce swelling and promote healing. (Don’t exceed 20 minutes at a time, as this can lead to sperm motility problems and possible infertility.)
Relax, or learn to relax if you don’t know how through meditation, relaxation techniques and calming music.
If frequency is a problem – try retraining the bladder by holding on for as long as you can each time before passing urine. The bladder muscle can be trained to expand more in this way. Eventually, the bladder may be trained to hold on for longer each time before you need to go to the toilet.
Get up and urinate as soon as you feel the first night-time urge. Wait approximately a minute or two and try to urinate again. If you get a fair amount out, repeat this one more time.
Avoid prolonged sitting. A man sits on his prostate. If the onset of symptoms coincides with physical activity such as biking, or increased sitting, your routine should be changed.
Avoid antihistamines and other over-the-counter decongestants and cold remedies.
Limit your intake of fatty foods and red meats.
Watch your alcohol intake. Studies have shown that beer can raise prolactin levels in the body, which in turn can eventually lead to prostate enlargement.
For night-time frequency drink as little fluid as possible after 6 PM.
It is important to avoid caffeine-containing liquids (tea, coffee, fizzy colas). At the very least, don’t drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages after dinner.
Have safe intercourse frequently. Ejaculation will remove prostatic fluid and shrink the prostate.
Category: HERBAL REMEDIES