BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERTROPHY (BPH)
BPH is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland. The main symptoms are urinary frequency and urgency, sometimes with discomfort. Sufferers often have to get up several times during the night to visit the toilet. They may have difficulty starting to urinate, and there is often poor urine flow, dribbling, and a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Before embarking on any treatment plan it is very important to be examined by your GP in order to rule out malignancy. All men over the age of 50 are advised to have regular check-ups.
In cases of BPH, the herb Saw Palmetto helps to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This substance is known to stimulate cells in the prostate gland to multiply, thereby resulting in enlargement of the gland. Nettle root (not to be confused with nettle leaf) may help to increase urinary flow and reduce urine retention and discomfort. Both these herbs have been subject to clinical trials and their benefits are well documented.
Zinc is required for a healthy prostate, and it too inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Good dietary sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, shellfish, wholegrain flour, brewer’s yeast and fenugreek seeds. For those with an inadequate intake of dietary zinc a zinc supplement may be of value.
Those who suffer from BPH are more prone to urinary tract infections due to retention of urine. Buchu has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action and also helps aid the flow of urine. Drink at least two litres of water or herbal teas such as dandelion leaf, horsetail or nettle leaf every day to ensure that your kidneys and bladder are regularly flushed out.
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NB. I am prohibited from giving specific medical advice to individuals over the internet or telephone so please do not waste your time or mine by emailing or calling me with detailed information about your health problems - I can only undertake face-to-face consultations for what should be obvious reasons. Diagnoses cannot be made remotely, and I am unable to offer any advice or treatment until I am completely satisfied that I know what I'm dealing with! The herb profiles and treatment suggestions on this website will help enable you to choose which herbs might be appropriate for minor ailments. For more serious or chronic conditions you should seek professional advice. This is particularly important if you are taking medication from your doctor or pharmacist, as some herbs can interact adversely with other drugs. If you would like to have a consultation with a medical herbalist then you should click here then scroll to 'Professional Organisations' at the bottom of the page to find a qualified practitioner in your area.
Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH
Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK
Last updated 3rd March 2013 ©Purple Sage Botanicals