If you have ever wondered, "What herbs can I take for prostate health?" the answer is simple. There are several herbal remedies that should help keep you and your prostate in good condition. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you have, and tell your doctor about herbal remedies and supplements you are taking.
About Your Prostate
The prostate is located between the bladder and urethra and is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate's function is to send semen out of the penis during ejaculation. Part of the fluid secreted from the semen has a substance that helps neutralize the vagina's acidity and helps the spermatozoa better reach the egg for fertilization.
There are several disorders that may affect the prostate including prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate caused by a bacteria infection and may also cause intermittent urinary tract infections. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate from cysts that form and cause not only an increased need to urinate but may also cause bladder stones. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is almost always seen in men over age 50 and is thought to be caused by high concentrations of testosterone in the prostate due to poor drainage. Prostate cancer is typically a slow growing cancer that forms in the prostate and can cause painful urination, erectile dysfunction, and if left untreated may lead to death.
What Herbs Can I Take for Prostate Health
Fortunately there are several herbs recommended to help with keeping the prostate healthy. Most of these are readily available at vitamin or supplement retailers and some are even sold in grocery stores.
- Serenoa repens, or the Saw Palmetto berry, is indigenous to North America and grows primarily in the southern states. The small black berries are harvested and manufactured into an oral supplement. In studies noted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, Saw Palmetto berries are used to help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia by reducing inflammation. The Saw Palmetto berry contains the ingredients caproic, lauric, and palmitic which are also thought to increase sperm production, inhibit the growth of cysts in the prostate, and improve urinary flow.
- Curcurbia pepo, or pumpkin seeds, contain an extract that is thought to aid urinary function. Since many prostate disorders affect the urinary tract, taking pumpkin seed extract may help prostate function.
- Pygeum africanum is a tree indigenous to Africa and an extract of the bark is used to treat an enlarged prostate. The ingredients in Pygeum africanum include beta-sitosterol, triterpenes, and ferulic acids and work by reducing the urge to frequently urinate and may also help reduce cysts from benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Flaxseed help increase prostate health by reducing the concentration of testosterone in the prostate. Flaxseed contains fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans. In addition to reducing the concentration of testosterone, lignan may also help reduce enlarged prostates which in turn improves urinary function and reduces pain.
- Green tea, which is consumed often by Asian men, is thought to be one of the reasons Asians have less instance of prostate cancer than men in the Western world. One of the components of green tea is catechin which has been shown to neutralize cancerous cells and reduce further damage.