Pygeum (Prunus africana)
Definition: Native to areas of Africa and Madagascar, this evergreen tree has been traditionally used to make a tea for genitourinary disorders. Today, standardized extracts of pygeum are used for prostatic hyperplasia, or for BPH.
Applications: Prostatitis, benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer, incontinence, dysuria, polyuria and nycturia.
Scientific Updates: The phytosterols contained in this herb have anti-inflammatory properties which also inhibit the formation of prostaglandins which are responsible for the swelling in the prostate gland. One of these called betasitosterol has been shown to be helpful in cases of BPH by helping to reduce elevated prostaglandin production. The pentacyclic triterpenoids also work to block enzymatic activity associated with inflammation and swelling in the prostate gland.
Complementary Agents: Saw palmetto, grape seed extract, cruciferous vegetables, isoflavones and vitamin C with bioflavonoids.