What herbal remedies show promise for treating the different kinds of prostate problems?

In benign prostatic hyperplasia, many traditional plant extracts and herbal therapies are used worldwide for treatment of voiding or urinary symptoms that arise because of an enlarged prostate gland. The best studies and the best data are on two particular compounds.

One of them is an extract from the berry of Serenoa repens, the saw palmetto. Saw palmetto grows wild and it's now cultivated in the southeastern United States for this purpose. The other compound we believe has some proven efficacy is extracted from the inner bark of Pygeum africanum, an African tree. We believe these two compounds are probably the ones most worth studying for this particular type of prostate health.

As far as prostatitis is concerned, we are investigating three potentially important compounds. One of them, quercetin, is a natural bioflavinoid found in grape seed. The second compound is a bee pollen extract from rye grass that is processed by the bee; we're looking at the pollen extract. The third compound we're using, again, is saw palmetto, or Serenoa repens, and we're looking at its effect in prostatic inflammation.

There are four compounds that may help prevent prostate cancer. One of them is vitamin E, which is not an herbal compound. Another is a mineral, selenium, that is found in food and soil. Again, it's not a herbal remedy. And then there are soy products, and lycopenes, another product from tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits. Lycopenes are released in cooked tomato products. Those are the compounds we're looking at for prostate cancer, or others are looking at and we have an interest in.

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