Saw Palmetto and Pumpkin Seed – Relieving prostate woes
Attention all men! Have you silently suffered from the following symptoms?
- Had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after urinating?
- Had to urinate again in less than two hours after the previous urination?
- Found it difficult to postpone urination?
- Had a weak urinary stream?
- Had to strain to begin urination?
- Frequent night urination?
If you have experienced or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate. BPH is an extremely common condition in ageing men. Half of all men over 50 develop BPH. By the age of 85, it would affect approximately 90 per cent of the male population. As a man ages, the level of testosterone in the body declines and the enzyme 5-alpha reductase also converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. An excess of dihydrotestosterone is believed to be one of the primary causes of prostate enlargement.
While drugs and surgery may become unavoidable for men with severe BPH, others have found solace in natural herbs. Saw Palmetto is one of the well-regarded herbs, used primarily to relieve symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. The medicinal part of the Saw Palmetto plant is the ripe berries. Quite a number of clinical trials have been done on Saw Palmetto berries and the results indicate that this herb is as effective as the standard drug used for prostate enlargement, finasteride, in the treatment of prostate enlargement.
Another herb of value is Pumpkin seed. This herb has been long been used by naturopathic physicians in treating prostate disorders. The efficacy of pumpkin seeds is thought to be due to its high content of essential fatty acids, zinc and plant sterols.
As both saw palmetto and pumpkin seed benefit prostate health, taking these herbs at the same time may provide synergistic effects. In 2009, a study conducted in Korea over 12 months on 47 BPH patients showed that men who took a combination of saw palmetto and pumpkin seed experience significant positive effects as early as 12 weeks into the treatment, with no adverse side effects.
- Heeok Hong, Chun-Soo Kim and Sungho Maeng (2009) Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutrition Research and Practice 3(4), 323-327.