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28 Natural Treatments for Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

28 Natural Treatments for Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

Have you been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH? Have you tried over-the-counter, and at-home treatments to alleviate the symptoms? Have you tried prescription medicine as well? Here is my list of 28 natural solutions to BPH.

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After being diagnosed with BPH, I set out to learn about every natural remedy I could find. Below is my master list of that research. I’m by no means attempting to give medical advice, but to forward along the information I compiled in my quest to know more about the subject.

About BPH

The symptoms of BPH can be daunting. They include:

  • Weak urine stream & difficulty starting urination
  • Urinary hesitation and dribbling
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Waking up to urinate at night
  • Straining while urinating
  • Not being able to completely empty the bladder
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder stones
  • Kidney problems

There are prescribed medications to relax the muscles of the bladder and prostate, but these sometimes cause as many problems as they solve. Below is an extensive list of some natural, at-home treatments that some men have claimed to work. If you have tried any natural herbs, vitamins, or supplements to relieve BPH, let me hear from you in the comments below.

Note: The list below is provided for informational purposes only, and is not an attempt to diagnose or cure anything. Please do not self-diagnose, and see your doctor before taking any of these vitamins, minerals, and herbs listed below.

African Wild Potato (Hypoxis rooperi)

  • May help with: This has been shown in a couple of studies to help with urine flow, but it is also believed to interfere with other medications.
  • Also used for: Bladder infections, prostate cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, psoriasis
  • WebMD classification: “Possibly effective” for treating BPH.
  • Contains beta-sitosterol.
  • Can be found on Amazon for about $20.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Apple Cider Vinegar ranks as the most popular remedy by users at Earthclinic.org. 1

Bee Pollen

  • May help with: Reducing inflammation and possible shrink enlarged prostate.
  • Has been used in Europe for decades
  • Take special precaution as it can cause an allergic reaction.

Beta-Sitosterol (African star grass)

  • May help with: Urine flow.
  • Also used for: High cholesterol, heart disease, menopause, sexual enhancement.
  • WebMD classification: “Likely effective” for treating BPH. Is not believed to affect prostate size.
  • Found in saw palmetto, pygeum, and pumpkin seeds, as well as products such as Super Beta Prostate (full review)

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Corn Silk

  • May help with: Relaxing the urinary muscles and lining, which leads to improved urine flow. 2
  • Also used for: Inflammatory conditions of the bladder and kidneys.
  • Suggested dose: 15 drops of corn silk extract in 1 cup of water several times a day. 3
  • This is easy to find for about $7-$15. Check out some of the options here.

Cranberry

  • May help with: There is some evidence that cranberry may improve urinary symptoms and reduce PSA levels.
  • Also used for: Urinary tract infections
  • WebMD classification: “Insufficient evidence” in its effectiveness in treating BPH.

Equisetum (Horsetail)

  • May help with: Reducing swelling of the prostate
  • Suggested dose: 400 to 800mg daily.4
  • Don’t take if you have heart or kidney problems.

Fatty Acids (See pumpkin seeds)

Exercise

  • Inactivity is known to worsen symptoms of BPH. Conversely, some have suggested that exercise may help lessen symptoms.
  • I found that purchasing a FitBit helped keep me focused on exercise on a daily basis.

Garlic

  • May help with: Urinary flow and frequency.
  • Also used for: Cancer prevention, high blood pressure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, infections
  • WebMD classification: “Insufficient evidence” in its effectiveness in treating BPH.

Goldenseal

  • May be used for: Fighting inflammation
  • Also used for: Problems with the bladder and stomach, allergies, and ulcers.

Hydrangea Root

  • In the 1890s a doctor wrote about his success with hydrangea, “Hydrangea would seem to be designed by the Almighty for a resolvent prostatic enlargement, because, under the influence of this remedy, induration gives way, and the products of inflammation are dissolved.” He suggested a dose of 1 tablespoon of hydrangea extract, three times daily.5
  • You can easily find this online for under $10.

Lecithin

  • In her 1968 book on healing herbs, May Bethel claimed that over 20 researchers had found lecithin “as curative of enlarged prostate gland.” 6
  • There appears to be little modern research to determine a link between lecithin and prostate health.

Lycopene

  • This substance, found most commonly in tomatoes, is often cited as helpful in preventing prostate cancer, and some have suggested those protective properties may also be helpful with BPH.

Panax Ginseng

  • May be used for: Reducing prostate swelling.7
  • Also used for: Libido, energy
  • May elevate testosterone, which increases zinc absorption.

Prickly Pear Cactus

  • May be used for:  Urgency, feeling a full bladder
  • Also used for: Diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, hangover, colitis
  • WebMD classification: “Insufficient evidence” in its effectiveness in treating BPH.

Pumpkin / Pumpkin Seed

  • May help with: Urgency
  • Also used for: Kidney infection, bladder infection, intestinal worms.
  • A source of beta-sitosterol, fatty acids, and zinc – all of which are thought to help with BPH.
  • WebMD classification: “Possibly effective” for treating BPH.
  • Suggested dose: A handful of un-roasted seeds per day.8
  • In 1958, a Dr. W. Devrient of Germany claimed to have cured his patients of BPH symptoms by having them consume pumpkin seeds.
  • Native Americans have used pumpkin seeds to treat enlarged prostate for centuries.
  • You can usually find these at a relatively inexpensive price at such grocery outlets as Trader Joe’s or Fresh & Easy.

Pygeum (African plum tree)

  • May help with: Studies have shown some evidence that pygeum has anti-inflammatory properties which allow increased urine flow, nighttime urination, shrinking prostate, and lessening residual volume.
  • Also used for: Prostate cancer, kidney disease, fever, sex drive.
  • WebMD Classification: “Likely effective” for treating BPH.
  • Suggested dose: is 25 to 100mg daily 9 up to 200mg daily 10
  • Rich in phytosterols.
  • It has been suggested that pygeum works well when taken in combination with saw palmetto and stinging nettle.
  • You can find pygeum online for $8-$20.

Red Clover

  • May help with: Some research shows red clover may help nighttime urination.
  • Also used for: Osteoporosis, high cholesterol in women.
  • WebMD Classification: Insufficient evidence in its effectiveness in treating BPH.
  • Suggested Dose: 3 cups of tea per day
  • Does not affect prostate size, PSA, or urine flow.

Rye Grass (Secale cereale)

  • May help with: Frequency, nighttime urination, urgency, dribbling, urine flow.
  • Also used for: Other prostate conditions such as pain or inflammation.
  • WebMD Classification: “Possibly effective” for treating BPH.
  • It isn’t known if rye grass affects prostate size.
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Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

  • May help with: Some studies have shown varying improvement with saw palmetto, while others have shown none. Because this herb is safe to take, it is probably worth it to include in your regimen. Some herbs have shown more improvement when combined with saw palmetto.
  • Also used for: Acne, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, migraines, sex drive, prostate infections.
  • WebMD classification: Despite its popular use for PBH, WebMD lists this as “possibly ineffective” for treating BPH.
  • Not believed to reduce prostate size.
  • One suggested dosage is 160mg twice a day.11
  • Some studies – including a review by the Journal of the American Medical Association – have shown saw palmetto to be as effective as the prescription drug Proscar, but without the side effects.

Sepia

  • May help with: General symptoms of prostate enlargement. 12
  • Also used for: Bladder infection, depression, libido, incontinence, migraines

Slippery Elm Bark

  • “One half teaspoon powdered slippery elm bark mixed with warm water to make a lumpless paste, with one-half glass of warm water, and drunk morning and evening, has been effective in severe agonizing cases of prostate trouble.” 13
  • This is a relatively inexpensive supplement, ranging from $8-$28, found here.

Small Flowered Willow Herb (Epilobium parviflorum)

  • Often taken as a tea or tincture, about 2 cups a day.

Soy

  • There is some evidence that soy consumption may reduce the onset of BPH, however specific studies have not verified this. Soy is a natural source of beta-sitosterol. Also keep in mind that many modern soy products are genetically engineered, which has gained negative press as well. More.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica, also known as simply “Nettle”)

  • May help with: Nighttime urination, frequency. This herb has been used in Europe (especially Germany) for years to treat BPH. Studies have shown varying degrees of improvement of BPH symptoms when taking stinging nettle in conjunction with saw palmetto. It is unknown if stinging nettle alone contributes any improvement.
  • Also used for: Arthritis, hay fever, water retention, osteoarthritis, anemia, asthma, diabetes.
  • WebMD classification: “Insufficient evidence” in its effectiveness in treating BPH.
  • Suggested dose: 300mg daily.
  • It is suggested that Nettle may enhance the effectiveness of saw palmetto, so many people prefer to take these two together.
  • A report in Urology Times (1999; 27(6):1,42) showed that a combination of saw palmetto and nettle root shrunk prostate tissue.
  • Compare Stinging Nettle vendors at Amazon.
  • Further Reading.

Vitamin E

  • Also used for: Acne, Alzheimer’s Disease, angina, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, infections

Warm (Sitz) baths

  • May help with: Temporarily relief of BPH symptoms.
  • Recommended treatment: Soak for 20-60 minutes

Zinc

  • May help with: Shrinking prostate gland.15
  • Also used for: Acne, Alzheimer’s Disease, common cold, burns, male infertility.
  • Suggested dose: 90mg daily, in three 30mg doses, and then only 30mg a day after symptoms subside.14

I was first diagnosed with BPH 4 years ago. Read my initial observations and regimen after the first year. I want to hear from you! What natural remedies have you used to help with your enlarged prostate?

Updated May 8, 2016
Originally published October 2012

Footnotes:

1. Earthclinic. org, Enlarged Prostate Cures, Retrieved 10/7/2012.

2. Khare, C.P. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage (New York: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. 2004) 488.

3. Wilen, Joan and Wilen, Lydia. Healing Remedies: More Than 1,000 Natural Ways to Relieve Common Ailments, from Arthritis and Allergies to Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and Many Others!  (New York: Random House. 2008) 183.

4. Maleskey, Gale. Nature’s Medicines (Rodale Books. 1999) 495

5. Wenzell, John, M.D. “Prostate Gland” The Eclectic medical journal of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, No. 2. (Philadelphia: Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania. 1896) 351.

6. Bethel, May, The Healing Power of Herbs (Beverly Hills: Hal Leighton Printing Co., 1968) 60.

7. Barney, Paul. Doctor’s Guide to Natural Medicine (Pleasant Grove, Utah: Woodland Publishing, Inc. 1998 ), 331.

8. Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems (Rodale Books, 2000) 523.

9. Gottlieb, 521.

10. Barney, 331.

11. Gottlieb, 520.

12. Stengler, Mark, N.D. The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies (Stamford CT: Bottom Line Books. 2007) 418

13. Bethel, 61.

14. Gottlieb, 523.

15. Barney, 331.

  • mark

    I’m 60 years old. I had suffered from BPH for nearly 5 years. I had a frequent need to urinate many times at night, sometimes up to 5 times. It had severely affected my sleep quality. Apart from that, I also had to urinate urgently. There was blood in my urine and my kidney functions had reduced greatly. The medication I took had little effect on my condition, so I started to take a herbal medicine called diuretic anti-inflammatory pill. The symptoms were cured by taking 4 months medication.

  • Wallace Dickson

    At age 82 I am concerned about my enlarged prostate. 20 years ago my primary care doctor referred me to a urologist because my PSA was over 4. The urologist wanted me to meet him at the hospital in the morning so he could perform surgery. I told him I’d “sleep on it” and get back to him in the morning. Well, I never got back to him, but for the past 20 years I’ve been using Saw Palmetto regularly morning and night and my urinary problems have been pretty much stabilized, urine stream is great, no pain, no infections. Only issue has been that I get up two or three times during the night to urinate. But now I’m told that my PSA has risen to 24.3 (two years ago it was 10.4) and I’m more concerned. The urologist will want to talk surgery again. I am still working full time at my profession, go to the office daily, sometimes 6, even 7 days each week. I walk several miles each day, don’t own a car, avoid elevators when practical, and feel fairly vigorous and alive. I do not want to relegate myself to diapers and incontinence now. So I am looking at the alternatives. I will explore this site carefully and then research further online. Thanks for being here.

    • waffles

      Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck with your next office visit, and please check back again to let us know how it went.

  • John Schneider

    Age 62, and worn.
    I’ve been taking Supper Beta Prostate for close to 10months. For me it works. I went from waking 3 or 4 times a night to urinate to maybe once. Also during the day it has reduced the frequency & the other symptoms. I’m also a type II diabetic, and have high blood pressure.

    If I could just get rid of the water pills for the high blood pressure, I’d be a happy camper. One of them made me go every ½ hour form the time I took it till 2 to 3 hours later. Like 4 to 6 times every morning. God forbid your taking this at night! After the SBP, it’s 2 to 3 times, & an hour to an hour and a half between. Thank God for that.

    Now for a thrifty version of this. I’d hate to have to make my own up. So I’m on the quest & that led me to this web site.

  • Tom

    I am 74. Looks like a great list. I got out of an overnight stay at the E.R. because I couldn’t pee. Very painful event. I have had this problem for years. Took Cipro and had a tear in my abdomen. Have to find a way to keep these infections at bay and shrink my prostate. Saw a lot of favorable ink about apple cider vinegar. Need that to happen as my prostate is the size of a grapefruit.
    Would like to see some posts of successful folks.
    Thanks, Tom

    • waffles

      Hey Tom! If you can handle Yohimbe, I’d suggest taking a look at the GNC Mega Men Prostate & Virility (our review is here.) I personally had issues with the yohimbe affecting my mood, but the prostate side of it was quite impressive. GNC also has a similar Prostate Formula without the virility part, but I can’t personally vouch for that one.

      Please check back again and share your successes with us!

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@accroya

James White specializes in internet hoaxes, travel, product reviews, and social media.

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