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Pygeum Africanum

Pygeum Africanum

The bark of the Pygeum africanum tree is believed to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of enlarged prostate. The following Buzzle article provides information on its health benefits.
HolisticZine Staff
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen tree that is native to the sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Fernando Po, etc. Its bark has long been used by the South African tribes for treating bladder and urinary tract infections. Blackish-brown in color, the scaly and fissured bark of this tree contains many active ingredients that help in treating many health disorders.

Health Benefits
The extract contains phytosterols, pentacyclic triterpenes (ursolic and oleanic acids), ferulic acid, and crataegolic acids. It also contains tannins. The active constituents of this bark help in reducing inflammation.

Enlarged Prostate
The South African tribes were well-aware of the therapeutic nature of the bark, and have been using it for treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Its anti-inflammatory properties are due to the presence of phytosterols (beta-sitosterol) that inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins in the prostate. It also helps relieve the urinary problems that occur due to an enlarged prostate. Ursolic and oleanic acids help reduce the swelling. It is believed to be useful in the prevention of prostate cancer, as well as chronic prostatitis. Studies have revealed that it is effective for enlarged prostate, low urine flow, and excessive urination at night.

Infertility and Genitourinary Health
The extract is believed to be useful in improving sexual health, as well as treating impotence in men to some extent. Studies have shown that the extract might help to increase the volume and viability of sperms. It is also known for its aphrodisiac properties. Traditional herbalists believe that it is useful in treating urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, bladder sphincter disorders, etc. However, more evidence is required to prove its effectiveness in the treatment of kidney disease, fever, malaria, abdominal pain, impotence, etc.

Side Effects
Though Pygeum africanum is beneficial in the treatment of certain health problems, it could cause certain side effects. It is safe for use, if it is taken as per the prescribed dosage. The side effects include:
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
As there's a lack of evidence on its effect on pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, they should refrain from taking it in the form of supplements or tea. For the same reason, do not give this herb to children. There's no evidence on adverse drug interactions.

Since the FDA does not regulate herbal medicines and supplements, consult your doctor if you wish to use the bark or extract.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.