Pygeum bark is obtained from the Pygeum tree, which is found in Africa. It is called Pygeum Africanum. It is also known by other common names like African prune, natal tree, kirah, red stinkwood, African plum, etc. This tree looks similar to the cherry tree, but it is an evergreen tree. In the summer flowers appear on this tree, which are followed by brownish-reddish fruits, which look like plums.
This fruit ripens during June to August in Northern Africa and then in the Southern countries. This fruit is used by natives, and by the local birds and animals. The bark of the tree has enough density, so that it can be used for building and making tools. It is also used as fire burning fuel. But, today the bark of the tree is used on a large-scale to make herbal medicine, due to which the tree is becoming endangered. Traditionally, the extract has been used to treat enlarged prostate. Now, research is still going on to study the benefits of the extract for other disorders.
As already mentioned the pygeum bark has been traditionally used to treat enlarged prostate. It's bark contains three active ingredients, which are phytosterols including beta-sitosterol, ferulic esters which are a long chain of fatty alcohols, and pentacyclic triterpenoids. Many older men tend to suffer from the condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). If this condition is not treated then there is the possibility of kidney damage, bladder infection, and sexual disability too.
Normally, the treatment for this condition involves a surgery, which has many complications like bleeding, bladder damage, impotence, etc. Many people in Europe are using pygeum as an alternative treatment for BPH. This is a natural remedy which is said to be very effective.
Apart from enlarged prostate treatment, other benefits of pygeum extract include urinary tract infection treatment. The hesitating urine stream can be relieved by taking this bark extract. Also, partial bladder outlet obstruction can be cleared by taking this extract. It can also be used for the treatment of bladder sphincter disorders, impotence, inflammation, kidney diseases, as an aphrodisiac, hair loss, malaria, prostate cancer, sexual performance, stomach upset, psychosis, and prostatic adenoma.
Pygeum bark when mixed with stinging nettle root and saw palmetto increases the effectiveness of these herbs. Mostly the bark is taken in a tincture form. But, one can also find it in capsule form. The extract can also be used in tea.
The recommended dosage is 100 milligrams. A person needs to follow this dose for 60 days to get the required health benefits. Though it is recommended to consult a health professional before taking the same.
There are not many side effects associated with this herbal medicine. However, rarely a person taking it for the first time might experience side effects like stomach upset, headache, nausea, and visual disturbances. These symptoms don't recur for the next dose.
Pygeum is not recommended for children and pregnant women, as there is not enough scientific data to recommend it. Hence, pregnant women and children need to avoid using it. A better alternative to using this herb is saw palmetto which has been found to be more effective.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.