When men reach middle age, their prostate gland begins to grow. In many men, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) may occur. In some men, it doesn't ever become a problem, but for many men this condition causes much discomfort and needs to be treated. The prostate is a small gland located between the bladder and the rectum. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, and leads out to the two seminal vesicles. The gland itself is covered with a fibrous membrane, which keeps it from growing outward. A healthy prostate is about the size of a walnut. Pressure from a growing prostate gland can begin to put pressure onto the urethra and cause problems with urination. The bladder might not be able to empty properly, which can lead to frequent urination or incontinence. A man may also get recurring urinary tract infections, and will find himself running to the bathroom much more often.
One plant that can help your prostate is the saw palmetto.
The saw palmetto fan palm (Serenoa repens) is a plant grows in the coastal areas of the southern United States as well as southern California. An estimated million acres of wild saw palmetto palms grow in Florida. Most of this is grown commercially. This small palm normally grows to about 3-6 feet. It is very slow growing, and some plants may be as old as 500 to 700 years old. Saw palmetto is the extract that comes from its dark purple berries. Native Americans long ago ate the saw palmetto berries, believing they served as a tonic that nourished the body and helped promote weight gain. They also used the herb to treat problems of the urinary tract, such as painful or frequent urination.
Saw palmetto is commonly used by natural health practitioners help with a variety of ailments, such as inflammation of the testes, urinary tract inflammations, coughs, and even respiratory congestion. It is sometimes also taken to strengthen the thyroid gland, balance metabolism, stimulate appetite, and aid overall digestion. Saw palmetto is one of the most commonly taken dietary supplements among Americans between the ages of 50 and 76, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Numerous recent clinical trials have confirmed the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating BPH. Many of these trials have shown saw palmetto works better than even the most commonly used prescription drugs. Saw palmetto has shown to be effective in almost 90% of patients after only six weeks of use.
Saw palmetto is currently being evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of BPH. It would become the first herbal product to be licensed by the agency as a treatment for a specific condition.
BPH may also lead to serious kidney conditions if undiagnosed and left untreated. Some estimate that 50-60% of all men will develop BPH during their lives. There may be as many as six million men who have BPH that is severe enough to require some kind of therapy, but only half of them seek treatment from their doctors.
Once the bladder is permanently damaged, treatment may be ineffective. When BPH is diagnosed and treated during the early stages, there is less risk of developing more serious complications.
Symptoms of BPH may include: A weak or hesitant urine stream, incontinence, increased frequency of urination, particularly at night, the feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied.
The size of your prostate does not always determine the severity of the symptoms. Many men with significantly enlarged glands have little obstruction and minor symptoms. Others, whose glands are less enlarged, have more severe blockage and more serious symptoms.
You may not be aware of any enlargement of your prostate until you suddenly find yourself unable to urinate at all. This condition, known as acute urinary retention, can be brought on by over-the-counter allergy or cold medicines. Such decongestant medications contain what are known as sympathomimetics. One potential side effect of this drug is that it can prevent the bladder opening from relaxing and allowing urine to pass. When there is already partial obstruction, acute urinary retention also can be triggered by alcohol, cold temperatures, or long periods of immobility.
Many doctors now also recommend zinc as another beneficial prostate supplement since it has now been proven in some studies to shrink your prostate. You should also take advantage of the benefit of lycopene, which is a substance found in tomatoes and other processed tomato foods. It is a rich antioxidant and is thought to prevent prostate cancer and can help in the treatment and prevention of heart disease. Beta sisterol is also beneficial in its use for prostate health promotion and has the added benefit of treating hair loss.
Prostate problems are a common part of growing older for many men. You can, however, take a very comprehensive formula that includes Saw Palmetto, Zinc, Lycopene, Beta-Sitosterol, Pygeum Africanum and Stinging Nettle, a total of over 30+ ingredients; a very comprehensive formula; Prostate Health Essentials (click here to view). Prostate Health Essentials contains 30+ natural ingredients shown to support prostate health.