Before we begin I would like to make clear that I am an Ayurvedic holistic herbalists, not a cancer doctor.
The recommendations on this page are for different herbs and natural remedies that may be good for reducing the risk, or symptoms, of prostate cancer.
Please consult your doctor on all areas relating to your prostate health.
By: Arjun (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery With Modern Medicine).
1. Boron for Prostate
Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer:
In an epidemiological study, researchers evaluated the chances of prostate cancer and intake of boron in diet or as supplements.
The UCLA school of Public Health, LA, USA found that its increased intake is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer. The reached this conclusion after comparing 8720 normal persons against 95 patients of prostate cancer. (Oncol Rep. 2004 Apr;11(4):887-92.)
Positive Changes in Prostate Cancer Cells:
Another research at Center for Life Sciences and Toxicology, Research Triangle Institute, NC, USA experimented further to find out if there is any relevance of the above mentioned epidemiological study.
They found that human prostate cancer cells showed positive results on prolonged exposure to boric acid, a natural compound of Boron. The changes supports its antiproliferative activity like lowered adhesion, migration and invasion and spread to other organs.
Effect on Prostate Size and PSA Activity:
Gallardo-Williams put forward the results of a study published in 2002 Proceedings of the American Association of Cancer Research. Mice receiving 1.7 and 9.0 mg boric acid on a daily basis had a decrease in tumor size by 38 and 25% respectively. The PSA (prostate-specific antigen) also followed with a drop of 88.6 and 86.4%. The control group of mice that was receiving only water had no changes in tumor size and PSA level.
How Much Boron Supplement is Safe:
It is not able to make its place in RDA. However, 3-5 mg once or twice a day is sufficient for most persons.
At this dosage, it is quite safe. However, over-enthusiastic individuals should exercise caution as its overdosage can cause toxicity. The toxicity results after intake of a large dosage over a prolonged period and affects reproductive organs and development.
The toxicity results from 70-130 mg of dosage when taken for a long time. Naturally this dosage is 20-30 times of what is usually suggested and is highly unlikely under normal circumstances. (Reprod Toxicol. 1998 Jan-Feb;12(1):1-18.)
2. Beta Sitosterol for Prostate
Beta Sitosterol is one of the best natural prostate remedies that support BPH or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia and enhances prostate health. This natural prostate remedy is also beneficial in other disorders like increased blood cholesterol levels, cancer prevention and alopecia.
What is β-sitosterol:
Beta Sitosterol is a type of phytosterols. Phytosterols or plant sterols are ‘plant fats’ that are similar to cholesterol but have an extra ethyl group attached to it. This white and waxy substance is widely distributed in plant and vegetable kingdom like Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Curcurbita pepo (pumpkin seed), Pygeum africanum, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, and wolfberries. There are no magic foods with high levels of phytosterols, but they can be inexpensively extracted from sugar cane pulp, soybeans and pine oil.
Traditional Benefits Of β-sitosterol:
This phytosterol is well supported for its beneficial effects on BPH, regulation of cholesterol and LDL levels in blood, as an antioxidant, alopecia, cancer preventing botanical and several other disorders for which it is commonly used as a traditional remedy.
BPH And Beta Sitosterol:
BPH or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia is a non-cancerous growth of prostate gland with associated symptoms like frequency, urgency and difficulty of urination during day and night. Phytosterols, chiefly this one has emerged as an effective and safe alternative medicine for BPH. Europeans use it as a medicine for BPH.
Supporting Clinical Studies:
Dozens of double-blind placebo controlled clinical studies support the role of Beta Sitasterol in BPH. Several standard criteria were used in these studies like AUA BPH symptoms score, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), Maximum Urinary Flow Rate (Qmax) and Post Void Residual Urine (PVR).
Georgetown University Medical Center conducted a three months study and found the beneficial effect of natural therapies with Saw Palmetto, Beta Sitosterol, Cernitin, Vitamin E. They benefits included – reduction in frequency of daytime and night urination, and improvement in overall BPH symptoms as per AUA.
Another review of 18 clinical studies of strong extract of saw palmetto spanning over 31 years was published in JAMA. Reviewers concluded, “The evidence suggests that Serenoa repens extract (saw palmetto) improves urologic symptoms and flow measures.
British Journal of Urology reported about a study at University of Dresden where researchers tested Azuprostat containing 130mg of beta-sitosterol with placebo for 6 months in 177 patients of BPH. This study led to a strong support for its being an effective treatment option for BPH.
Lancet published another study on Beta Sitosterol conducted in Germany on 100 persons. They took this herbal extract for one year. Researchers concluded, “Significant improvement in symptoms and urinary flow parameters show the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of BPH.
Dosage of Beta Sitosterol:
Even though it is available in most dietary products, we get insufficient quantities and need to supplement it with extra dosage. The chief benefit of taking it in a form of supplement is that we can avoid a lot of extra calories that we would have to consume if want to get it through dietary sources alone.
Its dosage ranges from 300-1000 mg per day. 300-600 mg can support immunity boosting effect, 600 mg per day is for BPH and 1000 mg per day is necessary for cholesterol lowering effect.
Safety And Precaution:
No study reported any significant side effect or interaction of any sort. Some persons who took larger dosage complained of nausea. As it acts in our body by interfering with absorption of cholesterol, excessively large dosage of it should not be consumed for prolonged period.
Its benefits for prostate health is affirmed time and again by dozens of studies conducted at reputed medical centers and universities all around the world and by thousands of persons aging users. You can also relieve the troubling symptoms of BPH – frequency, urgency and difficulty in urination – naturally and effectively with Beta Sitosterol. Switch over to this natural plant extract to take care of your BPH worries.
The possibility of BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer is so great and frightening that men need to think and act proactively about it.
40 plus men can take several preventive supplements some time of the year. 50 plus person should regularly take such supplements for a period of two to three months every year. The little bucks spent for the preventive therapies will pay rich dividends of enhanced sexual life and safety from prostate disorders that is so common in elderly individuals.
Research References Of Beta Sitosterol:
Berges RR, Windeler J, Trampisch HJ, Senge T. Randomised,
placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients
with benign prostatic hyperplasia. β-sitosterol Study Group. Lancet. 1995 Jun
17;345(8964):1529-32. PMID 7540705
Berges RR, Kassen A, Senge T. Treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia with β-sitosterol: an 18-month follow-up. BJU Int. 2000 May;85(7):842-6. PMID 10792163
Klippel KF, Hiltl DM, Schipp B. A multicentric, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of β-sitosterol (phytosterol) for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. German BPH-Phyto Study group. Br J Urol. 1997 Sep;80(3):427-32. PMID 9313662
Wilt TJ, MacDonald R, Ishani A. beta-sitosterol for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a systematic review. BJU Int. 1999 Jun;83(9):976-83. PMID 10368239
Wilt T, Ishani A, MacDonald R, Stark G, Mulrow C, Lau J. Beta-sitosterols for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001043. PMID 10796740
Von Holtz RL, Fink CS, Awad AB. Beta-Sitosterol activates the sphingomyelin cycle and induces apoptosis in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. Nutr Cancer. 1998;32(1):8-12. PMID 9824850
3. Boswellia serrata for Prostate
Boswellia serrata or Indian Frankincense Tree has emerged as one of the potent anti-inflammatory herbs in modern times. The stem and branches yield a gum resin whose standardized extract is used in herbal supplement industry.
Indian Frankincense in Traditional Medicine:
This gum resin is traditionally known in Ayurvedic Medicine as Salai Guggul. Don’t get confused with the word Guggul as it is merely used to indicate its oleoresinous property. Guggul is another anti-inflammatory herb in Ayurveda.
Exactly speaking, in Traditional Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine, its anti-inflammatory property had not been fully utilized. After validating researches, its use has increased greatly in joints pain, breathing disorders, ulcerative colitis and fibrosis. Frankincense is a herb of Biblical fame, however, another species – Boswellia sacra is supposed to be one.
Boswellic Acids in Indian Frankincense:
Many phytonutrients are present in its gum resin – gums, terpenoids and essential oils. Boswellic Acids, the active ingredients of Frankincense, are the terpenoid part. Usually it is present in herbal supplements at 65% standardization ratio.
Boswellic Acids – The Emerging Plant Based Natural Inflammation Buster:
The ability of Boswellic acids counteract the effects of inflammation are well researched and comparable with many pain killer drugs. Leukotrienes are supposed to be the chemicals in body that mediate inflammation in several disorders like joints pain, colitis and asthma.
Boswellic acids have a significantly higher profile of safety in comparison to pain killer drugs, especially when you have to take them for a long duration in many chronic inflammatory disorders. It is safer and effective and doesn’t cause ulceration or irritation in stomach.
Prostate Health and Boswellia:
Some studies indicated positive role of Boswellic Acids for prostate health. It benefits on several fronts with its anti-inflammatory and properties in enlarged prostate (BPH), Prostatitis and Prostate Cancer.
Prostate Cancer is the second cause of death among men in USA. Many researchers are targeting to find further interventions for its effective management.
20% Boswellic acids showed to inhibit 5-LOX activity and it helped to reduce growth of cancerous cells and also caused death of cancerous cells.
5-LOX is present in abundance in Prostate cancer cells. Other researches also indicated that drugs that inhibit 5-LOX enzyme and reduce its production, can help to kill prostate cancer cells.
Cancer. 2001 Feb 15;91(4):737-43.
Int J Oncol. 2004 Apr;24(4):821-7.
Cancer Res 2008;68(4):1180–6
How Much Boswellia is taken as Supplement:
Many researches are done with 400 mg of Boswellic acids per day. If you take 65% of Boswellic Acid, you can take 300 mg of it twice a day. If it is standardized at lesser percentage of Boswellic Acids, you can then take more.
Is Boswellic Acid Safe?
Yes, it is used all over the world in herbal supplements. Some people might feel nausea or diarrhea. It is better to take it after meals. Data about is its use during pregnancy is not present.
Can Boswellic Acid replace cancer treatment for Prostate?
As mentioned earlier, cancer is still an incurable disease. Its standard management with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation is beneficial in some patients and not effective in others. Researchers constantly study and try to find newer methods of management and treatment.
Studies indicate that it is helpful. Boswellic Acid is not a treatment or natural remedy for prostate cancer. Yes, you could benefit with Boswellia by taking it as a supportive supplement, after consultation with a qualified herbalist and your doctor.
4. Saw Palmetto for Prostate
Saw palmetto is an extract of fruit of Serena repens. Native Americans value it highly as a natural remedy for its beneficial effect in urinary and sexual problems.
The Plant of Serena repens:
Serena repens is a small palm tree that reaches a height of 6-12 feet. It is common in Southeastern United States, particularly along Atlantic and Gulf costal plain area.
The Traditional Uses:
According to documented records, people have benefited from it for more than 200 years. It is consumed as edible fruit; and as expectorant, nervine, sedative, and tonic herbal remedy in sexual and urinary disorders.
The Eclectics used it as far back as 1898 for enlargement of prostate and other disorders.
Prostate Health Improving Phytochemicals:
It is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols that makes it a good remedy for prostate and urinary problems.
Saw Palmetto For Prostate Health:
Now many researches also favor its role for prostate health. Some studies showed its efficacy at par with medical drug Finasteride in reducing the symptoms of BPH or Benign Prostate Hypreplasia.
Its main benefits over medical drugs make it one of the foremost natural prostate and BPH remedy…
- Cheaper alternative herbal natural remedy
- Very effective for improving prostate health and reducing BPH symptoms
- The side effects are not significant like drugs
Effect on BPH Symptoms:
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center conducted a three month study to find out the benefits of natural therapies like saw palmetto, beta sitosterol, cernitin and Vit. E in BPH symptoms.
They evaluated the symptoms of BPH on the basis of American Urological Association. The reported benefits were reduction in urine frequency both during day and night, and overall improvement of oher BPH symptoms.
Benefits For Prostate and BPH:
Researcherr Di Silverio undertook a long term study how long term treatment with Serena repens affect the growth factors in Benign prostate hyperplasia. He studied the distribution of androgens and other growth factors for prostate in BPH.
He demonstrated what is called Multispecificity in herbal medicine. Herbs usually don’t benefit along one line of mechanism like drugs. It benefits in BPH along several lines – by relaxing smooth muscle tissue, by acting like a phytoestrogen, by inhibiting enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, and by interfering with binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors.
So, you can see now how herbs provide multiple benefits even if modern scientists pursue the line of medical researchers to get the ‘magic molecule of medical drug’ in a natural remedy.
Meta-Analysis Data of Its Researches and BPH:
T. J. Wilt published an analysis of earlier researches of saw palmetto in JAMA 1998. After thorough analysis, he noticed that its extract is found to be more effective than placebo and its beneficial effects. And its efficacy was at par with two medical drugs of BPH.
As a natural prostate remedy, you can take 160-320 mg standardized extract (containing 85-95% sterols and lipids) in a day. It is available in liquid extract, capsules and tablet form.
Traditionally it is consumed in many ways – ripe fruit, ground and dried fruit, whole berries and infusion or tea.
Safety of Saw Palmetto:
The profile of its side effect is very mild in comparison to drugs. Some men reported mild nausea and loss of libido.
Serena repens extract is generally safe. When it is taken in large dosage for longer periods, its primary active beta-sitosterols might interfere with cholesterol metabolism. No drug interactions are reported in research studies.
Natural prostate remedies offer the double edged health benefits.
The first benefit is they keep us and our prostate gland healthy and prevent disorders that it could succumb to.
The second benefit is regarding the health benefits derived as supportive supplements when we suffer from prostate related chronic disorders like prostatitis and BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia). There is growing data that many of dietary and herbal supplements are having good preventive effect for cancer including prostatic cancer.
Here, you will learn about…
- Various Dietary Supplements – minerals, vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal remedies for natural prostate health.
- Food items and dietary modification to keep the vital gland healthy.
- Many natural remedies for prostate health that you could use.
Essential Minerals For Prostate Health:
- Zinc Picolinate
- Boron intake positively affects prostate, bones and joints
- Magnesium Stearate
Vitamins Helpful As Natural Prostate Remedies:
- Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin E, D-alpha
- Vitamin C
Natural Herbal Prostate Remedies:
- Pygeum africanum
- Saw Palmetto
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Stinging Nettle Root
- Boswellia or Boswellic Acid or Indian Frankincense
- Panax Ginseng
- Red Raspberry
- Reishi Mushroom, Shetake Mushroom and Maitake Mushroom
- Cat’s Claw
- Green Tea
- Grape fruit seed extract
- Juniper Berry Powder
- Urva Ursi Powder
- Buchu Leaf Powder
- Burdock Root Powder
- Goldenseal Powder
- Cayenne Pepper Powder
- Gravel Root Powder
- Marshmallow Root Powder
- Parsley Leaf Powder
- White Pond Lily Powder
- Soy Isoflavone or Lecithin
- Pollen Flower
- Flax Lignans
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Organic Flax Oil
- Borage Oil
Dietary Supplements For Prostate Health:
- DIM (Di-indolyl Methane)
- L-Glutamic Acid
- Marine Lipid Concentrate DHA/EPA
- Calcium D Glucarate