Shrinking Your Prostate

More than 60 percent of men have enlarged prostates—here are three remedies.

By Richard Firshein, published on March 1, 1998 - last reviewed on May 30, 2006

QUESTION: I'm a 43-year-old male. My problem: I wake up at night to go to
the bathroom. My doctor diagnosed me with benign prostatic hypertrophy, an
enlarged prostate, and recommended a drug. Are there any natural

ANSWER: It's estimated that more than 60 percent of men between the ages
of 40 and 60 suffer from an enlarged prostate. As men age, their bodies
tend to convert the male hormone, testosterone, into a more active form
which stimulates prostate cells to grow.

I have found a number of natural treatments for this condition. One
recent patient of mine saw a complete reversal of his symptoms with
natural remedies. For starters, I recommend three herbs: saw palmetto,
pygeum africanum and stinging nettles. Stinging nettles has
anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink a swollen prostate. Saw
palmetto blocks the active form of testosterone from binding to prostate
cells, preventing the hormone from stimulating them. Less is known about
how pygeum works, but it is an ancient African remedy that has been used
for urinary tract symptoms for centuries with apparent success. Perhaps,
like stinging nettles, it reduces inflammation and swelling. Finally, I
also recommend essential fatty acids, like those found in fish oils,
because they have anti-inflammatory properties as well.