Pygeum

General Information


Common Name:

Pygeum

Latin Name:

Pygeum Africanum

Other Names:

African Pygeum

Indications & Historical Uses

  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy;
  • Prostatitis;
  • Urinary incontinence;
  • Burning or painful urination.

Contraindications & Precautions

Contraindications:
None reported at therapeutic doses See Caution).

Precautions:
See Caution.

Adverse Side Effects:
See Caution.

Drug Interactions:
See Caution.

Dosage Information

How Supplied:

50 – 100 mg tablets.

Dosage:

100mg – 200 mg extract / day in divided doses (morning & evening for 1 -2 months).

Pharmacology

Pygeum contains three groups of active components: Phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol; pentacyclic triterpenoids, such as ursolic and oleanic acids; and ferulic esters of fatty acids, particularly the ferulic esters of docosanol and tetracosanol. The phytosterols, particucularly beta-sitosterol are found in numerous plants and are anti-inflammatory, inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be useful in cases of BPH [ Benign prostatic hyperplasia ] .It does this by reducing the normally elevated levels of prostaglandins in these patients, and thus reducing the size of the prostate. This helps to relieve the symptoms of BPH. The pentacyclic triterpenoids also help inhibit inflammation by blocking enzymatic activity, and reduce swelling of the prostate. The ferulic esters of long-chain fatty acids help by inhibiting both – the absorption and metabolism of cholesterol . Generally, enlarged prostates are characterized by high levels of cholesterol. Numerous double blind clinical trials have demonstrated that pygeum is effective in treating a wide range of prostatic hyperplasias. It has been shown that consumption of pygeum extract resulted in significant amelioration of symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia , namely dysuria [ painful urination ], nocturia and frequency as well as reduction in residual urine volume [post -micturition residue ]. In addition to this ,pygeum also promotes reduction in the size of the prostate and clearance of bladder neck obstruction .

Active Ingredients:

  • Phytosterols [Sitosterol];
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenoids;
  • Ferulic Esters of long chain fatty acids.

Enhancing Agents:

  • Saw Palmetto.

Origin

Pygeum is a large evergreen tree found in the higher plateaus of South Africa Active ingredients are extracted from the bark of this tree.

Processing

Air dried bark from the trunk of Pygeum africanum is passed through a screen, and extracted with chloroform to isolate the fat-soluble portions. These extracts are filtered and concentrated, and vacuum dried to eliminate chlorinated solvent.

Scientific References

Bassi, P. et al (1987) Standardized extract of pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostate hypertrophy. Minerva Urologica 39:45.

Marcoli, M. et al. (1985) New trends in Andro. Sci. 1:39.

Mowrey, D. (1990) Guaranteed Potency Herbs. A compilation of writings on the subject.

Thierblot, L. et al. (1971) Action preventive d’un extrait d’ecorce de plante africaine “Pygeum africanum” sur l’adenome prostatique experimental chez le rat. (Preventative action of an African plant extract, “Pygeum africanum” on experimental prostate adenoma in the rat) Therapie 26:575.

Zurita, E.L. et al. (1984) Treatment of prostatic hypertrophy with extract African prunus. Rev. Bras. Med. 41:48.

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