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Prostatitis Alternative Medicine FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Supplements
Dietary Supplements--Check the research 5-12-11

The May 2011 issue of Consumer Reports on page twelve carried an article titled, Your doctor as salesman. The author was Orly Avitzur M. D., a board certified neurologist and medical advisor to Consumers Reports.

One comment she made was, "Selling supplements might yield a handsome profit to some doctors. But having a financial stake in promoting any health product to patients represents a serious conflict of interest."

More information is listed at these recommended sites:
Food and Drug Administraton fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements,
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, nccam.nih.gov,
Office of Dietary Supplements, thr National Institutes of Health, ods.od.nih.gov,
Consumer Reports Health ,consumer reports health.org

We are going to change and update the fact sheet (FAQ) for dietary supplements. In the meantime we are suggesting you go to the one at the National Institute of Health. Use this Uniform Source Locator (URL):

National Institutes of Health, ods.od.nih.gov,
Below is an example of some of the information there:

Health Information

 

1. About this FAQ
2. Alternative medicine recommendations for prostatitis.
3. Herbs, their properties, dosages, etc.
4. Other natural remedies.
5. Terms
6. Disclaimer

1. About this FAQ

I was asked to create an alternative medicine FAQ for the sci.med.prostate.prostatitis newsgroup byBCapstone.

2. Alternative medicine recommendations for prostatitis.

  1. Drink copious amounts of water to help keep the system flushed.
  2. Use medicinal herbs with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties such as Echinacea, Goldenseal, and Garlic, to help reduce inflammation and knock out infection.
  3. Begin a daily regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements that include antioxidants, vitamins A,C, E, Beta-carotene and Selenium. Also 60 mg. of Zinc Picolinate if symptoms are present, otherwise, 30 mg. would be sufficient.
  4. Cranberry juice has properties that dislodge bacteria from the bladder wall so that loose invading bacteria are washed away. Cranberry juice may help to prevent infection from spreading to the bladder from the prostate and vice versa. Can be taken as a juice, or as chewable tablets. Take 1 tablet 3X/day.
  5. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, helps increase circulation in the prostate while helping to relax and open the urinary tract. Sit in a tub full of the hottest water you can tolerate for 15-30 minutes. Cold soaks may also be therapeutic, and should be alternated with hot soaks. Also recommended are hot and cold packs applied to the prostate area (between the scrotum and anus), the hot to cold ratio should be 4:1, 2-3X/day. *NOTE* Hot soaks are not recommended for acute infection or inflammation.
  6. Relax and try to reduce stress. Learn stress management techniques and employ enjoyable exercise. Use herbs like Valerian, Crampbark, and Scullcap to help relax muscles.
  7. Eat lightly. Whole grains, steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, herb teas and tinctures, such as Saw Palmetto and Siberian Ginseng, are good for the male reproductive system. Buchu, Saw Palmetto and Pipsissewa are great genito-urinary tonics and astringents that help strengthen and heal, as well as having anti-microbial actions. Couch Grass, Watermelon Seed and Pipsissewa are natural diuretics that help flush urine, prevent urine build-up, and provide support for other preventive methods. Echinacea and Siberian Ginseng are immune-system enhancers that help the bodies natural defense system build resistance. Comfrey, Couch Grass and Marshmallow have demulcent properties to help sooth and protect.
  8. Last, but not least, do yourKegelexercises faithfully. (Click on the link to find out more about Kegel exercises, from a page on recovery from prostate surgery. Be sure to come back here!)

3. Herbs, their properties, dosages, etc.

Buchu
Barosoma betulina, crenulatea, serratifolia AKA Bookoo, Buku, Bucku, Bucco
Parts used: Leaves.
This herb comes from Africa and is considered to be a urinary antiseptic. It contains an oil that increases urine production. A natural diuretic that also has anti-microbial properties. Purported to help strengthen and heal the genito-urinary system, and is used to treat acute and chronic prostatitis. This herb works well with Couch Grass and Echinacea for prostatitis.
Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 25-50 drops 3 X/day. May also be ingested as a tea.
Chamomile
Matricaria chamomilla, Anthemis nobilis AKA Camomile, matricaria, anthemis, ground apple Parts used: Flower Chamomile has anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. It is used as a mild sedative and works well for adults, children and the elderly. An infusion, or tea, is purported to have calming effects on cramps or painful symptoms of the genito-urinary system. Combines well with Valerian and Marshmallow. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 20-50 drops 3X/day.
Comfrey Symphytum officinale AKA Bruisewort, Knitbone, Boneset, Healing Herb Parts used: Roots and leaves Comfrey contains allantoin, a chemical which promotes the growth of new cells and helps relieve inflammation. Allantoin is the active ingredient in several OTC skin creams and in at least two prescription skin preparations (Herpecin-L cold sore lip balm, and Vagimide Cream). Comfrey acts as a demulcent to soothe and protect the urinary system. *NOTE* Excessive amounts of Comfrey can cause hepatic veno-occlusive disease (HVOD), or Budd-Chiari syndrome, a liver disease where the liverís blood vessels narrow and impair liver function. There are two known cases of patients developing HVOD after ingesting unusually high doses, however HVOD has never been reported when taking Comfrey in the recommended amounts for brief periods of time. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: OmegaC 3X/day. Tincture: 15-40 drops 3X/day. May also be purchased commercially as a tea.
Couch Grass Agropyren repens Parts used: Rhizome Herbalists have found this grass very valuable for treating enlarged and infected prostates. It has a very soothing effect on the genito-urinary system. Couch Grass works as a diuretic and also has demulcent and anti-microbial properties. May be combined with Saw Palmetto, Echinacea and Buchu. Dosage recommendations: Decoction: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 30-50 drops in water 3 X/day.
Cramp Bark Viburnum opulus Parts used: Bark Has anti-spasmodic, sedative, nervine and astringent properties. Purported to have strong anti-spasmodic effects on the genito-urinary system for males and females. May be combined with Chamomile or Angelica root for genito-urinary cramping. Dosage recommendations: Decoction: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 30-60 drops in water 3X/day.
Cranberry Parts used: Juice from the berry. Said to help prevent or cure urinary tract infections. Also recommended for incontinence as it is purported to deodorize urine. Suggested dosage is one pint/day.
Dong Quai A. sinensis Parts used: Processed, cured root of A. sinensis Another species of Angelica. Possesses the same qualities as the other species of Angelica, but is purported to have a more tonic effect. Dong Quai has anti-spasmodic and diuretic properties and has been useful in treating prostatitis. Works well with Cramp Bark for genito-urinary cramping. *NOTE* Dong Quai tends to increase blood sugar levels so it should not be used by diabetics. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1tsp. Steeped in a cup of water, Omega C 3X/day. Tincture: º to Omega tsp. 2-3X/day. Capsules: Follow label directions.
Echinacea Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida AKA Purple Coneflower Parts used: Root, seed, juice of whole plant Uses as an antibiotic and immune system stimulant. Has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties that work well on the reproductive system. Combines well with Saw Palmetto for treating prostatitis. May be combined in equal parts with Saw Palmetto and used as a suppository for prostatitis and enlarged prostates. *NOTE* Echinacea should be taken in large amounts for infection. It can cause stomach upset in small children and can cause to the mouth to tingle and actively salivate. For acute conditions take every hour or two. The fresh root or a tincture of the fresh root should be used whenever possible. If using dried herb, use recently dried herb products. Dosage recommendations: Decoction: 1C every one to two hours. Tincture: 1tsp. Every one to two hours. Suppository: inserted rectally after each bowel movement. *NOTE* Herbalist James Green indicates that due to the popularity and demand of this herb that many wild strains in America are rapidly being depleted. Mr. Green asks that consumers choose the species echinacea purpurea, which is very easy to cultivate and grow by organic gardeners, to help preserve the valuable wild resources.
Garlic Allium sativum AKA Stinking Rose, Healall, Rusticís or Poormanís Treacle Parts used: Bulb Has tonic, stimulant, hypotensive, anti-spasmodic and anti-microbial properties. Purported to help treat infections and rid the body of parasites. Good for spasms and cramps. Combines well with Echinacea and Goldenseal for treating microbial activity. Contains alliin, but needs to be chewed or crushed to bring out alliinís antibiotic properties. Studies have found that 1 medium clove pack has the anti-bacterial properties of 100,000 units of penicillin. Depending on the type of infection, oral penicillin ranges from 600,000 to 1.2 million units. An equivalent amount of Garlic would be 6-12 cloves. Dosage recommendations: Chew three cloves at a time 2-4X/day. Syrup: 1 Tbsp. 3X/day. Capsules may also be taken, follow label directions.
Goldenseal Hydrustis canadensis AKA Yellow Root, Yellow Puccoon, Indian Turmeric, Indian Dye, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root, Eye Balm, Golden Root Parts used: Rhizome and Roots Has tonic, astringent and antiseptic properties. The astringent and tonic properties are useful in treating and strengthening reproductive organs. Combines well with Saw Palmetto and Echinacea for prostatitis. *NOTE* Avoid prolonged high doses as this herb is known to diminish essential flora of the intestines. Can also effect blood pressure. Contains berberine, which may lower blood pressure, and hydrastine, which may raise blood pressure. If you have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma or stroke, exercise extreme caution and donít use this herb. For otherwise healthy individuals Goldenseal may be used for brief periods of time at the recommended dosage levels. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: Omega-1C 3X/day. Tincture: 15-40 drops 3X/day. Capsules: Follow label directions.
Juniper Juniperus communis AKA Genvrier, Geneva Parts used: Berrries Purported to be good for genito-urinary infections and incontinence(gives urine the fragrance of violets). Has diuretic properties and the essential oil is used in the OTC diuretic Odrinil. Juniper may lower blood pressure. *NOTE* High doses may cause kidney irritation and damage, therefore Juniper should not be used by anyone with a kidney infection or a history of kidney problems. Even though Juniper may cause kidney problems, the FDA lists it on itís list of "herbs regarded as safe." Should be used in medicinal amounts only in otherwise healthy individuals. Should not be taken for more than 6 weeks. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1-2C/day. Capsules: Follow label directions.
Marshmallow Althea officinalis AKA Althea, Cheeses Parts used: Roots, leaves and flowers Has demulcent, diuretic, tonic and emollient properties. Purported to help soothe and protect the genito-urinary system. One study has shown that Marshmallow enhanced white blood cells ability to devour microbes. Has also been found to lower blood sugar in animals, therefore it may be beneficial in managing diabetes. Dosage recommendations: Cold Infusion: 1C 3X/day. Decoction: Boil powdered root in milk and drink freely throughout the day. Tincture: 15-40 drops 3X/day.
Pipsissewa Chimaphila umbellata
AKA Princeís Pine Parts used: Leaf and above ground stem Has diuretic, tonic and astringent properties. Used mostly for genito-urinary system. Purported to be very effective for chronic prostatitis and other genito-urinary disorders. Has a gentle yet powerful soothing effect. *NOTE* Do not boil this herb as boiling destroys the herbs properties. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: Omega-1C 3-4X/day. Tincture: 20-40 drops 3X/day. Has been purported to have dramatic results when consumed as a tea.
Pumpkin Seeds Cucurbita pepo Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of Zinc and Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F). Purported to be important in helping to decongest the prostate gland and lessen residual urine. Dosage recommendations: Up to Omega C may be consumed daily. Also has diuretic properties.
Queen of the Meadow Eupatorium purpureum AKA Gravel Root, Trumpet Weed, Gravel Weed, Joe-pye Weed, Purple Boneset, Hempweed Parts Used: Leaves and fresh roots Has diuretic, nervine, stimulant and astringent properties. Considered by herbalists to be very valuable for treating genito-urinary problems. Dosage recommendations: Omega -1 drachm.
Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens, Serenoa serrulata Parts used: Berry Has nutritive, diuretic and urinary antiseptic properties. Very effective for genito-urinary system. Studies have shown that Saw Palmetto can increase urine flow by 38% for prostatitis and BPH, while helping to treat infection. Helps tone the bladder, thereby helping to relieve straining pains. Combines well with Echinacea and Buchu for prostatitis treatment. May also be used in suppository form (see Echinacea). Here's alink to a Saw Palmetto website. Dosage recommendations: Decoction: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 25-50 drops 3X/day. Capsules: 80-320 mg./day.
Scullcap Scutellaria laterifolia AKA Skullcap, Virginia Skullcap, Quaker Bonnet, Hoodwort, Helmet-flower, Mad Dog Weed Parts used: Leaves Has nervine, tonic , sedative and anti-spasmodic properties. Purported to relieve stress and nervous tension, nervous headache, neuralgia, insomnia and restlessness. Combines well with Valerian for treating stress and nervous tension, with Chamomile for restlessness and insomnia. *NOTE* Should never be boiled, prolonged storage impairs itís therapeutic properties. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1C 3X/day. Tincture: 15-40 drops 3X/day (Best to use fresh Scullcap for tincture)
Siberian Ginseng Eleutherococcus senticocus Not true Ginseng, but has similar effects and is grouped with Ginseng and used interchangeably Parts used: Roots Purported immune system enhancer, to help the bodyís defense system build resistance, expand blood vessels to increase circulation, and regulate blood pressure, boosts physical energy. Can be used as a reproductive and prostate tonic. Purported to relieve stress of impotence and insure adequate penile circulation. Follow label directions.
Valerian Valeriana officinalis AKA Garden Valerian, Phu, Allheal Parts used: Rhizome and Root Has sedative, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic and hypotensive properties. Combines well with Scullcap for tension and anxiety, with Chamomile for insomnia, and with Crampbark for pain and cramping. Contains valepotriates, chemicals that appear to have sedative properties, with the highest concentration in the roots. *NOTE* On rare instances, Valerian has been known to have stimulant effect rather than a calming effect. Donít boil this herb as boiling destroys itís properties. You may also want to hide your Valerian from your cats as they will LOVE it (mine actually prefer Valerian to Catnip!!), or you may choose to share. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: 1C as needed. Tincture: 15-25 drops 3X/day, or as needed. Capsules: Follow label directions.
Watermelon Seeds Citrullus lanatus Has natural diuretic properties and is also an antioxidant. Purported to help prevent excess build up of urine due to prostatitis and BPH. Works well with Uva Ursi and Buchu. *NOTE* May be found in health food stores alone or combined with Uva Ursi and Buchu. Dosage recommendations: Infusion: Steep crushed seeds in hot water. May take up to 2C/day. Capsules/Tablets: Follow label directions. *NOTE* Diuretics deplete the bodies stores of potassium, which is an important nutrient. Anyone who takes any diuretic herbal preparations, as well as prescription preparations, should increase their intake of foods high in potassium, such as bananas and fresh vegetables.

4. Other Natural Remedies

Bee Pollen Highly nutritious supplement. Contains all known water-soluble vitamins and a gonadotropec hormone which stimulates sex glands and helps production of testosterone and growth hormones. Here's acommercial siteoffer bee pollen products. Dosage recommendations: Follow label directions.
Pycnogenol Made from extract from the bark of the French Maritime Pine and skins from grape seeds. Purported to be a very powerful antioxidant. Purported to be more effective than Vitamins E, C and Beta-carotene as an antioxidant. Dosage recommendations: Follow label directions.
Pygeum Purported to be an excellent supplement for a healthy prostate. Derived from the bark of a large African evergreen tree. Dosage recommendations: Follow label directions. *NOTE* Herbalists claim that Vitamin A is essential for the male reproductive organs and sperm production. Vitamin A has been found to be an antioxidant. There is much information available today as to the supposed benefits of antioxidants against the damage from free-radicals. I, personally, do not see how the antioxidant/free-radical information available today would cure prostatitis, but thatís my opinion. Be wise in choosing to use ANY treatments available to you.

5. Terms

Decoction: Strong tea
Infusion: Tea
Tincture: Herbal extract prepared with ethyl alcohol as the principle solvent
OTC: Over the counter
Cold Infusion: Herb steeped for several hours in cold water, rather than hot *NOTE* Anyone wishing to make their own Infusions, Decoctions, Tinctures or suppositories may e-mail me directly for directions atTamarantha@aol.com Any mistakes or typographic errors are unintentional.

6. Disclaimer

It is not my intention to recommend any alternative healing techniques. My sole intent is to provide information on the alternative healing approach. All of the herbs listed should be used in traditional medicinal amounts. I strongly recommend a physician, certified herbalist or homeopath be consulted before any treatments begin.

Tari Parr

This information is forwarded to you by the Prostatitis Foundation. We do not provide medical advice. We distribute literature and information relevant to prostatitis. While we encourage all research we do not endorse any doctor, medicine or treatment protocol. Consult with your own physician.
© 2002 The Prostatitis Foundation
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