Men who are suffering from prostatitis that has not responded to conventional therapy or those who seek alternative methods of treatment may find temporary---or even permanent---relief from herbal remedies. Prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland, is not really a single disease but a group of related disorders with similar symptoms, some of which can be extremely painful.
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Causes and symptoms
The causes of prostatitis, according to MayoClinic.com, are not completely understood, although the acute form of the disorder is most often caused by a bacterial infection. Because it is sometimes difficult for an antibiotic to kill all the bacteria associated with a case of acute bacterial prostatitis, this form of the disorder sometimes becomes chronic. There is, however, another chronic form of prostatitis that is not caused by bacteria and about which medical researchers know relatively little. Symptoms for all forms of prostatitis include difficulty and/or pain while urinating; frequent urination, particularly at night; pain in the groin, abdomen or lower back; pain upon ejaculation; pain in the perineum, the area between the penis and the anus; and penile or testicular pain.
Advantages of herbal remedies
Urologist Mark W. McClure, author of Smart Medicine for a Healthy Prostate, writes that he frequently recommends herbal remedies to his prostatitis patients even though this mode of treatment is generally not as fast-acting as prescription medication. On the plus side, herbal supplements cause fewer side effects and are less expensive. McClure writes, "Furthermore, herbal remedies generally alleviate the symptoms of prostatitis (especially nonbacterial prostatitis) more effectively than do prescription medicines."
Europeans go herbal
Europeans have long embraced the use of herbal remedies in the treatment of prostate disorders, according to an online article about natural prostate health by Laurance Johnston, PhD. He said Americans lag far behind their European counterparts in acknowledging the effectiveness of these natural remedies despite the extensive body of scientific research on the subject.
Widely used in Germany to treat the symptoms of prostatitis, saw palmetto is readily available to Americans in health food stores and in the nutritional supplement departments of most large retailers, such as Walmart and Target. This herb is particularly helpful in bringing relief from such symptoms as general pain and inflammation in the pelvic region, frequent nighttime urination, difficulty in starting urination, and impotence. As previously observed, most herbal remedies, saw palmetto included, take longer to produce results, but do bring relief to most patients who try them.
Other Herbal Remedies
Lycopene, a natural bioflavonoid found in tomatoes, contains a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent prostate cancer, and it also helps to relieve the prostatitis symptoms of frequent urination and dribbling. Widely touted as a natural antibiotic, goldenseal has been shown to be effective in killing most bacteria that cause prostatitis. It is also useful in reducing urinary tract inflammation and shrinking a swollen prostate gland.
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