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5 Natural Remedies to Help Reduce an Enlarged Prostate

How to Reduce an Enlarged Prostate with 5 Doctor RemediesUrinary difficulties in men can be caused by numerous different health issues involving the prostate gland. Prostatitis, which refers to the swelling and inflammation of the prostate usually caused by a bacterial infection, is often characterized by pain and difficulty urinating.1 It is usually treated with antibiotics.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also simply known as prostate gland enlargement, is caused by an increase in the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).2 Prostate cancer can also present difficulty or pain when urinating. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor for tests and official diagnosis if you have difficulty urinating.

If you know for sure that your urination difficulties are caused by an enlarged prostate, you may be able to reduce symptoms with the herbal remedies below.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is the most popular natural remedy for benign prostatic hyperplasia. While saw palmetto is available in a raw powder form, extraction processes like ethanol extraction and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction bring out and concentrate the active ingredients, ultimately making them more effective than raw powder forms.

In a meta-review of recent placebo-controlled trials using plant-based therapeutic agents for BPH, researchers looked at seven studies on a branded, proprietary form of saw palmetto. In three of the trials, saw palmetto was found to be significantly better than placebos in improving the effects of urinary frequency at night and during the day. Peak flow rates also improved by 26 to 50 percent in patients who took the saw palmetto extract. Overall symptom improvements demonstrated by a reduction of in baseline nocturia (urinating at night) was 33 to 74 percent with the saw palmetto extract. However, it should be noted that these seven studies were limited. The longest of these studies lasted three months, and only four of the studies involved more than 50 patients.3


Beta-sitosterol is a phytosterol that may also help with an enlarged prostate. In the meta-review, a branded medication containing mainly beta-sitosterol was shown to have effects greater than those of a placebo. Researchers randomized 177 patients in 13 centers throughout Europe and were treated with either the beta-sitosterol treatment (65 mg twice per day) or the placebo. The results found that the beta-sitosterol showed statistically and clinically significant improvements over the placebo in nearly all measured categories, including International Prostate Symptoms Scores, peak flow rate, quality of life, and residual urine levels.3


In a systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers examined the efficacy and tolerability of Pygeum africanum in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Researchers looked at 18 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1,562 men and an average study duration of 64 days.

In six studies, P. africanum showed moderately significant improvements in flow measures and urologic symptoms. Nocturia was reduced by 19 percent and residual urine volume went down by 24 percent. Peak urine flow increased by 23 percent. This suggests that P. africanum may improve urologic symptoms, though further study is necessary to determine its long-term effects and its potential to inhibit complications caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia.4

Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle)

Urtica dioica, better known as stinging nettle, is widely used in Germany. There are currently at least 16 different methods of preparation for stinging nettle. In a placebo-controlled study, a liquid preparation of stinging nettle was found to improve International Prostate Symptoms Scores. However, this study was small, only comprising 41 patients, and the study period lasted just three months. Furthermore, the stinging nettle preparation has since been withdrawn from the market as it was not palatable and not well-accepted by patients.3

In a meta-analysis, studies involving stinging nettle were limited, but they showed that the herb could potentially be effective when combined with other plant extracts, like pygeum or saw palmetto. There is no convincing evidence to suggest that supports the use of stinging nettle extracts alone for the treatment of an enlarged prostate.5

Pumpkin Seed Oil

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 47 patients with BPH received pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto oil, pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil, or a placebo of sweet potato starch. The study lasted 12 months, during which researchers monitored IPSS, quality of life, prostate specific antigen in the blood, prostate volume, and peak urinary flow rate.

Results showed that all non-placebo groups had lower IPSS scores within three months of treatment. The pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil groups showed improved quality of life after three months, while the group taking the combined oils showed improved quality of life after six months. The combined treatment also reduced prostate specific antigen levels in the blood. None of the parameters significantly improved with the combined treatment of saw palmetto and pumpkin seed. This suggests that pumpkin seed oil may be effective as a complementary or alternative treatment for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.6

Combinations of Herbs

Some studies suggest that the best mode of action is to use a combination of herbs. In one study on a mixture of saw palmetto and stinging nettle extracts, 40 patients were randomized to receive either a placebo or the herbal treatment. This involved a two-week, single-blind placebo lead-in phase, six months of double-blind treatment, and another six months of open label treatment.

Following six months of treatment, IPSS showed a statistically significant improvement in IPSS measures with the group that had taken the stinging nettle and saw palmetto mixture. When the placebo group switched to the herbal treatment, IPSS metrics dropped significantly by the end of the six-month extension period.3

While there are numerous herbal remedies that may help reduce symptoms of an enlarged prostate, you may experience better results by using a combination of herbs. Our very own DrFormulas Super Prostate Formula provides a combination of natural ingredients to help support prostate health. Talk to your doctor to determine if a prostate supplement might work for you.