Health

Enlarged prostate

Several years ago I was having difficulty urinating. It got worse. I went to my doctor. She did the butt check and a few other tests. Announced that I had an enlarged prostate, and put me on antibiotics. After a while (weeks) I was fine.

Then it started again. Got pretty difficult. From the prior episode, I knew what the problem was. Because of my wife’s experience with the home remedy for gallstones, I thought I’d research the web for a remedy. Found out that (according to the literature) there were four substances which would affect the prostate:

  • saw palmetto extract
  • stinging nettle extract
  • green tea extract
  • Pygeum Africanum extract (African Prune bark)

There were others (black pepper extract, lycopene, etc.) but these were mentioned as the principal ones. So I searched for products with these four substances.

I also looked for side effects and drug interactions for these but found none.

Of the products I found, there was a wide range of prices — up to $140 for a 1 month supply.

I kept searching and finally found Irwin ProstaStrong. Had all the above ingredients plus a few more. It was available from several sources. The price varied, but one supplier had it for about $18 for 90 capsules — 22.5 days worth.

I thought I might as well try it. I ordered 3 bottles, and they arrived in about a week. I had read that herbal remedies do not usually have an immediate effect, so I wasn’t expecting overnight results. After about 2 weeks, I began to notice a difference. After 2 months, the problem was gone. What a relief.

Doctor’s note on saw palmetto:

His and her Herb
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a vigorous palm that’s native to the southeastern US. Colonial planters noticed that cows and pigs that reached beyond their corrals to eat the berries grew unusually healthy and fat. They resisted illness, had richer coats, and readily put on flesh. In time, doctors started to use it to increase the strength and weight of patients who needed to put on pounds after an illness.

Doctors now use saw palmetto to normalize sex hormones; they found that it increases sex drive in women and revitalizes their reproductive organs. The herb has been called “old man’s friend” because it slims down an overgrown prostate. It’s used in younger men to increase sex drive and remedy atrophied testicles. Oddly, it’s prescribed both for people who crave sex too much and for those with no sexual appetite at all.

I rely on saw palmetto in my clinical practice. I find that my patients turn up looking sleek and well and feeling, shall we say, fully operational.

Male Sex Hormone Helper
Shifting hormone levels in men can lead to a swollen prostate and declining libido. A string of convincing human clinical trials suggests that saw palmetto relieves conditions caused by changing hormone levels, most notable symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and poor sex drive.

Note on Green Tea

Green Tea
Nature’s amazing healing beverage

Americans are Coffee drinkers. The English are the tea drinkers!

Ever since the Boston Tea party, English “high tea” at five PM has not featured strongly in American’s customs. Yet think about the buckets of iced tea we imbibe at lunch (providing we don’t belong to the Double Martini set!) Not only do restaurants serve up pre-made iced “black” tea, but it is also often laced with bacteria, as the staff is too lazy to clean out the containers regularly. Bacteria would not survive in a green tea, freshly brewed, but try to order a glass in a restaurant, and observe the blank stare. Green Tea? What’s that?

Why should he and we care? Because we are missing one of the natures most powerful anti-oxidants which not only tastes good but is natural to enjoy as a thirst quencher throughout the day. According to Dr. Earl Mindell, although it comes from the identical plant, it differs from black tea in a number of fundamental ways – green tea has 30% to 42 % of catechins: black tea has 3 to 10%.

Black tea is partially crushed and fermented before it is dried – the fermentation destroys most of the catechin. My own theory is that my English ancestors were introduced only to black tea, as it took months to ship it to Europe from China in sailing ships with no refrigeration. It was packed “green” but it fermented naturally on the way, aided and abetted by the movement of the ship and the humidity at sea. This was how the English thought tea should be, and to degrade it more they added milk, which appears to immobilize the polyphenol’s effects! But this was not how tea had been used in Asia for thousands of years. The Chinese and Japanese only knew the fresh green dried variety and their herbalists certainly knew, and still know, of its benefits.

Catechins are the polyphenols, bioflavonoids that act as super antioxidants. They have been found to have significantly higher antioxidant powers than grape juice and wines. And they also have an almost unlimited range of health benefits, which have been subject to over one hundred scientific studies during the last five years, most of them in Asia and Europe, but a number of key ones in the US. These studies have not only quantified the benefits but have started to establish which of the many polyphenols in the tea provide the body with that particular benefit. The most important catechin is Epigallocatechin gallate.

In general, the benefits of using green tea can be placed in two categories: antiaging/cancer fighting and cardiovascular. Because the subject is so vast, the benefits established in these studies will be itemized under these two headings. Two detailed articles on this subject can be found in the Life Extension Foundation June 1999 edition. Nearly 100 references to these studies are given at the end of these two articles.

Antiaging, Cancer fighting properties
Studies have shown that, taken in sufficient quantities, green tea can:

  • Block angiostasis, the new blood vessels tumors need to grow.
  • Inhibit metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads in the body
  • Interferes with the production of telomerase, the enzyme which immortalizes cancer cells
  • Reduce the production of DHT, a potent form of testosterone implicated in causing prostate cancer
  • Lower incidence of lymph node metastasis in postmenopausal women
  • Inhibit the onset of breast and colon cancer, as well as melanoma.
  • Enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer.
  • Helps protect DNA from radiation-induced damage
  • Can produce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in lung cancer patients, as well as protecting smokers from the onset of lung cancer.
  • Prevent inflammation and possible subsequent skin cancer when applied to the skin.
  • Can lower serum glucose and consequent insulin, reducing the possibility of tumors and immunosuppressive hormones.

Cardio-protective Qualities
The use of adequate amounts of green tea can:

  • Reduce the triglyceride and blood glucose levels by reducing the action of the starch-digesting amylase enzyme resulting in lower insulin secretion and calorie restriction.
  • Increases the healthy function of the liver and pancreas
  • Lower LDL cholesterol levels
  • Lower intestinal fat absorption
  • May act as natural calcium-channel blockers
  • Lower blood pressure because of its powerful vasodilatation properties
  • Lower fibrinogen and inhibit excessive clotting and platelet aggregation.
  • Protect the brain from oxidative stress
  • Raise the seratonin and dopamine levels in the brain
  • Diminish the incidence of iron-induced epileptic seizures
  • Improve kidney function
  • Protect the body from the ravages of oxidized linoleic acid produced by heating margarine, corn, and safflower oils.
  • Inhibit HIV virus replication
  • Promote dental health by inhibiting the growth of unwanted oral bacteria.
  • Destroy harmful intestinal bacteria and lowers the pH
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