Benefits of taking Pygeum
Hair Loss and Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
The correlation between pattern hair loss and an enlarged prostate is well-known in the
science community, as both are caused by dihydrotestosterone. DHT, an androgen, is
formed when testosterone is converted into it by an enzyme known as Type II
5-alpha-reductase. The leading prescription hair loss treatment, Propecia, is a 1-mg
tablet of finasteride, while 5-mg finasteride tablets are sold as Proscar, which is one of
the leading treatments for an enlarged prostate. Finasteride works by inhibiting Type
II 5-alpha-reductase, which in turn limits the production of DHT.
Urinary Tract Disorders
Pygeum bark has traditional uses in African medicine for treating inflammatory urinary
tract disorders, such as cystitis and prostatitis, according to the NIH. People originally
powdered the bark and made a tea from the powder. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Institute notes that phytosterols in pygeum inhibit the body's production of
prostaglandins, chemicals involved in inflammation.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Most men develop some degree of benign prostatic hyperplasia by age 60, according
to the University of Maryland Medical Center. More commonly known as prostate
enlargement, this disorder is not cancerous but can cause frequent urination, sudden
urges to urinate, difficulty urinating and incomplete bladder emptying. It also can lead
to bladder infections and kidney problems. The NIH gives pygeum bark extract an "A"
grade for treating symptoms of BPH, although pygeum does not decrease the size of
the prostate gland.
Men can experience sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and painful
ejaculation, because of BPH or chronic prostatitis. In a study published in the
September 1991 issue of the Archivio Italiano di Urologia, Nefrologia, Andrologia,
18 patients who each had one of these conditions received pygeum extract daily.
The authors report an improvement of sexual behavior by the patients during the
60 days of treatment.