Are herbal remedies effective for the treatment of BPH?
No, they are not. In the past century, when effective drugs such as those that we have already mentioned were not yet available, specialists would frequently prescribe "natural remedies" such as extracts from Pygeum africanum, Serenoa repens, Hypoxis rooperi, Urtica dioca, pumpkin seeds, etc. In some cases they improved symptoms, but it is considered to be a "placebo effect" and not a real pharmacological activity.
Currently up to 34% of patients with BPH use them, believing that these products are "natural" and "safe," and that by using them they can avoid surgical procedures, and falsely hope they can prevent prostate cancer. The reality is that the latest scientific efforts have not demonstrated any efficacy of Serenoa repens or Pygeumn africanum compared to placebo. In 2006, a study published in the prestigious journal New England Journal of Medicine showed that Serenoa repens does not improve the symptoms of obstructive BPH. At present, the American Urological Association (AUA) does not recommend the use of herbal remedies and we do not consider it to be appropriate to use placebos when drugs exist that have been proven to be effective.
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