Pygeum (herbal remedy)

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Pygeum is a herbal remedy containing extracts from the bark of Prunus africana. It is used to alleviate some of the discomfort caused by inflammation in patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). Bark extract is marketed under the brand-names of Pigenil in Italy and Tadenan in France and used commonly in its natural forms in traditional African medicine.

The Natural Standard Research Collaboration states:

Pygeum (P. africanum bark extract) has been observed to moderately improve urinary symptoms associated with enlargement of the prostate gland or prostate inflammation. Numerous human studies report that pygeum significantly reduces urinary hesitancy, urinary frequency, the number of times patients need to wake up at night to urinate, and pain with urination in men who experience mild-to-moderate symptoms. However, pygeum does not appear to reduce the size of the prostate gland or reverse the process of BPH. It is unclear how pygeum compares to the effectiveness or safety of other medical therapies, such as prescription drugs (e.g. alpha-adrenergic blockers or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors), surgical approaches, or other herbs/supplements such as saw palmetto. There is ongoing study in this area. Patients with urinary symptoms or BPH should speak with their healthcare professional about the various available treatment options.[1]

Contrary to what is stated by the N. S. R. C., WebMD states: "...Pygeum contains chemicals that help shrink the prostate to relieve urinary problems such as poor urine flow and nighttime urination in men with enlarged prostates."

The active ingredient of pygeum is considered to be n-docosanol.[2]

Pygeum alters the activity of cytochrome p450, more specifically extremely strong inhibition of CYP3A4 and CYP2C9, suggesting that it may interfere with the effectiveness of other drugs or supplements.[3]


  1. ^ [dead link]
  2. ^ Steenkamp V (2003). "Phytomedicines for the prostate". Fitoterapia. 74 (6): 545–52. PMID 12946716. doi:10.1016/s0367-326x(03)00155-2. 
  3. ^

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