Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy/Hyperplasia (BPH) is the condition of enlargement of prostate gland due to the presence of a tumor (1). It is not a precancerous or cancerous problem and does not generally cause serious complications. It is more common in western countries than in the eastern parts of the world. Though the prostate gets enlarged with age, an unusual or excessive enlargement is termed as BPH. The symptoms are mostly related to urinary tract and therefore, are known as Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS). It includes an urgent need to urinate, weak urinary stream, leakage at the end of urination, etc.(2).
Although the disease can be treated with some medications like alpha blocker drug, antibiotics, etc., it can be treated with some home remedies too.
Here, we have mentioned some of the handpicked effective remedies, exercises, and yogas through which you can get rid of the problem quickly.
Natural Remedies for BPH
1. Sitz Bath
This bath will reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation from the lower portion of your body as it has magnesium, which provides relief from swelling (3). This is the method in which you have to take alternate hot and cold bath.
i) First of all, fill one bath tub with hot and another with cold water.
ii) Add ½ cup of Epsom salt in hot water and a few drops of lavender oil in the cold water.
iii) Sit in hot water tub for 3-4 minutes and then in cold water for 1-2 minutes.
iv) Repeat this 3 times and end with a cold water bath.
v) Repeat this 2-3 times in a week.
Note: If you are suffering from acute bacterial prostatitis, do not perform these exercises.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar or ACV is formed by the method of fermentation of apple (4) and is already known as a panacea as it treats a number of diseases. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and also shows astringent properties. Due to the presence of these qualities, it reduces the swelling of the gland and prevents the complication associated with the disease.
Mix 1-2 tbsp of the ACV and 1 tbsp of honey in a glass of warm water and drink it twice, (preferably before meals) daily.
- In addition to this, add 1 cup of this vinegar to a bathtub filled with water and soak for 12-15 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times a week to get relief.
3. Pumpkin Seed
The enlarged prostate gland condition is due to improper urine flow. Therefore, it can be treated with the ingredients that show diuretic properties. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, omega-3 fatty acid, and diuretic in nature. Thus, it is one of the best cures for BPH (5). Eat a handful of raw seeds daily until you notice changes.
- Or, add them to a cup of boiled water and let it cool down. Strain and drink 1 cup, twice or thrice a week.
Tomatoes are rich sources of lycopene (6). This compound reduces the swelling in the prostate area by lowering the levels of antigens that are prostate-specific. Tomatoes also reduce the pressure in the prostate gland and thus, shrink the enlarged part. Consume it in the form of juice, puree, or sauce. You can also eat it raw.
Note: If you want to take lycopene supplements, consult your doctor for dosages and precautions.
Zinc is one of those vital minerals that are required for the normal functioning of the body including prostate (7). It plays an important role for the immune system as it has anti-inflammatory properties. To provide zinc to the body, eat food like cereals, yogurt, cashew, beans, etc., every day (8).
- Alternatively, you can also take supplements. The general dosage is a maximum of 90 mg taken in 3 dosages of 30 mg, each.
Note: To know the side effects of the supplements or if you are undergoing any other treatment, consult your doctor before using them.
6. Kegel Exercise
This exercise helps tighten the pelvic muscle, eases out the discomfort, controls urination, and eventually, reduces the enlarged gland. Therefore, it is suggested for this disorder (9).
i) To do this exercise, empty your bladder and lie down on your back on the floor.
ii) Bend your knees, and raise yourself up, keeping your feet and upper back on the ground.
iii) Stay in the position for 5 to 10 seconds, and then relax for another 5-10 seconds.
iv) Repeat this 20-30 times, twice or thrice a day.
- Alternatively, relax the pelvic muscles by squeezing the muscle in your anus and repeat as mentioned above.
Note: Don’t tighten the muscle in your thighs, buttock, and stomach. Also, if you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome, refrain from doing this exercise.
7. Aerobic and Resistance Exercise
It is important to keep your muscles toned and improve strength to deal with the enlarged prostate gland. For this, resistance exercises like lifting weight, push-ups, swimming, etc., are the best. These workouts not only solve the problem but also prevent it. Do whichever exercise is suitable for you for at least 30 minutes a day.
Aerobic exercises, on the other hand, improves the weight of the body and balances the body. It can include jogging, running, basketball, walking, swimming, etc. (10).
Yoga for BPH
8. Janu Sirasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
This yoga posture helps cure the problem by keeping the abdominal area strong. It also removes the toxins and improves the blood flow in the gland.
i) First of all, sit with your legs straight in front of you.
ii) Fold one of your legs in such a way that the heel touches the knee of another leg.
iii) Bend your body slowly towards your leg, and make your forehead reach the knee.
iv) With both your hands, touch or grab the toe and stay in the position for 5-7 seconds. Breathe in and move back to the original position.
v) Repeat it with another leg.
vi) Do the whole procedure 2-3 times.
1) You can put a folded blanket on your leg to provide support to your head.
2) Do this with proper caution as it may cause meniscus tear (11).
9. Biparitkarani Mudra (Half Shoulder Stand)
This position stimulates the muscles and nerves of sexual glands and thus, relaxes the discomfort caused. At the same time, it also provides strength to the muscles of the torso and pelvic area (12).
i) For this, lie down on your back on a yoga mat.
ii) Raise your legs upwards in the sky until the buttock is lifted.
iii) Support your hips with your hand, keeping elbows on the floor.
iv) Remain in the position for as long as you can.
v) Exhale and come back to the original position.
vi) Do this 2-3 times.
10. The Butterfly Pose
This is also known as cobbler pose. It tightens the muscle of the genital areas and strengthens it.
i) Sit on the floor on a flat surface (or a folded blanket or yoga mat for more comfort if you are a beginner).
ii) Now, fold your legs in a manner such that your feet touch each other and are perfectly lined up with each other.
iii) Bring your feet towards your body as far as you can and you can hold your feet with hands for ease.
iv) Holding ankles with your hand, move your legs in an upward direction and then, allow them to drop steadily (13).
v) Breathe and repeat.
vi) If you can’t perform butterfly pose, practice restrained angle pose first, which is almost similar to this (14).
vii) Do this every day until you notice the satisfactory result.
11. Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
This pose or method stretches the groin, hip, thighs area, eliminates fatigue, and is good for liver and kidney too (15). It also provides relief in the condition of BPH. To do this, follow the below-mentioned steps.
i) First of all, lie down on a yoga mat or floor. You can keep a folded blanket or a pillow under your head (compulsory for the people with high-BP).
ii) Take your one leg upward towards the ceiling and try to touch the feet with hand on opposite side.
iii) Keep the other leg straight on the ground and don’t bend it.
iv) Hold on for a few seconds and return to the normal position while exhaling.
v) Repeat the whole procedure for the other leg.
vi) Do this regularly to see the positive changes.
12. Dronasana (The Bowl Pose)
The problem of an enlarged prostate can be solved totally with this posture. It provides strength and flexibility to the lower body part including genital areas and abdomen. The pose is not easy, and you may feel some difficulty in the beginning. But, once you get this, you will be able to do it quickly with ease. For this:
i) Lie on a yoga mat, keeping your legs open in front.
ii) Keep your arms beside your body and hold the back straight.
iii) Take a deep breath and hold it while raising your body up with the support of the abdominal.
iv) Lift upwards as much as you can, and try to be on your hips (on a minimum portion of your buttocks) with hands pointing your legs.
v) Take a steady breath and stay in the position for 4-5 seconds or breaths.
vi) Release the pose and go back to the original position.
vii) Repeat it a few more times.
13. Sahaj Agnisar (Abdominal Lifts)
This posture works by increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the pelvic region. When the blood flow is enhanced, the toxins are removed from the abdominal area and thus, the condition is treated. Sit in any of the comfortable positions with legs folded (Padma Asana, Sukh asana or Vajra asana) and follow the steps.
i) Keep the waist and the naval region straight and place your hands on the curve of the waist (or on your knees).
ii) Breathe in and fill the lungs to a maximum capacity.
iii) When you can no longer press in, exhale out.
iv) Repeat it 30-35 times to get the benefits.
Note: If you are suffering from heart disease or blood pressure, do not perform this yoga posture.
14. Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)
This pose not only makes the prostate gland strong but also boosts metabolism.
i) Lie down on your belly on a yoga mat or a blanket.
ii) Keep your hands beside your upper-body part and move your legs toward the ceiling, exhaling slowly.
iii) Grasp your ankles with hands by raising the torso up.
iv) Take a deep breath and try moving your upper-body and legs further away from the floor.
v) Breathe steadily and hold the pose for as long as you can and move back to the original position (16).
vi) Repeat a few times with a break of 5-10 seconds.
15. Mandukasana (The Frog Pose)
i) To perform the pose, firstly sit on the floor in any position keeping your legs hip-width apart.
ii) Fold your legs in such a manner that it touches the hips from the back side, and try to move them far from each other.
iii) Make it sure that your toes touch each other at the back side.
iv) Stay in the position for a few seconds and repeat it several times.
Do it daily as it provides strength to the pelvis area and stretches the groin. It shows best results when done along with Kegels.
16. Shirshasana (The Headstand)
It is one of the best yogas for many problems of the body. It improves digestion, provides strength to lungs, spine, legs, arms, and tones the abdominal muscles.
i) First of all, if you are a beginner, practice it with the support of a wall.
ii) Rest your head on a folded blanket or a soft cushion-like thing for support.
iii) Place your hands together around your head to provide extra support, keeping your forearms on the ground.
iv) Keep your knees closer to the feet and form a dome-like structure.
v) Inhale and push your legs and whole body upwards towards the ceiling in such a manner that your body is upside-down.
vi) Stay in the position for 10 seconds or longer and come back to the original position or in rest.
vii) Repeat a few more times.
Note: Do not perform this pose if you are suffering from neck or back injury or have frequent headaches.
17. Shashankasana (The Hare Pose)
The pose helps with the muscles of the abdomen area, strengthen the pelvis, rib cage, spine, adrenal gland, and also the prostate gland.
i) Firstly, sit in the diamond pose (vajraasana) with palms on your knees.
ii) Keep your body straight.
iii) Inhale and move your hands up and straight. Don’t bend the elbows.
iv) Breathe out, move your body downwards, and touch the ground with your head.
v) Bring your palm on the ground too, and let your upper-body part rest on the thighs.
vi) Stay in the position for some time and come back to the diamond pose again while inhaling.
vii) Do 5 to 7 cycles in beginning and then, increase it according to your comfort level.
18. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose)
i) Firstly, sit with legs open in the front, on the floor.
ii) Bend the left leg and place it beside right knee on the opposite side, on the ground.
iii) Bend the other leg in such a manner that it rests on the ground with the heel touching the buttock on the left.
iv) With your right hand, touch the toe of the left foot bringing it over the leg.
v) Keep your left hand besides hip and twist your body along with inhaling.
vi) While exhaling, un-twist your body and repeat the procedure for some time.
vii) Come back to the starting position and repeat the same process on another side (18).
Do the complete cycle on both sides a few times, regularly. It will correct all the disorders related to the urinary tract, and solve the problems of the spinal cord, pancreas, joints, etc., as well.
i) Sit straight by crossing your leg on a mat.
ii) Keep your spine erect and take a deep breath.
iii) Exhale as fast as possible and draw your abdominal muscle inwards at the same time.
iv) While exhaling try to make a puffing sound and remember to inhale slowly.
v) Repeat it for 10 breaths and rest for 2-3 minutes.
vi) Do the whole procedure again, twice.
Herbal Remedies for the Treatment of BPH
20. Corn Silk
This is one of the best remedies for enlarged prostate gland as it relaxes the urinary lining and muscles. It also acts as a diuretic and thus, improves the urine flow (20). This can be consumed in the form of tea.
To prepare it, take silk of 6 ears of corn and mix it in 4 cups of water. Put the pan on the stove and boil the content. Now, simmer it for 8-10 minutes and strain the mixture. Drink 1 cup of this tea, 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, you can prepare the tea with corn silk extract too. Just add 15 drops of the extract to a cup of water, and drink it 2-3 times daily.
21. Saw Palmetto
This is a wonderful herb for diminishing the symptoms of BPH, and it is proven by several studies too (21). The herb does not normally cause any side effect and has a lot of properties due to which it helps shrink the enlarged prostate and thus, cures the problem. It is available in the form of capsules, infusion, tablets, extract, etc. (22). The saw palmetto extract is used to treat the disease.
1) It may cause mild stomach discomfort (23).
2) For dosage, contact your doctor.
Researches reveal that beta-sitosterol is also an effective remedy for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (24). It is a cholesterol-like substance, present in plants, and is useful in improving the flow of the urinary system. It also reduces the amount of urine left in the body.
Note: The supplements can be taken after consulting a doctor.
Pygeum has been used for decades to treat problems related to the urinary system. It is obtained from the bark of the plum tree of Africa. Several clinical trials proved the efficacy of this herb, and it is widely used for the treatment of BPH (25).
24. Rye Grass Pollen Extract
Rye grass pollen extract improves the condition by reducing the amount of urine left in the body. It also decreases the frequency of urination and the urge to urinate. It also brings the prostate gland back in size (26). Consult a doctor for safety concerns and recommended doses.
Note: If you are allergic to this, do not consume this herb.
25. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is obtained from the roots of a plant- Urtica dioica. It is effective for the diseases related to the urinary system and therefore, it is beneficial for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (27). Generally, it does not cause any side effects but sometimes mild stomach disorder may be observed or skin rashes may appear.
1) For dosages, contact your doctor.
2) It may interact with iron supplements.
26. African Potato
The African wild potato or hypoxis hemerocallidea is used for a variety of disorders like anxiety, wounds, burns, hypertension, asthma, etc. It is also effective in curing the Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) (28). Consume the herb every day to get relief from the malady.
27. African Plum
African plum shows Antiandrogenic and anti-inflammatory properties (29). Therefore, it can be a great treatment for BPH. You should consume the extract of the herb daily.
- Alternatively, take supplements if available.
Note: For dosage and safety measures, consult a doctor.
28. Cactus Flower
The extract of the Opuntia (cactus) is also known to solve the problems related to lower urinary tract including Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (30). You can consume this daily or seek advice from the doctor if necessary.
Diet for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
If you are suffering from any disease, diet plays an important role in maintaining the health. Some evidences show that the toxins from the food, like contaminants, pesticides, etc. are also responsible for the increasing number of cases. So, to aid the BPH treatment process, the diet must be as organic as possible and free from chemicals.
- Increase the food rich in vitamin D.
- Have 1-2 cups of green tea every day.
- Drink at least 8-9 glasses of water in a day.
- Cut down the intake of spicy food, salt, etc.
- Consume baked or boiled food instead of the fried alternatives.
- Diet that is low in fat and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 is preferable.
- Use polyunsaturated oil to cook food.
- Eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetable.
- Include cabbage, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, etc.
- Eat soy and soy-based products.
- Avoid saturated fat and dairy products as much as possible.
- Avoid soda and fruit juices that have too much sugar or artificial sweetener.
- Limit the consumption of red meat, beef, lamb, processed meat, etc. (32).
- Empty your bladder whenever you feel the urge to urinate.
- Limit the consumption of fatty food.
- Restrict the amount of caffeine and alcohol (33).
- Stay in a warm climate as it decreases the urge of urination.
- Try to train bladder to hold urine for a longer duration (34).
- Do not have liquid diet or beverages 2-3 hours before bed to avoid trips to the toilet, in the night (35).
- Avoid stress.
- Do not sit in the same position for long as it may make the situation worse.