The prostate is a small organ situated below the urinary bladder in males. It is essential for the production of the seminal fluid which is discharged from the male copulatory organ, the penis during sexual stimulation.
The prostate gland is prone to a number of problems. One of the deadliest is prostate cancer, which is a fatal condition. Another commonly faced problem by men is prostatitis, which is the inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostate gland problems increase as the man advances in age. However, care of the prostate gland must be taken throughout life so as to protect oneself from problems later on in life.
In Ayurveda, two important prostate related complications are known:-
(i) Mootrakruchra, which is painful micturation or urination and
(ii) Mootraghaata, which is suppression of urination.
These are actually considered to be symptoms of prostate problems. Most of the prostate complications are shown by urinary symptoms like the two above and in addition, hesitant urine flow, dribbling, increased urination, hematuria (blood in urine), urinary tract infection and urinary retention.
(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Prostate Gland Problems
Hog Weed (Boerhaavia diffusa)
Hog weed is known in Ayurveda as punarnava. It is prescribed in case of all urinary problems that are caused due to prostate ailments.
Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca scariola)
The prickly lettuce leaves provide a bitter tonic, which is very effective in the treatment of enlargement of the prostate gland.
Salep Orchid (Orchis mascula)
The salep orchid is known as shalaba mishri in Ayurveda. It is prescribed in case of prostate problems brought on by vata vitiation.
Small Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris)
Gokshura or small caltrop, is an indigenous Indian herb which is commonly used in treatment of urinary complications caused due to prostate problems. Its fruit is effective in such cases. It is ground roughly and boiled in two cups of water till it is reduced to half the amount. This is drunk along with sugar.
(2) Dietary Treatments for Prostate Gland Problems
A reduction in the mineral contents of the body is generally related with prostate gland disorders. It has been found that a long time deficiency of zinc in the diet causes such problems. Therefore, foods that are rich in zinc must be consumed adequately. Zinc is present to appreciable extent in meat, eggs and all kinds of seafood.
In case of prostate problems, sour and fried things are to be avoided. These are difficult to digest and will exert pressure on the prostate. Foods that are recommended for people with prostate problems are ghee made from cow’s milk, butter, ginger, garlic and asafetida.
(3) Ayurvedic Treatments for Prostate Gland Problems
Shilajit is the best Ayurvedic medicine for prostate gland problems like benign prostate hyperplasia. It is taken in small doses for better effect. The dosage prescribed is half a teaspoonful at bedtime along with milk. Shilajit is also taken in the form of its preparations. Chandraprabha vati is a very popularly prescribed Shilajit preparation that is prescribed for the treatment of prostate enlargement.
Prostate gland problems can occur due to all the three dosha interferences. Hence, Ayurvedic treatments would slightly differ according to the dosha. The following are the typical treatments:-
Prostate problems due to vata vitiation – Herbs like gokshura, punarnava, shalaba mishri, kahu, guggulu and shilajit are provided. Three of these herbs are prescribed in the form of a mixture, in doses of 1 to 3 grams per day for a month.
Prostate problems due to pitta vitiation – When the prostate problems are due to pitta vitiation, then cooling herbs must be provided to reduce the agni. Herbs of choice in this case are punarnava and coriander. Marshmallow and barley are also found to be effective.
Prostate problems due to kapha vitiation – Guggulu and shilajit are the herbs of choice. Along with then spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon may be added. Juniper berries are also prescribed in some cases.
(4) Home Remedies for Prostate Gland Problems
The following are some remedies that can be done at the household level to prevent prostate problems:-
Eat a mixture of juniper berries and parslane. This helps in case of enlarged prostates.
Increase the use of tomatoes in the diet. This protects from prostate infections.
When there are prostate problems, alternate cold and hot hip baths for ten minutes a day are beneficial.
There are many precautions to be taken in order to keep the prostate gland healthy. These should be borne in mind.
One of the most important things to remember is that prostate problems begin when you lead a sedentary life. Hence, a change in lifestyle would do better for prostate problems. Men must remain sexually active, but most not indulge in excessive sex. Walks and other forms of mild exercise must be regularly done.
The urge to urinate must never be suppressed. This leads to prostate complications. This must be kept in mind when going on long travels.
Do not sit on a hard stool for long periods of time. If you do a desk job, then get a soft ergonomic chair to sit on.
Alcoholism and smoking are two certain ways to invite prostate problems. Avoid them, especially if you are overweight.