Prostate Enlargement – A growing problem

‘Saw Palmetto appears to have the efficacy similar to that of medications like finasteride, but is better tolerated. Reported side effects are rare.’- American Family Physician

The frequency and severity of benign prostate enlargement (BPH =benign prostatic hypertrophy) increases with age, and symptoms will tend to worsen if the condition is not treated. With a large and increasing number of men affected, many seek advice from their GPs and pharmacists on means of easing the unpleasant symptoms without suffering the side effects common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Saw Palmetto

Sabal serrulato

Saw Palmetto and BPH

In the UK and Ireland, management of BPH has mainly focused on drug or surgical treatments and the use of herbal medicine is not common. In Germany and Switzerland, Saw Palmetto is extensively used as first line treatment against mild to moderate cases of BPH. It provides therapeutic effects equal to those achieved with conventional drug treatments.

Fight Colds and Flu Naturally

Many of you will be suffering one of these horrid ailments as the chilly months encroach upon us.

Germs are always around but a strong immune system will take them in its stride. The white blood cells have the ability to detect and destroy bacteria and viruses before they start anything, so it is in everyone’s best interests to see that they have everything they need to function well.

  • Rest – get plenty of sleep.
  • Fluids – water, herb teas, hot juices with cinnamon and ginger.
  • Laughter – your immune system works best when you are happy!
  • Natural vitamin C – salads and fresh fruit might seem unappealing when it is cold but do not abandon fruit and vegetables. Make vegetable soups, stew fruit with warming spices.
  • Echinacea – helps the white blood cells in their task of spotting bugs and of engulfing and destroying them once spotted. A daily maintenance dose can help keep bugs at bay.

Centaury – The Stomach Bitter

USES: Indigestion, Hiatus hernia, Gastric reflux.

Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum) is well known to herbalists as a ‘stomach bitter’ – one of the classes of herbs with bitter taste and used to aid digestion. For these herbs, it is important to taste the bitterness – and because of this, it is better to use herbs such as Centaurium as a tincture taken 5 minutes before meals.

Centaurium umbellatum

Centaury has been used as the classic stomach bitter for many years. Bitter herbs or bitter tasting foods used to form a significant part of the diet. Nowadays these have practically disappeared with the trend towards more convenient, inoffensive and easy to eat food.

HOW IT WORKS: Centaury owes its bitter taste to a group of compounds called bitter glycosides. The bitterness of food on the tongue plays a very important role in the digestive process. Naturopaths have long believed that digestion starts in the mouth and this has now been shown using physiological testing. The taste of bitter foods stimulates the appetite and triggers the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach, which improves the breakdown of food.

At the same time the hormone Gastrin is secreted by the walls of the stomach. This improves the digestive process, by improving the passage of food from the stomach to the intestines.

Another important action of Gastrin is to tighten the ‘valve’ between the oesophagus and stomach, which is important in reducing the symptoms associated with a hiatus hernia, such as gastric reflux.