Herb effective in prostate cases

People's Pharmacy

December 02, 1997|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D. | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.,King Features Syndicate

We would like your opinion of saw palmetto berries. My husband was on this herb for several months. He felt great and even stopped having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

When he went to the urologist, he was told to stop taking the herb even though the doctor did reluctantly say that the prostate had shrunk a bit. Since stopping the saw palmetto, my husband hasn't felt as well and is again getting up in the middle of the night to void. He has trouble going back to sleep.

The doctor seems opposed to herbal treatments, though we are interested in natural remedies. Please give us some perspective.

Despite the doctor's reaction to saw palmetto berry extract, many urologists are now recommending this herb in cases of mild to moderate benign prostate enlargement.

Obviously, anyone with this condition will need regular follow-up (digital exams as well as PSA tests) whether taking a prescription medicine or an herbal extract.

Saw palmetto was once an accepted treatment in American medicine but fell out of favor around the 1950s when herbal remedies went out of fashion. There are some clinical trials showing that this compound is almost as effective as prescription drugs in relieving urinary symptoms.

Pub Date: 12/02/97

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