Urologe A. 1997 Jan; 36(1): 10-7.
[Phytotherapy of benign prostatic hyperplasia]
Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie, Technische Universität Braunschweig.
Phytopharmaceutical agents have been used for a long time in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, until recently, it has been questioned whether phytotherapy is superior to a placebo treatment. In this article, the most widely used phytopharmaceutical agents, such as saw palmetto berry extracts, Radix urticae extracts, pumpkin seeds, pollen extracts and different phytosterols, are described. In addition, both in vitro and in vivo studies are discussed in an attempt to explain a possible mechanism of action. There are several new clinical studies which demonstrate a significant benefit compared with placebo treatment. Based on these results, the use of phytopharmaceutical agents for the treatment of mild to moderate symptomatic BPH seems to be well justified. So far, no significant inhibition of further prostate growth has been demonstrated. For this, a careful follow-up of the patients is necessary so as not to miss a deterioration and perhaps the need for an operation.