What is the role of herbal therapy in BPH treatment

This question is difficult to answer. Herbs are considered as food additives and not drugs and, as such, are not regulated by the FDA. The production and marketing of herbs are essentially unregulated. Therefore, few randomized studies evaluate the efficacy of herbal therapy in the treatment of BPH.

Phytotherapy, more commonly known as herbal therapy, has become increasingly popular in the treatment of BPH. About 30 herbal compounds have been used to treat prostatic urinary symptoms. The most popular of these is saw palmetto, which is the extract of the dried ripe fruit from the American dwarf saw palmetto plant, Serenoa repens.

Until recently, the efficacy of saw palmetto was unknown. A 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine (2006;354:557-566), however, demonstrated that there was no significant difference between saw palmetto and placebo as measured by symptom scores or urinary flow rates. Unless subsequent reports refute this well-done study, it would seem that saw palmetto has no documented benefit in the treatment of BPH.

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