Ayurvedic Management of Prostate Enlargement

An enlarged prostate or benign prostate hypertrophy is not a cancer and does not raise the risk of its conversion to cancer.

Prostate,  a small, rubbery gland about the size of a walnut, is a soft organ which weighs around 30 gm. It is present deep inside the groin between the base of the penis and the rectum in human males. If looked from side view, it is located between bladder and the penis and the urine tube (urethra) runs through the centre of the prostate from the bladder to penis, letting urine flow out of the body. It is categorized into four zones that surround the urethra like the layers of an onion. 

Functions of Prostate Gland
Prostate gland is important for fertility but is not essential for life. Its primary function is to contribute prostatic fluid to semen. Its fluid contains enzymes, zinc and citric acid which make the semen thinner, help the sperm to travel and survive its journey towards the egg. Another important function of prostate gland is to close the opening between the bladder and urethra. This prevents semen going upward in urinary bladder. Further, it contains an enzyme called 5- alpha-reductase which converts male hormone testosterone into its biological active form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is crucial for secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair.

There are several medicinal conditions that can affect prostate which include prostatitis (swelling or inflammation of the prostate), enlarged prostate also known as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer. Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem in males under 50 and enlarged prostate is the most common prostate problem in males over 50. Prostate cancer affects around 1 in 9 males during their life time.
One should always consult a doctor if he notices any of the above stated symptoms. If people remain ignored then this can cause problems with sexual function, urinary tract infections, bladder stones and in extreme cases may lead to kidney failure.
In Ayurveda, description of enlarged prostate closely resembles clinical features of Ashtheela. Ashtheela is one of the 10 types of mutraghata (obstructive uropathies) described in Ayurveda. It is mentioned as mobile and elevated swelling which obstructs the passage of urine and faeces. Generally vata prokopa ahara like dry and cold food, starvation, over exertion and suppressing the urine aggravates vata dosha which leads to Ashtheela.

Features of  Prostate Enlargement

•    Urgency to pass urine
•    Weak and thin urine stream
•    Frequent visits to washroom
•    Trouble in controlling the urination
•    Voiding only a small amount of urine
•    Pain while urination or after ejaculation
•    Unable to empty the bladder completely
•    Pain in the penis, scrotum or area between the scrotum and anus


Facts about Enlarged Prostate
1.    Prostate gland starts growing in mid twenties and continues to grow for nearly the rest of life. So, enlarged prostate can develop at any time in life long growth phase.
2.    Enlarged prostate is not a cancer. It has nothing to do with risk of cancer, but enlarged prostate and cancer can occur at the same time.
3.    Most of the males develop enlarged prostate, but nearly half of males have symptoms that affect their quality of life.
4.    The size of the prostate does not determine how severe the symptoms are as every man is different.
5.    A healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a healthy diet may help to prevent enlarged prostate.

Herbs in Enlarged Prostate
Gokshuru, Pashanbheda, Haritaki, Varun, Punarnava and Kanchnar.
Classical Formulations-Kanchnar Guggul, Chandraprabha Vati, Gokshuradi Guggul, Trinapanchmula kwath, Shveta Parpati, Varunadi ghrita, Chandanasava, Punarnavasava etc.

There are many yogic poses and kriyas which are beneficial in enlarged prostate; however, these should be done under the guidance of a qualified yoga therapist. Vajrasana, Siddhasana, Gomukhasana, Padmangushthasana, Baddhkonasana, Guptasana, Paschimottanasana, Sarvangasana and Pawanmukatasana are very helpful.
Ashvini mudra, Moolbandha, Nadishodhan, Pranamaya are also advisable in patients suffering from prostate disorder.

Old wheat, old rice, green gram, horse gram, barley, garlic, turmeric, ginger, drumstick, coconut, cucumber, watermelon, coriander, cumin seeds sugarcane, grapes and buttermilk are beneficial.

Corn Silk are the silky fibers found on the tip of the ear of corn. It contains a variety of compounds which are pharmacologically important and are used in many traditional systems of medicine. It is usually thrown in dustbins as public is unaware of its valuable benefits. It is most commonly used as a corn silk tea, which is gaining its popularity day by day throughout the world for its use in inflammation of prostate, bladder infections, kidney stones and high cholesterol.

Method to prepare Corn Silk Tea
1.    Take ½ cup of corn silk (both wet or dry can be used) and 2 cups of water in a pan. 
2.    Keep the  contents on slow flame for 10 minutes.
3.    Now put out the flame and let it cool.
4.    Strain and pour the solution in a cup.
5.    Add Honey/ Ginger/ Black pepper as required (optional).
6.    Enjoy the wonderful drink.
It has a great taste and is full of antioxidants which makes it ideal drink for patients suffering from prostate problems.

Pea, black gram, spinach, jamun, mustard, sesame, spicy foods are to be avoided.

Associate Professor,
Department of Swasthvritta and Yoga,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar (Pb.)
Mob.: 94654-66589