Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a disorder that generally affects men 50 years of age and older. BPH is not the same as prostate cancer.
The prostate is a small, muscular gland (in the shape of a walnut) in the male reproductive system. It surrounds the urethra just below the urinary bladder and adds fluid to semen to allow sperm mobility.
With age, the cells of the gland begin to multiply, leading to an enlarged prostate. Although the exact cause is unknown, changes in male sex hormones with age may be a factor.
Other risk factors for prostate gland enlargement are family history, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It tends to be more common in men of Asian heritage than other races.
Many men with BPH have either no symptoms or very mild symptoms. However, many men have severe symptoms that may even interfere with their quality of life.
Some of the symptoms of BPH are a frequent urge to urinate, increased frequency of urination at night, trouble starting a stream of urine, a weak urine stream, continued dribbling of urine, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.
If left untreated, an enlarged prostate can block the flow of urine out of the bladder, leading to other complications like urinary retention, UTIs, bladder stones, and kidney damage.
There are several effective treatments for enlarged prostate, including medications, therapies and surgery. In addition, certain home remedies and lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for enlarged prostate.
1. Kegel Exercises
Kegel or pelvic-strengthening exercises can help ease some of the discomforts of enlarged prostate as they help tighten and clench specific pelvic muscles to help control urination.
- Empty your bladder and lie on the floor with your knees bent and apart. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds, then relax them for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 to 20 times, 3 or 4 times each day. Pelvic floor muscles are the muscles you use to stop your urine flow.
- Another option is to squeeze the muscles in your anus, then relax your pelvic floor muscles. Do it 10 to 20 times, a few times a day.
Regularly perform kegel exercises throughout the day. You can do them after waking up in the morning, at lunchtime, in the evening and before going to bed. Target your pelvic muscles only and avoid tightening the muscles in your stomach, buttocks or thighs. If you are having difficulty locating the pelvic muscles, get help from an expert.
Note: Men who suffer from chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome must avoid doing kegel exercises.
2. Aerobic and Resistance Exercises
Staying active is good for the prostate as well as overall health. Inactivity contributes to obesity, one of the risk factors for enlarged prostate.
Even a small amount of exercise like aerobic and resistance exercises can help reduce urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate and can even prevent this problem.
- Aerobic exercises can help you maintain a healthy weight. Incorporate aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running, tennis, basketball and rowing in your daily routine.
- Resistance exercises help improve strength and muscle tone, while reducing inflammation. Examples of resistance exercises are swimming, push-ups and lifting weights. Do these for 30 minutes, a few times a week.
3. Sitz Bath
A contrast sitz bath is a soothing and effective remedy for enlarged prostate. The hot bath will help relax the pelvic muscles, reduce swelling and promote healing. On the other hand, the cold bath will ease pain.
- Fill one bathtub with warm water and add ½ cup of Epsom salt to it.
- Fill another bathtub with cold water and add a few drops of lavender essential oil to it.
- First, sit in the bathtub with hot water up to your waist for 3 minutes.
- Next, sit in the bathtub with cold water up to your waist for 1 minute.
- Do this 2 more times. The last bath should always be in the cool water.
- Enjoy a sitz bath a few times each week.
Note: Do not follow this remedy if you have acute bacterial prostatitis.
4. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle can also lessen BPH symptoms. The root contains essential bioactive phytochemicals that help shrink prostate tissue. Being a natural diuretic, it also encourages the elimination of inflammatory wastes through urination.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain it. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times daily.
- You can also take a stinging nettle supplement. The usual amount is 300 mg daily. Always consult a doctor before taking a supplement for the correct dosage for your condition.
5. Corn Silk
Corn silk is a time-tested remedy to fight off symptoms of prostate enlargement. It acts as a natural diuretic and even helps relax the urinary muscles and lining. This leads to improved urine flow.
- Put the silk of 6 ears of fresh corn in 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for another 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 cups of this corn silk tea a day.
- Another option is to add 15 drops of corn silk extract to 1 cup of water and drink it a few times a day.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has astringent properties that help shrink swollen prostate glands. It also aids weight loss and helps prevent complications of enlarged prostate like UTIs.
- Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily.
- Another option is to add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a bathtub of water and soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy this soothing bath a few times a week.