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Pygeum: What it is and its benefits

Pygeum: What it is and its benefits


Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines, including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • What is Pygeum?
  • Historical Background
  • Active Components
  • Traditional Uses
  • Modern Research and Benefits
  • Forms and Dosage
  • Safety and Side Effects
  • Conclusion

Pygeum, scientifically known as Pygeum africanum, is a tree native to Africa, particularly found in the mountainous regions of Equatorial Africa. It has been utilized for centuries in traditional medicine for various health purposes. Pygeum extract, derived from the bark of the tree, has gained attention in modern times for its potential health benefits, particularly in supporting prostate health and alleviating urinary symptoms.

What is Pygeum?

Pygeum is a botanical extract obtained from the bark of the African cherry tree, Pygeum africanum. This tree belongs to the Rosaceae family and is also known as African plum, cherry plum, or African prune. The extract is rich in bioactive compounds such as phytosterols, pentacyclic triterpenes, and ferulic acid derivatives, which contribute to its therapeutic properties.

Historical Background

Pygeum has a long history of traditional use among indigenous African communities for its medicinal properties. Historically, extracts from the bark of the Pygeum africanum tree were used to alleviate urinary symptoms, treat bladder discomfort, and improve overall male reproductive health. Its usage dates back centuries, with indigenous tribes incorporating it into their healing practices.

Active Components

Pygeum bark contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to its therapeutic effects. One of the key components is beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Other important constituents include pentacyclic triterpenes like ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, as well as ferulic acid derivatives. These compounds possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-androgenic properties, which are believed to be responsible for Pygeum's health benefits.

Traditional Uses

In traditional African medicine, Pygeum bark extract was commonly used to address various urinary and reproductive issues in men. It was often employed to alleviate symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), such as urinary frequency, urgency, nocturia, and incomplete bladder emptying. Additionally, it was believed to enhance male fertility and libido. Traditional healers prepared decoctions or infusions from the bark and administered them orally to treat these conditions.

Modern Research and Benefits

Modern research on Pygeum extract has uncovered a multitude of potential health benefits beyond its traditional uses, particularly in the context of prostate health and beyond. Here's a deeper dive into some of the key findings:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): Numerous clinical studies have investigated Pygeum extract's effectiveness in managing symptoms of BPH, a common condition characterized by non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Pygeum has shown promise in reducing urinary symptoms such as urinary frequency, nocturia, urgency, and hesitancy. Research suggests that Pygeum extract may exert its effects by inhibiting the proliferation of prostate cells, reducing inflammation, and improving bladder function. These findings have led to the inclusion of Pygeum extract in various formulations aimed at alleviating BPH symptoms.
  • Chronic Prostatitis: Pygeum extract has also demonstrated potential benefits in the management of chronic prostatitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the prostate gland. Clinical trials have reported improvements in symptoms such as pelvic pain, urinary discomfort, and sexual dysfunction following Pygeum supplementation. The anti-inflammatory properties of Pygeum extract are believed to play a key role in reducing prostatitis-related symptoms and improving overall quality of life in affected individuals.
  • Sexual Function: Beyond its effects on prostate health, Pygeum extract may also have positive effects on sexual function in men. Some studies have suggested that Pygeum supplementation may lead to improvements in erectile function, libido, and overall sexual satisfaction. These effects could be attributed to Pygeum's ability to modulate hormonal balance, reduce inflammation, and enhance blood flow to the genital area. While further research is needed to fully elucidate the mechanisms underlying these effects, the findings thus far are promising.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Pygeum extract exhibits potent antioxidant properties, which may confer additional health benefits beyond its effects on the prostate. Oxidative stress plays a central role in the pathogenesis of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer. By scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative damage to cells and tissues, Pygeum extract may help protect against age-related degenerative processes and support overall health and well-being.
  • Urinary Tract Health: In addition to its effects on prostate function, Pygeum extract may also promote urinary tract health in both men and women. Some studies suggest that Pygeum supplementation can help reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and alleviate symptoms such as urinary urgency and discomfort. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of Pygeum extract may contribute to its protective effects on the urinary tract, making it a valuable adjunctive therapy for individuals prone to recurrent UTIs or urinary discomfort.

Forms and Dosage

Pygeum extract is commonly available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures, and powders. The recommended dosage can vary depending on the specific product and the intended use. However, typical doses range from 50 mg to 200 mg of standardized extract per day, taken orally with meals. It's essential to follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Safety and Side Effects

Pygeum extract is generally considered safe for most people when taken at recommended doses. However, some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal upset, headache, or dizziness. Allergic reactions are rare but can occur in sensitive individuals. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid Pygeum due to a lack of safety data in this population. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medications should consult with a healthcare provider before using Pygeum extract to avoid potential interactions.


In conclusion, Pygeum extract, derived from the bark of the Pygeum africanum tree, has a rich history of traditional use and is supported by modern research for its potential health benefits. Its bioactive compounds offer anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-androgenic properties that may help alleviate urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and support overall prostate health in men. While generally safe, it's important to use Pygeum extract responsibly, following recommended dosages and consulting with healthcare professionals when necessary.


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