Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) is the swelling of the prostate gland, which is very commonly seen after 50 yrs. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland in men. As men age, the prostate gland slowly grows bigger and presses on the urethra. This hypertrophy can sometimes also lead to prostate cancer. In Yogaratnakara it has been described as —
” NAABHERADHASTHAATSANJAATAHA SANCHAARI YADI VAACHALAHA |
ASHTEELAAVAD GHANO GRANTHIROODHWAR MAAYATA UNNATAHA || ”
which means below the umbilicus there is a hard gland which is a little bit bulged and changes its size sometimes. This gland when affected by vitiated vata causes a disease known as vataastheela, i.e. BPH.
Causes of BPH
The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown.
But the causes of BPH are very well explained In ayurveda which is based on tridosha theory.
Causes of vataashteela or BPH
Causes for vataashteela according to dosha theory:
vataashteela is caused by vitiated vayu and apaana vayu ( a subcategory of Vayu)
( APAANA VAYU is located in two testicles, urinary bladder, phallus, umbilicus, thighs, groins, anus and colon.
Symptoms of BPH
- Difficulty in starting to pass urine ( hesitancy ),
- A weak stream of urine,
- Dribbling after urinating
- The need to strain to pass urine,
- Incomplete emptying of bladder.
- Difficulty to control the urination urge.
- Having to get up several times in the night to pass urine,
- Feeling a burning sensation when passing urine.
- Passing urine mixed with blood (indication of infection)
Symptoms of vatashteela
” VINMUTRAANILA SANGASCHA TANNAADMAANAMCHA JAAYATE|
VEDANAA CHA PARAA BASTOU VAATAASHTEELETI TAAM VIDUHU || ”
The vitiated ashteela gland when enlarged is called as “vatashteela”. This enlarged gland causes
1.Obstruction to easy flow of urine.
2.Obstruction to Easy passage of stools and gas
3.Bloating of Stomach.
4.Pain in bladder.
Guidelines for Ayurvedic Remedies
- Remain sexually active. Take hot baths. Avoid dampness and cold temperatures.
- Drink eight or more glasses of water everyday, but do not drink liquids too close to bedtime. Reduce stress. Do not smoke.
- You should avoid allopathic medications for colds and allergy that contain decongestants such as pseudoephedrine.
- Certain anti-histamines can also slow urine flow in some men with BPH. Other drugs that may exacerbate symptoms are certain anti-depressants and drugs used to treat spasticity. Diuretics and alcoholic beverages can also make matters worse.
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises are useful to prevent urine leakage. They strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that both support the bladder and close the sphincter.
- Some form of light exercise such as swimming, jogging, or walking is preferable.
- Shilajit, a herbo-mineral compound ejected out of rocks during hot weather in the lower Himalayas is specially used in genito-urinary disease.
- Kshaaras are the alkaline salts obtained from the ash of medicinal plants. Yava-kshaara is one such substance obtained from dried wheat plant, before blooming. This contains altered form of potassium carbonate, which is indicated in enlargement of the glands with special concern to prostate.
- Long-term insufficient zinc intake is also linked to BPH. Good dietary sources of zinc include meat, eggs, and seafood. Yassada bhasma, obtained by calcination of zinc is the specific medicine for this purpose.
- Early & mild cases respond well to Chandra prabhavati, 2 tablets twice a day with warm milk.
- Perform uddiyan bandh and moolbandh. These are yogic exercises where in the anus is contracted upwards and umbilicus is pulled inwards with holding of breath as long as you can. This exercise increases the blood flow to the prostate thereby reducing hypertrophy.
The Ayurvedic treatment of BPH is aimed at reducing the size of the prostate gland. Medicines used for this purpose are: Chandraprabha-Vati, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Triphala-Guggulu, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Gomutra-Haritaki, Arogya-Vardhini, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Shilajit (Purified Bitumen), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Pashanbhed (Bergenia lingulata), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Musli (Curculigo orchioides), Daru-Haridra (Berberis aristata), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Apamarga (Achyranthus aspera), Sahinjan ( Moringa pterygosperma) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa).
In addition, medicines which act on the ‘Mansa’ dhatu (tissue) are useful in this condition. These medicines include Triphala (Three fruits), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Draksha (Vitis vinifera) and Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica).
Diet in Prostate Enlargement and Prostate Cancer
Patient should follow by a diet consisting of two meals of fruits and one of cooked vegetables for seven days. Thereafter, the patient may adopt a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Heavy starches, sweet stimulants, and highly seasoned foods are entirely forbidden, as they are said to cause direct irritation to the prostate gland and bladder. The diet should also exclude spices, condiments, salt in excess, sauces, red meats, cheese, asparagus, watercress, greasy or fried foods, alcohol, tobacco, and too much of tea or coffee. The patient should avoid hurried meals and must chew his food thoroughly and slowly. Water should be taken between meals and not at meal times.
Ayurveda tips for SELF-CARE
If symptoms are mild, the following methods can be tried for relief:
1.Vata gets vitiated when natural urges are controlled. Hence do not control the natural urge of passing urine. Urinate when you first get the urge.
2.Go to the bathroom even if you do not have urge.
3.Alcohol, tobacco, coffee increase vata and vitiate it. Hence avoid alcohol, tobacco and coffee, especially after dinner.
4.Vata gets normalized and vitiation comes down when body is warm. This can be accomplished with regular exercises and keeping the body warm.
5.Mental exertion leads to increase of vata. Avoid mental exertion at work place and at home.
6.Avoid foods which cause constipation as constipation causes vitiation of vata..
BPH can be prevented by –
1.Consuming low fat diet
2.Including lots of fiber in diet ( fruits and vegetables which are rich in fiber).
3.Visiting your family physician as soon as you notice any symptoms while passing urine.