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Chinese Herbs for Prostate Health

Chinese Herbs for Prostate Health


Using TCM for Prostate Problems

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the prostate gland as part of the Kidney system. The Kidney system is not the same as your actual kidneys. Rather, it's refers to several different body systems.  These include the urinary system, reproductive system, nervous system, and skeletal system.

From a modern TCM perspective, prostate complaints fall into three main types:

  • Enlarged Prostate (Prostate Hypertrophy)
  • Inflamed prostate (Prostatitis)
  • Prostate Cancer

Prostate Conditions According to TCM


Excess Type – Acute Prostatitis

Indications are: pain, burning urination, dark urine, pus or blood, strong odor. The pulse is usually rapid.  This type is often caused by pathogenic intrusions such as bacteria, virus, or other invasive organism or toxins.

Formulas for Excess Type prostatitis usually include herbs that Clear Heat, and Clean Toxins and Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness. Herbs in these categories are normally used for bacterial or viral infections, inflammations, and for symptoms such as bladder infections and prostatitis. 


Deficiency Type - Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

TCM associates enlargement of the prostate with kidney deficiency. In middle age the kidney energy declines, resulting in the reduction of sex hormones and decreases one's sexual energy, which affects the function and the circulation of the prostate gland. Chinese medical theory has always postulated that deficiency causes swelling, therefore Qi (energy) deficiencies in the prostate gland causes it to enlarge causing what is known in the West as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Indications are: pressure, distention, or a “bearing down sensation”, frequent urination, dribbling urination, low back weakness, low sexual desire, feeling cold, or tired on waking after a full night’s sleep. 

Formulas for Deficiency Type usually include herbs to Tonify Kidney, Tonify Spleen, Astringe the Kidney, and Tonify Jing.


Prostate Cancer 

Treatment of prostate cancer with Chinese herbs is done according to the principle of Fu Zheng Gu Ben. “Fu Zheng”, means to strengthen what is correct. “Gu Ben” means regeneration and repair.

Note: There was once a great interest in a formula called PC-SPES (PC for prostate cancer; SPES is said to be Latin for “hope”). The herbal drug appeared to dramatically lower PSA levels in patients with some kinds of advanced prostate cancer. Proponents of PC-SPES said that the herbal drug achieved this effect because of its immune enhancing and anti-cancer properties.

Its popularity was enhanced when the New England Journal of Medicine reported that several MD researchers noted good results using the compound. 

However, it came to light that PC SPES achieved its PSA lowering effect by affecting hormones, rather than through any anti-cancer or immune enhancing effect. It also turned out not to be an herbal drug at all. In 2002, the U.S. FDA recalled the product when it discovered that it contained one or more pharmaceutical agents.


Shen Clinic TCM consultation


Acupuncture and Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a condition caused when the prostate gland becomes infected or inflamed. In Western medicine these conditions are treated with powerful antibiotics. This treatment is usually effective when bacterial infections are the cause, however sometimes these medications are used even when bacteria are not present. This can lead to resistance to antibiotics as well as allergic reactions to these powerful drugs.

In non-infective prostatitis, acupuncture may be a safer and more effective way to relieve this painful condition.

Acupuncture and Prostate Cancer

Acupuncture will not cure prostate cancer, but it can play a role in relieving symptoms caused by radiation and other prostate cancer treatments. Acupuncture can be useful as a post surgical treatment to relieve pain and promote healing.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claim as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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