Best Herbal Treatments for Prostate Swelling

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the most common conditions affecting middle-aged men. Fortunately, it is also one of the most treatable. Left unchecked, prostate swelling can cause bothersome symptoms like frequent urination and an inability to fully empty the bladder. In rare cases, an enlarged prostate can lead to other complications, including bladder infections and kidney disease. Many men turn to herbal supplements as a natural method for treating prostate swelling.

Several herbal remedies are marketed as treatments — or even cures — for prostate enlargement. While many of these are backed by centuries of traditional use, only a few have been confirmed by solid scientific evidence. The three best herbal treatments for prostate swelling — saw palmetto, pygeum and nettle — have all been investigated by numerous clinical trials. They are all generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and have very few side effects.

Saw Palmetto

Renowned within the naturopathic community as a virtual panacea for problems occurring in middle-aged men, saw palmetto helps to reduce or eliminate many of the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. According to the National Institutes of Health, saw palmetto is as effective as the prescription drug finasteride (Proscar). It is also associated with fewer side effects and may be more affordable. Saw palmetto can help to reduce urinary frequency and can help to improve the flow of urine. As a bonus, saw palmetto also helps to support male hormone balance and may even improve sexual health.


An effective medicinal herb originating in Africa, pygeum rivals saw palmetto in its efficacy as an herbal treatment for prostate swelling. The U.S. National Institutes of Health note that “strong scientific evidence” supports the use of pygeum in this regard. Clinical trials have found that pygeum’s side effects are roughly equivalent to placebo; there are no known risks or drug interactions associated with it. While noting that pygeum does little to actually shrink the prostate, it can effectively reduce urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.


The leaves of the nettle plant contain several anti-inflammatory compounds; they are popular as a remedy for seasonal allergies and other forms of congestion. According to several clinical trials, nettle appears to act in synergy with other herbal treatments for prostate swelling. Nettle is included in several over-the-counter herbal formulas and may actually work to reduce the size of the prostate gland.