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Prostate, bacteria and herbal medicine

Chronic prostatitis affects predominantly males aged between 18 and 35 years, as well as constituting frequent diagnosis in those aged over 65 years primarily as a histological finding or in relation to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms. Most commonly, prostatitis involves infection due to Gram-negative uropathogens and less frequently Gram-positive bacteria. The symptoms include pelvic pain with varying intensity, urinary symptoms including both obstructive and irritative, and erectile or sexual dysfunction. Similar symptoms are also found in BPH due to both obstruction and secondary inflammation, therefore the authors* suggested that herbal medicines used efficaciously in the treatment of BPH are also justified in the treatment of chronic prostatitis.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis, one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections in men, is characterised by persistant bacterial infection of the prostate. Antibiotic therapy is the preferred primary method of treatment, however they have a low success rate and long-term therapy may result in other health complications as well as the appearance of drug-resistant bacterial strains. Once inside the prostate gland, bacteria form a biofilm causing biomineralisation, which can lead to frequent recurrence after antibiotic treatment. The use of herbal medicine in addition to antibiotic therapy has been proposed to enhance the symptomatic management of chronic bacterial prostatitis, as well as significantly reduce bacterial infections.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis can be very difficult to treat, primarily due to the barrier between the blood and prostate which hinders the entrance of antiobiotic drugs into the prostate. Ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, is known to penetrate both extracellular and intracellular fluids and is therefore popularly employed as the drug of choice for prostatitis. However, the long-term efficacy of ciprofloxacin treatment is only 60%. This study revealed that the combination of ciprofloxacin and ginsenoids enhanced the antibacterial activity of the antibiotic drug, and significantly reduced histological changes including inflammatory cell infiltration. This synergistic antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action between ginsenoids found in the root of Panax ginseng with fluoroquinolone antibiotics is a promising outcome in the treatment of bacterial prostatitis. This study has also found ginsenoids to be a preventative herbal medicine in cases of chronic bacterial prostatitis. (Kim et al, 2012)

In addition to herbal medicine, frequency specific microcurrent has been shown highly effective in treating bacterial infections. 

Always consult a qualified natural health practitioner for individualised assessment treatment and never self-prescribe.

* References

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Akkol, E. K., Güvenç, A., & Yesilada, E. (2009). A comparative study on the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of five Juniperus taxa. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 125(2), 330-336.

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Kim, S. H., Ha, U-S., Sohn, D. W., Lee, S-J., Kim, H. W., Han, C. H., & Cho, Y-H. (2012). Preventive effect of ginsenoid on chronic bacterial prostatitis. Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy, 18(5), 709-714.

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