Mon to Thur 8:30am – 5pm

Hope Island, QLD, Australia

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

Abascal, K., & Yarnell, E. (2008). Botanical medicine for cystitis. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 14(2), 69-77.

Afsharzadeh, M., Naderinasab, M., Najaran, Z. T., Barzin, M., & Emami, S. A. (2013). In-vitro antimicrobial activities of some Iranian conifers. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 12(1), 63-74.

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.

British Herbal Medicine Association. (2006). British Herbal Compendium; volume 2. Great Britian: British Herbal Medicine Association.

Cabral, C., Francisco, V., Cavaleiro, C., Gonçalves, M. J., Crux, M. T., Sales, F., Batista, M. T., & Salgueiro, L. (2012). Essential oil of Juniperus communis subsp. alpina (Suter) Čelak needles: chemical composition, antifungal activity and cytotoxicity. Phytotherapy Research, 26(9), 1352-1357.

Camporese, A. (2013). In vitro activity of Eucalyptus smithii and Juniperus communis essential oils against bacterial biofilms and efficacy perspectives of complementary inhalation therapy in chronic and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Le Infezioni in Medicina, 21(2), 117-124. [Abstract only – article in Italian]

Carpenter, C. D., O’Neill, T., Picot, N., Johnson, J. A., Robichaud, G. A., Webster, D., & Gray, C. A. (2012). Anti-mycobacterial natural products from the Canadian medicinal plant Juniperus communis. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 143(2), 695-700.

Chavali, S. R., Weeks, C. E., Zhong, W. W., Forse, R. A. (1998). Increased production of TNF-α and decreased levels of dienoic eicosanoids, IL-6 and IL-10 in mice fed menhaden oil and juniper oil diets in response to an intraperitoneal lethal dose of LPS. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 59(2), 89-93.

Felter, H. W., & Lloyd, J. U. (1898). King’s American Dispensatory. Retrieved online 29th June 2015: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/juniperus.html

Goey, A. K. L., Meijerman, I., Rosing, H., Burgers, J. A., Mergui-Roelvink, M., Keessen, M., Marchetti, S., Beijnen, J. H., & Schellens, J. H. M. (2013). The effect of Echinacea purpurea on the pharmacokinetics of docetaxel. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 76(3), 467-474.

Gordien, A. Y., Gray, A. I., Franzblau, S. G., & Seidel, V. (2009). Antimycobacterial terpenoids from Juniperus communis L. (Cuppressaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126(3), 500-505.

Grieve, M. (1973). A Modern Herbal (revised ed.). London, Great Britain: Tiger Books International.

Haziri, A., Faiku, F., Mehmeti, A., Govori, S., Abazi, S., Daci, M., Haziri, I., Bytyqi-Damoni, A., & Mele, A. (2013). Antimicrobial properties of the essential oil of Juniperus communis (L.) growing wild in east part of Kosovo. American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 8(3), 128-133.

Jimenez-Arellanes, A., Meckes, M., Ramirez, R., Torres, J., & Luna-Herrera, J. (2003). Activity against multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Mexican plants used to treat respiratory diseases. Phytotherapy Research, 17(8), 903-908.

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.

Meena, A. K., Verma, S. C., Rani, R., Rao, M. M., Panda, P., Padhi, M. M., & Devalla, R. B. (2012). Evaluation of preliminary phytochemical and physicochemical studies on Juniperus communis L. fruit used in Ayurvedic formulations. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. 5(1), 88-91.

Miceli, N., Trovato, A., Dugo, P., Cacciola, F. Donato, P., Marino, A., Bellinghieri, V., La Barbera, T. M., Güvenç, A., & Taviano, M. F. (2009). Comparative analysis of flavonoid profile, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the berries of Juniperus communis L. var. Communis and Juniperus communis L. var. saxatilis Pall. from Turkey. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(15), 6570-6577.

Moerman, D. E. (1998). Native American Ethnobotany. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press

Ross, S. M. (2007). Aromatic plants, spirituality, and sacred traditions. Holistic Nursing Practice, 21(6), 331-332.

Ross, S. M. (2010). Aromatic plants, spirituality, and sacred traditions II. Holistic Nursing Practice, 24(6), 355-357.

Stamatiou, K., & Pierris, N. (2013). Serenoa repens extract additionally to quinolones in the treatment of chronic bacterial prostatitis. The preliminary results of a long term observational study. Archivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia, 85(4), 190-196.

Tunón, H., Olavsdotter, C., & Bohlin L. (1995). Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of some Swedish medicinal plants. Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis and PAF-induced exocytosis. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 48(2), 61-76.