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14.06.2021


Supplementation with Epilobium angustifolium relieves mild prostate complaints

In everyday English Epilobium angustifolium is called fireweed, but because we like to appear smarter than we really are, in this article we prefer the term Epilobium angustifolium. It grows everywhere and nowhere in the Northern Hemisphere. According to a human study published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, daily supplementation with two capsules of Epilobium angustifolium relieves prostate complaints.


Supplementation with Epilobium angustifolium relieves mild prostate complaints


Study
Epilobium angustifolium is a typical pioneer plant. If a piece of land is left fallow, you can bet that Epilobium angustifolium will grow on it. Traditional healers use tea from the aerial parts of the plant for a variety of ailments ranging from migraines, insomnia, loss of memory, colds, stomach ulcers, food poisoning and prostate complaints. [Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1287-97.]

The main active substances in Epilobium angustifolium are, in addition to a variety of flavonoids, probably ellagitannins such as oenothein B. In test tubes, extracts of this plant inhibit the growth and development of prostate cancer cells. [Pharmacology. 2003 Oct;69(2):79-87.]

Study
Italian researchers at the University of Naples Federico II gave 70 men with mild prostate complaints a supplement containing half a gram of Epilobium angustifolium extract every day for six months. During the same period, 58 men with identical complaints were given a placebo.

The men had what urologists call benign prostate hyperplasia. They had to urinate more often than usual due to an enlarged prostate, which made it difficult for them to sleep through the night. They also could not completely empty their bladder.

The researchers analyzed the extracts they used, and the result is shown below. Click it for a larger version. The most prominent constituent was oenothin B.


Supplementation with Epilobium angustifolium relieves mild prostate complaints


Results
Before and after the supplementation period, the men had to complete the International Prostate Specific Score questionnaire. You will find it here.

The supplement reduced the severity of the men's complaints. You can see this below. Click on the figure for a larger version.


Supplementation with Epilobium angustifolium relieves mild prostate complaints


You can also see above that the prostate of the test subjects did not become smaller as a result of the supplement. It is therefore not clear from the study how the supplement works exactly.

Side effects
"No subjects reported adverse effects related to oral intake of Epilobium angustifolium extract food supplement", write the Italians. "Moreover, Epilobium angustifolium extract food supplement did not show hepatic or renal toxicity."

Conclusion
"In conclusion, Epilobium angustifolium extract food supplements can be used in subjects with benign prostate hypertrophy, to improve their quality of life and general renal function."

Sponsor
The study was funded by the Italian government, not a supplement manufacturer.

Source:
Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun;138:111414.

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