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A water extract of the traditional Chinese herb formula yukmijihwang-tang successfully inhibited development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in rats. The authors suggested this Chinese herb may be helpful in managing BPH.
Yukmijihwang-tang is an ancient herbal remedy typically used to treat renal disorders, diabetes, neurosis, and memory problems. The formula consists of six herbs: Rehmannia glutinosa, Cornus officinalis, Dioscorea batatas, Paeonia suffruticosa, Poria cocos, and Alisma orientale. It is among the most widely used herbal remedies in Korea and China.
In this study, 30 rats were assigned to one of five groups: one group was the control and the rats in the other four groups were given injections of testosterone for 4 weeks to induce BPH.
Yukmijihwang-tang was given at a dose of 200 or 400 mg/kg daily for 4 weeks to two groups along with the testosterone.
At the end of the trial, the rats were euthanized and their prostates and tissues examined. Although all the rats with BPH had an increased prostate weight and elevated dihydrotestosterone levels, these factors were significantly lower in the rats treated with yukmijihwang-tang.
This was the first study of the use of yukmijihwang-tang for management of BPH. Other recent research of this herbal combination has shown it to be somewhat effective in enhancing memory, inhibiting bone loss, offering antidiabetic and anti-asthmatic effects, and stimulating spermatogenesis (the process by which sperm are produced).
Shin IS et al. Inhibitory effect of yukmijihwang-tang, a traditional herbal formula against testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012; 12:48