Treating Prostatitis

prostatitisProstatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland. Because buchu is a natural source of the bioflavonoid quercetin and has proven anti-inflammatory properties, it can be helpful in treating the condition.

In men, the prostate is an exocrine gland located just below the bladder. It’s responsible for producing a fluid that makes up about a third of the volume of semen. The prostate may become inflamed due to bacterial infection or other causes, not all of which are properly understood.

In some cases, an inflamed prostate is just a mild irritation or even goes unnoticed. In others, it can cause moderate to severe pain, significantly affecting a man’s quality of life. Depending on its type, it may require urgent medical treatment.

Note that prostatitis is not a sign of prostate cancer.


Types of prostatitis 

Based on its causes and the nature and duration of symptoms, prostatitis is categorised into four types:

  • acute bacterial prostatitis, which results from sudden bacterial infection
  • chronic bacterial prostatitis, which involves recurring bacterial infection of the urinary tract; symptoms are milder than in the case of acute bacterial prostatitis
  • chronic non-bacterial prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome or prostatodynia; the causes of this type of prostatitis aren’t properly understood
  • asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, which is prostatitis with no symptoms; it may be detected during analysis of biopsied tissue or specimens of urine, semen or prostatic fluid.


Causes of prostatitis

Bacterial prostatitis (acute or chronic) is typically caused by infected urine flowing back from the urethra into the prostate ducts. It’s commonly associated with bladder or urinary tract infection, and is more common after certain invasive medical procedures, like insertion of a catheter.

You can’t “catch” bacterial prostatitis or transmit it to others – it’s not contagious.

Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis is by far the most common. Among the medical community, there are different theories about its possible causes. For example, it might be caused by organisms like chlamydia, which are sexually transmitted. It might be associated with pelvic muscle spasms. It’s also thought that inflammation of the prostate may occur as a result of an immune system reaction to a previous infection or injury.


Prostatitis symptoms

Symptoms of prostatitis can include urinary tract infection with burning pain in the genital, pelvic and lower back areas, frequent desire to urinate, difficulty urinating and, in the case of bacterial prostatitis, fever and chills.

In the case of acute bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms appear suddenly and are severe. The symptoms of the other types of prostatitis are similar but tend to be milder and often recur.


Prostatitis treatment

Bacterial prostatitis (acute or chronic) requires treatment with antibiotics.

The chronic forms of prostatitis tend to recur and can’t necessarily be cured, although they can be medically managed.

A range of treatments may be used for non-bacterial prostatitis. These include:

  • alpha-blockers and muscle relaxants, designed to relieve muscle tightness or spasms that contribute to pain
  • anti-inflammatories and pain medication
  • the plant extract quercetin (which is among the bioflavonoids naturally found in buchu)
  • prostatic massage, to drain the prostate ducts and so relieve pressure in the prostate
  • locally applied heat or hot sitz baths.


Doctors may also recommend avoiding caffeine and foods that are spicy or highly acidic.

Why use buchu to treat prostatitis: scientific evidence

Buchu is a natural source of the bioflavonoid quercetin, which a number of researchers have found useful in treating chronic prostatitis.

According to a 1999 study by MD Daniel Shoskes in the United States, “Therapy with the bioflavonoid quercetin is well tolerated and provides significant symptomatic improvement in most men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome.”

Buchu also has other valuable medical properties. In a 2005 master’s thesis for the University of the Witwatersrand, Aneesa Moolla confirmed what the indigenous people of the Cape knew hundreds of years ago – buchu, which is a species of the Agathosma genus, has remarkable anti-bacterial, diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Together these make buchu ideal for treating prostatitis.

uti reliefThe buchu oil used in our BuchuLife UTI Relief Soft Gel Caps is an excellent source of the bioflavonoids and other compounds that make buchu an effective therapy for inflammatory disorders such as prostatitis. It’s also an excellent source of anti-oxidants, vitamins, calcium and iron.