A new survey has identified 31 plants, including recipes, used in the treatment of benign prostate enlargement in Ijebu – North Local Government Area, Ogun State. Pineapple and Bitter kola were both used in the preparation of at least two recipes.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise referred to as prostate enlargement, is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men. It is a common disease of the urinary system among elderly men.
Many symptoms of BPH stem from obstruction of the urethra and gradual loss of bladder function, which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder.
The size of the prostate does not always determine how severe the obstruction or the symptoms will be. Some men with greatly enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms while others, whose glands are less enlarged, have more blockage and greater problems.
The survey involved a total of 150 respondents, including herb sellers, traditional healers, herbalists, patients, and other individuals with deep knowledge about BPH were interviewed and their responses were carefully recorded in the questionnaires.
It involved Emmanuel Chukwudi Chukwuma at the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State in collaboration with Michael Olasunkanmi Soladoye and Adekunle Ismaeel Mustapfa. It was published in the 2018 edition of PHYTOLOGIA BALCANICA.
The Nigerian Traditional Medical Association (NTMA), Ijebu-North Branch and the Nigerian Union of Medical Herbal Practitioners (NUMHP), Ijebu-Igbo Branch were also consulted and all information properly documented.
List of plant species used for the traditional management of BPH, included Abrus precatorius (Oju ologbo); Adenopus breviflorus (Tagiri); alligator Pepper (Atare); pineapple; bamboo leaves; giant milk weed (Bomubomu); chili pepper; pawpaw; african star apple (Agbalumo); lime; coconut; kola nut; sand paper leaf (Epin) and bitter kola.
Others are Grewia pubescens (Afoforo); Heliotropium indicum (Ogberi-akuko); Ipomoea involucrate (Alukerese); Jatropha curcas (physic nut, Botuje or lapalapa); Jatropha gossypiifolia (wild cassava or Botuje pupa); Musanga cecreopioides (umbrella tree or Aga); Opuntia dillenii (prickly pear or Oro agogo); leaves of Portulaca oleraceae (Esinsan-Omode) and sugarcane.
It also includes Securidaca longepedunculata (violet tree or Ipeta); Senna alata (candle bush or Asurun oyinbo); Senna podocarpa (Asurun ijebu); Sida acuta (broomweed or Isekotu); leaves of Spondias mombin (hog plum or Iyeye); Uvaria chamae (Eruju); bitter leaf; and Xylopia aethiopica (ethiopian pepper or Eeru).
The various recipes were also documented. Leaves of bamboo, unripe pineapple, leaves of spondias mombin, and leaves of portulaca oleraceae are put together in a pot, trona (kaun –Yoruba) is also added and the mixture is then boiled with water for about 35 minutes. Half a glass is to be taken once daily.
The second recipe involved grinding dried seed of bitter kola into powder and mixing it with the latex from Opuntia dillenii. This is moulded into pills and air-dried. One pill is to be taken once in five days.
The other recipes are:
- Peel pawpaw and green pineapple, soak them in water before boiling for thirty minutes. Half a glass is to be taken every morning.
- Grind the root of securidaca longepedunculata and the stem of sugarcane with Trona. Squeeze out the juice and filter into a bottle. A glass is to be taken daily.
- Dried seeds of Chrysophyllum albidum (Agbalumo) are ground into powder and dissolved in the juice obtained from Musanga cecropioides. A cup of the preparation is taken once daily.
- Bitter kolas are ground with Trona and the derived powder is then added to the lime juice. Two small glasses of the preparation are to be taken.
- Grind three alligator pepper with the leaves of Abrus precatorius and Trona into powder. Take the seeds of Adenopus breviflorus and Calotropis procera burn them together and sieve the ashes. The obtained powder is then mixed together and dissolved in the coconut liquid. Two small glasses of the preparation are to be taken frequently to ease urination.
- Boil the root of Uvaria chamae with palm wine and water for about 35 minutes. A spoonful of the decoction is to be taken twice daily.
- The fresh leaves of bitter leaf are squeezed in water. A glassful is to be taken four times daily.
- Leaves of Grewia pubescens are thoroughly washed, boiled in clean water and allowed to cool. A glassful is to be taken three times daily.
Meanwhile, the researchers said that although 31 plant species recorded in this study have been confirmed by the traditional medical practitioners as useful in the treatment of enlarged prostate, only some of them have been found to contain some active ingredients that are potent.
In recent times, ethnobotanical surveys have been encouraged by the continuous search for plant bioactive compounds for the manufacture of orthodox drugs.