If you are looking for some natural remedies for an enlarged prostate you might be interested in making your own tincture. Before modern medicine developed pharmaceutical drugs to help with disease and conditions, plants were used – they were the only medicine. Traditional societies knew about the special qualities of plants and herb lore was handed down to the generations. Plants have compounds and chemicals which have biologically active effects. And yes, you have to be careful – you need to be aware of what the herb might do – but the same goes for pharmaceuticals too. The first drugs were made from plants. Digoxin also called Lanoxin comes immediately to mind. This drug is derived from the foxglove plant.
I got hooked on the idea of making tinctures when I watched a master herbalist make this one, and this particular tincture recipe has come along at the right time because I’ve been blogging about prostate health. The most difficult part is procuring the herbs in the first place, but after that – its just having fun brewing up a storm in the kitchen. A tincture is liquid tonic where herbs are infused in an alcohol solution to draw out the active chemicals. It is possible to use a non alcoholic base if don’t like the idea of alcohol. You can use vegetable glycerin or raw vinegar, but these solutes will not draw out the compounds from the plants as efficiently. Alcohol will preserve your tincture for several years, where as vegetable glycerin and raw vinegar will only last a couple of years. If you don’t want to use alcohol some master herbalists’ recommend making the tincture with the alcohol base and consuming your daily dose in hot water as alcohol is rapidly destroyed with heat.
This recipe comes from the Veria television program ‘What a Relief’ . I regularly watch Veria for its alternative approach to health. Now I don’t agree with absolutely everything that comes my way – that’s what having an enquiring mind is about- not believing everything you read or hear but using information to further your own education and also using good judgment based on what you already know.
Safety comes first when it comes to drugs and herbs so I feel compelled to provide you the rundown on the herbs that are used in this tincture. There are always interactions and adverse effects and ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health. You may find that you wish to avoid using a particular herb if you take a certain medication for example. I have researched the herbs in this recipe as they relate to prostate health so if are interested in any of these herbs for other reasons you might like to research it a bit, or contact me and I’ll give you a hand.
Wow at this point I feel like one of those commercials advertising a new drug where side effects include everything from migraine to sudden death. So putting all of this in perspective it’s also true that the adverse reactions which are reported are not that common and that a lot of the interaction warnings are theoretical. Yes they can happen – but human beings have used these herbs for thousands of years too. It’s like saying that if you get in your car you might get killed. Well yes you might and you better take the right precautions so that you don’t.
So here’s to your health and happy brewing:
The recipe provided below used only horsetail and corn silk as a fresh herb, the remaining herbs were dried. In researching the method for using dried herbs, the consensus seems to be that dried herbs are used in a 1:5 ratio, so that for every 1 ounce of herbs you use 5 ounces of solute. I’m not sure how hard and fast of a rule this really is. For example the mint in the recipe is between one and 5 ounces and the licorice is optional. I do think the mint is there to mask the flavor of the saw palmetto which by all accounts is not very pleasant and the licorice is definitely there for that purpose. Some say that dried herbs will soak up a lot of the liquid and you just keep replacing it until the herbs are covered. The dosage of the recipe is 1 tablespoon per day.
Relief for Enlarged Prostate:
Saw Palmetto Berries (Serenoa repens): 4 ounces
Nettle Root (Urtica dioica): 3 ounces
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense): 1ounce
Cornsilk (Zea mays): 1 ounce
Buchu leaves (Agathosma betulina): 1 ounce
Kava root (Piper methysticum) 1 ounce: see my next post where I discuss kava
3-4 ounces of pygeum is a better option
Mint: 1-4 ounces
1 ounce of Licorice optional
32 ounces of brandy 80% proof OR vodka NEVER use rubbing alcohol or methanol these are toxic
Two ounces of honey or agave to every 12 ounces
Things you need:
A large wide mouth bottle with a secure lid
Cheesecloth for straining your herbs out after 6 weeks
Weigh and measure herbal amounts
If using fresh herbs make sure they are cleaned with no residual soil or other matter
Chop them into about ¼ inch pieces if fresh
Simply place all into the jar and cover with vodka or brandy
Keep in a dark cupboard away from the light
Give it a shake daily and allow to sit for 6 weeks. You can use it after 2 weeks but continue to allow the herbal mixture to develop before you strain it out
When you are ready to strain it pour it through cheesecloth into a large container, squeeze out the remaining fluid and then place tincture back into your storage bottle. It might be a good idea to transfer your strained tincture into a bottle with a narrow neck to make daily access less of a hassle for spills.
Please check back in a couple of days for the low down on herbs used in this tincture.
Safarinejad MR. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother . 2006;5:1-11.
Kava hepatotoxicity solution: A six-point plan for new kava standardization.
Teschke R, Sarris J, Lebot V. Phytomedicine. 2011 Jan 15;18(2-3):96-103. Epub 2010 Nov 26.