Researchers at Panjab University showed in a new study that Bark extract from almond, apricot, cherry, plum, and peach trees significantly improves testosterone induced benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in rats. Among these, plum tree bark extract has the most encouraging effect.
The study also showed that all five species of the trees have remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
The findings suggest that the trees have beneficial effects and can assist with various factors involved in BPH. The original research paper, “Amelioration of testosterone induced benign prostatic hyperplasia by Prunus species,” was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
Pygeum, a herbal remedy obtained from the bark of red stink wood – another species belonging to the genus (prunus). native to sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar – has long been used worldwide as an alternative medicine for the treatment of BPH. In fact, its immense popularity has been blamed as a leading factor in the listing of the tree as an endangered medicinal species.
The present study suggests that bark extract from the five species of trees could be used as a potential backup of pygeum for the management of BPH.
According to the study: “This study will be of immense value not only to African countries in protecting their valuable resources of P. africana, but also to many other countries across the globe utilizing their own resources of edible species of prunus . . . Further, the study will bring value to more species of prunus in the international market as important therapeutic agents.“
Researchers, led by Maninder Karan, associate professor at the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Panjab University in India, experimentally induced BPH with testosterone in rats, then gave the animals bark extracts from all five species of trees and the red stink wood, for 21 days. When they analyzed the size of the prostate and testicles of the animals, which are important indicators of BPH, the size of the organs treated with all species of prunus was significantly reduced.
The researchers also analyzed the chemical content of the bark extracts and confirmed the presence of three markers, believed to be responsible for the beneficial effects of red stink wood, in the bark extracts of the five selected tree species.
The results showed that the bark of different species of prunus could have a beneficial effect for testosterone induced BPH, a common problem especially in older men. The findings give credible scientific support for the long popular use of the tree barks as herbal remedies in the primary treatment of BPH throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Red stink wood (prunus africana) is protected under appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).