The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive organs, located near the outlet of the urinary bladder. Its main function is to secrete a liquid which forms a part of seminal fluid.
This gland can get enlarged over time and it is a condition that affects almost all males aged between 45 and 60. This condition is called the benign enlargement of the prostate.
Normally the entire gland gets slightly enlarged. And most men don't experience much difficulty as a result. It is part of the normal ageing process. However, if there is infection or cancer, a portion of the gland may get enlarged and that requires treatment.
When the gland gets abnormally enlarged, it compresses the outlet of the bladder and this may interfere with normal urination.
The common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are an increase in the frequency of urination during the day and having to wake up at night many times to pass urine. There could also be a sense of hesitation in starting the flow of urine, with the stream of urine diminishing in size and force.
In many cases, a burning sensation is felt during urination. At times, it becomes impossible to urinate or the urine contains blood.
According to Ayush Ayurvedic physician V.C. Ajith Kumar, the prostate enlargement is caused due to imbalance of "apana vatha". Apana Vatha is responsible for excretory functions in the human body which is basically the air factor in the body.
Gokshura, gudochi and shilajith are well known herbal remedies to treat this condition. Himplasia, another well-known Himalaya product, is also very good for this condition.
Brihathyadi kashayam, veerathardi kashayam and punarnavadi kashayam are generally prescribed by ayurvedic physicians to tackle this problem.
Dr Kumar also recommends that men with enlarged prostates avoid eating sour and fried items. On the other hand, they should consume more of cow's ghee, butter, milk, garlic, ginger and asafoetida.
When it comes to lifestyle, Dr Kumar points out that excessive sex is one of the reasons for the abnormal enlargement of the prostate gland. Suppression of the urge to urinate and constipation can also lead to the problem.
"Sedentary habits are very bad for men with such problems. Walking about 3km a day would be beneficial both as prevention and cure. And instead of sitting on a chair immediately after eating, they should lie down for about 15 minutes after meals," says Dr Kumar.