Prostate Awareness Foundation

Prostate Self Help

Monthly Bulletin

February 2009

How do you know if you have BPH? Try this Symptom Score Questionnaire From AUA (American Urological Association):

This simple test will determine your score. Simply assign a point value to the questions below.

Key: None = 0 points, Less than 1 times in 5 = 1 point, Less than half the time = 2 pts.

About half the time = 3 pts., More than half the time = 4 pts., Almost always = 5 pts.


1) Incomplete emptying: Over the past month, how often have you had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you finished urinating?

2) Frequency: Over the past month, how often have you had to urinate again less than 2 hours after you finished urinating?

3) Intermittency: Over the past month, how often have you found that you stopped and started again several times when you urinate?

4) Urgency: Over the past month, how often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?

5) Weak-Stream: Over the past month, how often have you had a weak urinary stream?

6) Straining: Over the past month, how often have you had to push or strain to begin urination?

7) Nocturia: Over the past month, how many times did you typically get up at night to urinate?

Symptom Score: Add up the points to all questions to determine the severity of your BPH symptoms.

Symptom Score Severity: 0 – 7 = Mild, 8 -19 = Moderate, 20- 35 = Severe

Most men with mild symptoms choose to receive no treatment Those with moderate symptoms often try pharmaceutical relief under the guidance of a physician. Those with moderate to severe symptoms often opt for more aggressive intervention based on the recommendations and guidance of a health professional.

For Those of You Who Suffer From BPH – A Possible New Option:

In the January Monthly Bulletin, we reported that Ken Malik, PAF’s Executive Director, and a sufferer of BPH, was about to embark on a new herbal protocol to relieve his BPH symptoms. But before you read his early observations, here is some background: First the good news: BPH does not lead to prostate cancer. Many men as they age suffer from BPH, a benign enlargement of the prostate that causes urinary problems.

From the multitude of calls and inquiries we get at PAF headquarters, we have noted that men with severe cases of BPH have some pretty severe symptoms that include the need to self–catherize so that they can sleep through the night without having to get up many times. Some men with severe cases also report blood in their urine, pain while urinating and the inability to fully void urine from the bladder. In extreme cases, we have heard of men having to be hospitalized when the prostate gland swells to as much as ten times its normal size. For many BPH sufferers the affliction can lead to surgical intervention using what’s known as a TURP or a microwave procedure to reduce the size of the gland.

As you may know, there are a number of expensive prescription medications available to men with this condition. FloMax is the most popular. Terazosin, a forerunner of FloMax is a much less expensive alternative. Both these pharmaceuticals relax the muscles and for many men offer reduced symptoms. Avodart and similar pharmaceutical preparations reduce the size of the prostate gland over time, offering symptom relief by a change in hormonal balance.

Recent research literature from Italy reports on an herb called epilobium made from the small flower of the willow. It has been shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory agent. For some men this herb is providing relief from BPH symptoms, with no apparent side effects. One of epilobium’s primary components is beta-sitosterol a plant sterol also found in saw palmetto.

Ken Malik, a sufferer of BPH has recently been using epilobium in liquid form. He gets it from a company called Beachwood Canyon Naturals (888-803-5333), their website is We also have seen epilobium in capsule form.

Ken did not develop BPH symptoms until about 2-3 years ago after he turned sixty. He began taking the pharmaceutical medication terazosin nightly about a year ago with good results. He started this protocol when he began exhibiting more frequent nocturnal trips to urinate (2-3 times per night). He also experienced a weakened urine flow and the inability to fully evacuate his bladder, all common symptoms of BPH. A color Doppler ultrasound indicated that his gland had increased in size from 20cc to 30cc over the past couple of years.

Ken started using liquid epilobium about three weeks ago. He is using the recommended dosage of 10-15 drops, twice daily once in the morning and once in the evening. He initially took this preparation along with the terazosin and then stopped the pharmaceutical completely about a week ago. He has seen no side effects from the epilobium and has observed the same initial good results from this liquid herbal that he received from the terazosin. He intends to stay on this protocol for another three months before fully evaluating its benefits.

We know from past experience at PAF that when it comes to supplements, just like conventional treatments – what works for one man does not necessarily work for the next.

We would like to hear from any other men who had favorable or unfavorable results from using epilobium for their BPH.
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