Benign prostatic hypertrophy is swelling of Prostate
gland. The prostate is a walnut sized gland that is only present in men. It is
located just below the bladder and top of the penis. This gland surrounds the
urethra (the tube through which urine flows from the bladder and out through
It is a very astonishing fact to know that the condition
BPH has been explained in Ayurveda long back. The anatomical position of
prostate gland, symptoms of BPH and its remedies are explained by Acharya
The anatomical position of prostate gland is described in
Ayurveda classics as follows
In Yogaratnakara it has been described as –
NAABHERADHASTHAATSANJAATAHA SANCHAARI YADI VAACHALAHA
ASHTEELAAVAD GHANO GRANTHIROODHWAR MAAYATA UNNATAHA
Which means below umbilicus (NAABHI), there is a hard
gland which is little bit bulged and changes its place some times and sometimes
stays stationary. This gland is like Ashteela (A small stone used to sharpen
swords). This gland when affected by vitiated vata causes a disease called
vataashteela (or benign prostate hypertrophy)
Sushruta explains the structure, anatomical position of
prostate gland and symptoms of BPH as follows.
SHACRANMAARGASYA BASTHESHCHA VAAYURANTARAMAASHRITAHAI
ASHTEELAAVADGHANAM GRANTHIMMOORDHVAMAAYATA MUNNATAM
Which means – the place between rectum and bladder is
occupied by vitiated vata it affects the easy flow of urine, stools and semen
by enlarging the gland Ashteela.
The prostate gland enlarges in all men as age advances.
BPH is very common and affects one third of men who are over 50. A person
suffering from BPH does not have the increased risk of prostate cancer.
Functions of Prostate gland
One of the main functions of the prostate is to produce a
fluid, which contribute to the liquid portion of semen and this liquid allows
the sperm to move freely.
The gland is divided into peripheral, transitional and
central zone. The overgrowth takes place in central zone which leads to BPH.
When prostate gland enlarges, it constricts the urethra
reducing the urine flow. The emptying of bladder becomes very difficult because
Causes of BPH
According to present medical concepts the actual cause of
prostate enlargement is unknown.
But the causes of BPH are very well explained in Ayurveda
which is based on tridosha theory. The causes of vataashteela or BPH are
explained as follows
Causes for vataashteela according to dosha theory:
Vataashteela is caused by vitiated vayu and apaana vayu (
a subcategory of Vayu)
(APAANA VAYU is located in two testicles, urinary
bladder, phallus, umbilicus, thighs, groins, anus and colon.
Functions of apana vaayu are Ejaculation of semen,
voiding of urine, stools, elimination of menstrual blood and expulsion of
The vitiation of vayu and apaana vayu is caused by
1. Controlling the urge of urination
2. Controlling the urge of defecation
3. Over-indulgence in sex.
4. Consuming dry, very cold and less quantity of food
5. Old age
6. General weakness
8. Physical and mental overexertion.
Symptoms of BPH
Difficulty in starting to pass urine
A weak stream of urine
Dribbling after urinating
The need to strain to pass urine
Incomplete emptying of bladder
Difficulty to control the urination urge
Having to get up several times in the night to
Feeling a burning sensation when passing urine
Passing urine mixed with blood (indication of
Symptoms of vatashteela are described as follows.
VINMUTRAANILA SANGASCHA TANNAADMAANAMCHA JAAYATE
VEDANAA CHA PARAA BASTOU VAATAASHTEELETI TAAM VIDUHU
The vitiated ashteela gland when enlarged is called as
vatashteela. This enlarged gland causes
1. Obstruction to easy flow of urine.
2. Obstruction to Easy passage of stools and gas
3. Bloating of Stomach.
4. Pain in bladder.
When the above mentioned symptoms are noticed then one
should seek proper medical advice.
A digital rectal examination will be performed to examine
the size of prostate by inserting a finger into the rectum. A distended bladder
can be felt per abdomen. Ultra sound examination will be done to determine the
amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. Routine urine test will be
done to rule out infections.
A prostate gland tissue may be collected using a needle
to check for cancerous cells
Ayurveda tips for SELF-CARE
If symptoms are mild, the following methods can be tried
1. Vata gets vitiated when natural urges are controlled.
Hence do not control the natural urge of passing urine. Urinate when you first
get the urge.
2. Go to the bathroom even if you do not have the urge to.
3. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee increase vata and vitiate it.
Hence avoid alcohol, tobacco and coffee, especially after dinner.
4. Vata gets normalized and vitiation comes down when
body is warm. This can be accomplished with regular exercises and keeping the
5. Mental exertion leads to increase of vata. Avoid
mental exertion at work place and at home.
6. Avoid foods which cause constipation as constipation
causes vitiation of vata.
Other general tips
1. Avoid drinking fluids from two hours before going to
2. Avoid cold and cough medications that contain
decongestants or antihistamines. These medications can increase BPH symptoms.
3. Avoid drinking excess amount of liquids. Distribute
the intake of fluids throughout day.
BPH can be prevented by –
1. Consuming low fat diet
2. Including lots of fiber in diet ( fruits and
vegetables which are rich in fiber).
3. Visiting your family physician as soon as you notice any
symptoms while passing urine.
Apart from these many effective herbal remedies have been
mentioned in Sushruta samhita and Yogaratnakara