Other Name(s):

African Plum Tree, African Prune, African Pygeum, Amande Amère, Ciruelo Africano, Prunier d'Afrique, Prunus africana, Pygeum africanum, Pygeum Africanus.


Pygeum is a tree. The bark is used as medicine.

Pygeum is used for treating symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) and prostate cancer. It is also used for inflammation, kidney disease, urinary problems, malaria, stomachache, fever, and to increase sexual desire.

How does it work?

Pygeum contains chemicals that help shrink the prostate to relieve urinary problems such as poor urine flow and nighttime urination in men with enlarged prostates.


Testosterone is a chemical found only in men. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Likely Effective for...

  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Taking pygeum by mouth reduces symptoms of BPH such as low urine flow. However, taking a combination of pygeum and stinging nettle does not appear to improve symptom of BPH.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Inflammation.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Malaria.
  • Stomachache.
  • Fever.
  • Sexual performance problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pygeum for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Pygeum is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. It can cause nausea and abdominal pain.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking pygeum if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), 75-200 mg standardized lipophilic extract (14% triterpenes, 0.5% n-docosanol) of pygeum per day.

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Melo, E. A., Bertero, E. B., Rios, L. A., and Mattos, D., Jr. Evaluating the efficiency of a combination of Pygeum africanum and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) extracts in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Int Braz.J Urol. 2002;28(5):418-425. View abstract.

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Paubert-Braquet, M., Cave, A., Hocquemiller, R., Delacroix, D., Dupont, C., Hedef, N., and Borgeat, P. Effect of Pygeum africanum extract on A23187-stimulated production of lipoxygenase metabolites from human polymorphonuclear cells. J Lipid Mediat.Cell Signal. 1994;9(3):285-290. View abstract.

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Ranno S, Minaldi G, Viscusi G, and et al. [Efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of prostatic adenoma with Tadenan 50]. Progresso Medico 1986;42:165-169.

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Thieblot, L., Grizard, G., and Boucher, D. [Effect of V 1326 (active principle of Pygeum africanum bark extract) on hypophyseo-genito-adrenal axis in rats]. Therapie 1977;32(1):99-110. View abstract.

Yoshimura, Y., Yamaguchi, O., Bellamy, F., and Constantinou, C. E. Effect of Pygeum africanum tadenan on micturition and prostate growth of the rat secondary to coadministered treatment and post-treatment with dihydrotestosterone. Urology 2003;61(2):474-478. View abstract.

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