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Health Encyclopedia

Pygeum (Prunus africanum, Pygeum africanum)

General Description

Pygeum is an evergreen native to the higher elevations (above 3,000 feet) of central and southern Africa. Growing up to 150 feet in height, pygeum has dark-brown to gray bark, oblong, dull-green leaves, and white or cream-colored flowers. The tree bears a small, round fruit, which resembles a cherry when ripe. The bark of the tree is used for health promoting purposes.

Health Applications

  • Prostate health

Chemical Composition

The primary active components in pygeum bark are fat-soluble compounds, which include terpenes, sterols (including beta-sitosterol), and ferulic acid esters. Pygeum extracts are commonly standardized to 13% sterol concentration for consistent potency.

Dosage/Toxicity

The usual recommendation is 100 mg of standardized (13% sterols) pygeum extract per day, divided into two 50 mg doses. Pygeum is generally well tolerated at this dosage. Side effects, which have been reported by a small percentage of users, include gastrointestinal complaints.

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