Pygeum is also known as African Pygeum. It is a large evergreen tree that grows in the high plateaus of southern Africa.
The bark is traditionally powdered and drunk as a tea for genito-urinary complaints. Double-blind clinical trials have shown efficacy for many parameters of prostatic hypertrophy, including failure to urinate, nocturnal urination, frequent urination, residual urine, abdominal heaviness, voiding volume, prostate volume and peak flow. Results included significant reduction of symptoms and prostate size, and clearance of bladder neck urethra obstruction.
The bark contains three groups of active constituents: phytosterols (including beta-sitosterol), pentacyclic triterpenoids (including ursolic and oleaic acids) and ferulic esters of long-chain fatty alcohols (including ferulic esters of docosanol and tetracosanol).