Fruits of Pygeum tree - Pygeum Africanum (Boraginaceae)

Medicinal Use of Pygeum – Pygeum Africanum (Boraginaceae)


Evergreen tree growing to 115 ft (35 m). Has oblong leaves, white flowers, and red berries.

Habitat & Cultivation

Pygeum is native to Africa. It is still harvested from the wild, but severe shortages have led to the establishment of plantations.

Part Used



Pygeum contains phytosterols (beta-sitosterol), triterpenes (ursolic and oleanolic acids), long-chain alcohols (n-tetracosanol), as well as tannins.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

In conventional medicine in France, the fat-soluble extract of pygeum bark has become the primary treatment for an enlarged prostate gland. A decoction of the bark may reduce the severity of chronic prostate inflammation, and it may also help reverse male sterility when this is due to insufficient prostate secretions. In combination with other plants, pygeum may be valuable in the treatment of prostate cancer.


Trials carried out since the 1960s, many of them in France, have established that pygeum extract has positive effects on the prostate gland. Specifically, the extract increases glandular secretions and reduces levels of cholesterol within the organ. In some Western countries, surgery is the main option for enlarged prostates, but in France pygeum is prescribed in 81% of cases.

Related Species

The fruit kernels of the Asian P. gardneri are used to poison fish.


Only take pygeum under professional supervision.