African plum tree, Pygeum africanum
Part of the plant used: bark
Pygeum is a large evergreen tree found in the higher elevations of central and southern Africa. It has been used to treat urinary problems for thousands of years.
Today, pygeum is found in a standardized extract form of 14% triterpenes and 0.5% n-docosanol.
Used doses: 75 to 200 mg daily of a standardized extract containing 14% triterpenes.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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