Address these health issues with fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
- Enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
- Lower urinary tract symptoms related to BPH
- High prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels
To prepare a fireweed infusion, brew 2 g (1 teaspoon) in 1 cup (250 mL) of boiling water (70°C or higher) for 5-8 minutes and then strain.
Naturally sweet. Does not become bitter if left to brew too long.
Dosage and course of treatment
Drink 1 cup before meals 2 times daily for at least 8 days.
For a chronic health issue drink 1 cup before meals 3 times daily.
If your health issues have been remedied, you can stop taking fireweed on a regular basis. Restart treatment if symptoms reappear.
It's always advised to consult your health professional and do your own research before starting any treatment to avoid interactions.
It's best to avoid mixing medication and herbs within 3 hours of each other, as many combinations have not been tried or tested. To date (2019), no known interactions or side effects of fireweed have been reported (WebMD).
If you're on any medication, stay on it unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor.
Contraindications and warnings
Fireweed is an extremely safe herbal infusion. It can be taken as a herbal infusion in excessive amounts and is safe for children.
It’s naturally free of caffeine, uric acid, oxalic acid, and L-theanine.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding Not enough is known about the use of fireweed during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is recommended to avoid use.
Proven effectiveness of fireweed
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved fireweed for “relief of lower urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia” in their final assessment of Epilobium angustifolium (Anonymous, 2018).
Additionally, the EMA claimed that ‘due to the widespread traditional medicinal use for more than 30 years the safety of Epilobium angustifolium… can be assumed' (Anonymous, 2018).
To date (2019) there have been no clinical level studies to confirm that taking doses of fireweed reduces the PSA levels of males. However, there have been three studies done on human prostate cancer cells that showed evidence that fireweed infusions can significantly reduce the level of PSA secretion (Denq, 2019,Stolarczyk, 2013a,Stolarczyk, 2013b).
In the 16th century, Russian monks were forbidden to drink coffee or tea because caffeine was believed by the Russian federal government to cause "intoxication". The monks, seeking alternative beverages, harvested herbs from wild fields and produced their own herbal infusions. The monks noticed that fireweed produced a fragrant floral infusion that had a noticeable effect on their mental state and overall health. The herbal infusion soon became immensely popular with Russians and Europeans alike.
The term "Ivan Chai" was given to the herbal infusion by the foreigners who still enjoyed it in England and other European countries. Its popularity in England grew so drastically that by the end of the 19th century it was most likely noticed as a small threat to the Dutch East India Company. Rumours were supposedly spread that the Russians were poisoning Ivan Chai with white clay.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, commercial production ceased and the consumption of Ivan Chai had practically fell to zero for Russia and the rest of Europe. Even in Russia, this beneficial herbal infusion remains somewhat unknown, and is slowly making a revival.
- Anonymous. “Epilobii Herba.” European Medicines Agency, 20 Sept. 2018, https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/epilobii-herba.
- Deng, Liqing, et al. “Evaluation of the Therapeutic Effect against Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and the Active Constituents from Epilobium Angustifolium L.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 232, 2019, pp. 1–10., https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874118328782?via%3Dihub.
- “Fireweed: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-429/fireweed.
- Stolarczyk, Magdalena, et al. “Extracts from Epilobium Sp. Herbs, Their Components and Gut Microbiota Metabolites of Epilobium Ellagitannins, Urolithins, Inhibit Hormone‐Dependent Prostate Cancer Cells‐(LNCaP) Proliferation and PSA Secretion - Stolarczyk - 2013 - Phytotherapy Research - Wiley Online Library.” Phytotherapy Research, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 25 Feb. 2013, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.4941.
- Stolarczyk, Magdalena, et al. “Extracts from Epilobium Sp. Herbs Induce Apoptosis in Human Hormone‐Dependent Prostate Cancer Cells by Activating the Mitochondrial Pathway - Stolarczyk - 2013 - Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology - Wiley Online Library.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 21 Apr. 2013, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jphp.12063.