Clinical note — Popular to the point of extinction?
For the past 35 years, pygeum has been used in Europe for the treatment of BPH and other disorders. The bark is entirely wild-collected, mainly from Cameroon, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya, and exported principally to Europe for production into commercial medicinal extracts (Stewart 2003). Since 1995, it has been considered an endangered species so attempts at cultivation are underway to protect the plant from extinction. Prior to 1966 when it was discovered to have significant medicinal effects, Prunus africanawas a relatively common, but never abundant species. The reasons for its demise include economic, social, and ecological factors. Currently, wild-crafting is no longer commercially viable in Cameroon and harvest has ceased in both Uganda and Kenya.
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