Urology Series


In this 10 part series, major and common problems in men’s health, urological health, and kidney health will be addressed in depth. With Dr. Yarnell’s 15 years of clinical experience in the areas of urology and nephrology as a guide, the herbal approaches to these conditions will be presented. Specific case examples will be provided regularly. The emphasis will be on determining who is a good candidate for herbal therapies in each case, clinically-effective first-line herbal treatments, making decisions if first-line treatments fail, and individualizing herbal therapies to complex patients. A richer understanding of the etiopathophysiology of each condition from a naturopathic perspective will be used to illustrate why certain herbs work and others don’t. Appropriate dosing will be discussed and safe use of indicated low-dose herbs will be included. Drug-herb interactions (mostly positive, a small number negative) will be pointed out where relevant.

Class 1: BPH (currently unavailable)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a universal condition on a tissue level, though only some men develop clinical symptoms. In the US, the majority of men develop at least mild symptoms, and many develop severe symptoms. The differentiation of different clinical types of BPH and their herbal treatment will be detailed with case studies. First-line effective herbal therapies and where to go if those don’t work will be reviewed. How to monitor for efficacy and whom to give or refer for conventional treatment will be discussed. Prevention of BPH in early life will be mentioned.

Class 2: CP/IC

Pelvic pain syndromes are exceedingly common in men and women. There is growing awareness that “chronic prostatitis” is not an infection in most men and is often not even inflammatory. Interstitial cystitis is now recognized to affect men and women both. The differential of different clinical phenotypes of chronic pelvic pain syndromes will be discussed, along with the herbal treatment of each subtype. Techniques for helping people manage chronic pain will be reviewed. Chronic epididymitis and seminal vesiculitis will also be mentioned and their treatments reviewed.

Class 3: UTI/UR

Lower urinary tract infections including urethritis, cystitis, and acute prostatitis are common and all can be potentially treated solely by natural means. How to monitor patients with these conditions and decide if various herbal treatments are working will be reviewed. How to combine natural treatments and antibiotics will be discussed. The management of pyelonephritis will also be discussed. Case examples will be used.

Vesicoureteral reflux is a condition in which varying degrees of retrograde urine flow can lead to recurrent UTIs and/or pyelonephritis in children, until they grow out of it. How to determine if a patient needs antibiotics or can be treated naturally is discussed, and what those treatments are. Combination natural and pharmaceutical treatment will also be discussed for the minority of patients who require it. Case studies will highlight the herbal approach to VUR.

Class 4: Urolithiasis

Kidney stones are a growing problem in the world. The major types and their pathogenesis will be reviewed. Herbal approaches to helping manage acute kidney stone passage will be discussed in detail, including how to determine if a patient is a candidate for herbal expulsion therapy. Herbal treatment for immediate dissolution of uric acid stones will be discussed, which inevitably leads to a side discussion of the other major uric acid diathesis, gout. Herbal ways to prevent stones from happening in the first place or recurring will also be reviewed. Cases illustrating key points in herbal management of urolithiasis of various types will be presented. Evidence on whether or not there are herbal litholytics will be discussed. Herbal adjuncts to lithotripsy will be discussed.

Class 5: ED/PE

Erectile dysfunction is a symptom, and the various potential causes of it will be discussed along with the basics of how to differentially diagnose them. Herbal approaches to address the symptom of ED along with the importance of treating the causes will be presented. Particular attention will be paid to disorders of libido, which are highly amenable to herbal treatment in men and women. Vascular ED will also be discussed in some depth along with herbal and dietary approaches to it. A few tricks for endocrine and neurological ED will also be presented. Case studies will highlight key points.

Premature ejaculation is a very common condition frequently not discussed by anyone. Ways to bring up the subject and how to take a sexual history in general will be discussed. Herbal approaches to alleviating premature ejaculation will be presented.

Class 6: Infertility

Male factor infertility is increasingly recognized as a problem. A review of major causes and subtypes will be presented. Poor sperm motility will be focused on as it is highly amenable to herbal and other natural treatments. Therapies that may help correct minor hormonal problems will also be discussed. Conditions not amenable to herbal treatment and requiring referral will be pointed out. There will be a side discussion of herbs that could potentially act as male contraceptives.

Class 7: Penile Disease

Common conditions of the penis and foreskin including Peyronie’s disease, phimosis, paraphimosis, and balanoposthitis will be discussed including recognition of patients who need to be referred. The immunofibrotic condition called Peyronie’s disease will feature review of antifibrotic herbs including Centella asiatica (gotu kola), Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap), and Colchicum autumnale (autumn crocus). Simple natural vulneraries, inflammation modulators, and antimicrobials (both oral and topical) for treatment of mild penile and foreskin inflammations will be highlighted. Distinguishing pathological and physiological phimosis will be reviewed, and natural treatments for excessive phimosis discussed. The natural approach to balanitis xerotica obliterans, genital warts, and hypospadias will also be discussed if time allows.

Class 8: CRF

Chronic renal failure is extremely common, with millions of people affected and many of those on dialysis or getting kidney transplants as a result. After focusing on how to prevent chronic renal failure (which can be caused by many conditions), appropriate screening, referral for further testing, and diagnostic monitoring will be discussed. Common non-specific nephroprotective herbs such as Lespedeza capitata (round-headed lespedeza), Parietaria officinalis (pellitory-of-the-wall), Rheum palmatum (rhubarb), and Urtica dioica (nettle) seed will be reviewed and proper use and dosing provided. The use of kidney-focused adaptogens such as Codonopsis pilosula (dang shen) will be discussed and their impact on bone marrow and erythropoeitin reviewed. Important dietary dos and don’ts will be included. Case studies will be used to improve understanding of herbal management of renal failure patients.

Class 9: Glomerulonephritis

Autoimmune disease are the third leading cause of renal failure in the United States. Numerous subtypes of glomerulonephritis exist. After clarifying the morass of terminology surrounding these diseases, several major types will be discussed in more depth. Postinfectious glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy and Henoch-Schönlein purpura, membranous and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and Goodpasture’s disease will all be mentioned at the least. The connection between vasculitis and the kidneys will be clarified. Herbal treatments with immunomodulators such as Astragalus membranaceus (huang qi) and Centella asiatica (gotu kola) will be highlighted. Antifibrotic, inflammation modulating, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibiting, and redox modulating herbs will also be put into context. Specific case studies will help participants improve their formulating skills for these complex patients.

Class 10: Dialysis

There are hundreds of thousands of people receiving dialysis in the US. Whatever the reasons for being on dialysis, they all have a certain set of requirements. Herbal treatment offers a way to improve their general health, offset adverse effects of dialysis, and enhance its benefits. These include the use of adaptogens for their erythropoietic effects to stimulate bone marrow, reduce infection rates, increase energy, and decrease the effects of uremic toxins. These herbs can also help reduce use of concomitant medications, particularly erythropoietin, and thereby save money and reduce adverse effects. The role of nephroprotective, antihypertensive, and insulin sensitizing herbs will also be discussed in the context of dialysis. Tannins as binders of gut toxins as well as diaphoretics as an adjunct to saunas will also be discussed. Some dietary supplements will also be mentioned that are critical to support dialysis patients including niacinamide, vitamin D3, and carnitine. Case examples from practice will help put all these therapies into context.

Taught by: Eric Yarnell


Cost: students $275 professionals $350

CEUs: Acupuncturists: CA, NCCAOM; NDs: OR, CA, WA

NOTE: You will receive links to the classes once we have confirmation of your payment, usually within 48 hours.

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