Common Names: saw palmetto, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm
Latin Names: Serenoa repens, Serenoa serrulata, Sabal serrulata
Plant Description of Saw palmetto
Saw palmetto is a fan palm that grows as a tree or shrub. It can reach heights of 10 feet in warm climates, with leaf clusters that can reach 2 feet or more. It has a creeping, horizontal growth pattern. In the United States, saw palmetto grows in the warm climates of the southeast coast, from South Carolina to throughout Florida. Lush, green, “saw toothed” leaves fan out from thorny stems. The plant has white flowers, which produce yellow berries. The berries turn brownish black when ripe and are dried for medicinal use.
What is saw palmetto？
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens/Sabal serrulata) is a palm-like plant with berries. The berries were a staple food and medicine for the Native Americans of the southeastern United States. In the early 1900s, men used the berries to treat urinary tract problems, and even to increase sperm production and boost libido. Today, the primary use of saw palmetto is to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Researchers aren’t sure exactly how saw palmetto works. But it contains plant-based chemicals that may be effective for BPH. Researchers think that saw palmetto may affect the level of testosterone in the body, and perhaps reduce the amount of an enzyme that promotes the growth of prostate cells. Saw palmetto also seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the prostate. At least one study has shown even greater anti-inflammatory activity when saw palmetto is combined with lycopene and selenium.
What Is Saw Palmetto Used For?
In alternative medicine, saw palmetto is said to aid in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, colds, coughs, hair loss, migraine, chronic pelvic pain, and sore throat. Saw palmetto is also thought to increase libido (sex drive) as well as alleviate stress.
Saw palmetto is perhaps best known for its use in treating prostate problems. This include benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) and prostatitis (prostate inflammation),
5 Promising Benefits
- May prevent hair loss
- May improve urinary tract function
- May support prostate health
- May decrease inflammation
- May help regulate testosterone levels
Dosage and interactions
When taking saw palmetto, like any remedy, it is important to check the recommended dosage on the packet.
It is a good idea to speak to a doctor when taking saw palmetto for the first time. A doctor can check that it is safe to take saw palmetto alongside existing medicine.
As saw palmetto may interact with other hormones, women who are taking the birth control pill should not take it.
It can also slow blood clotting and people who are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, should also avoid saw palmetto.
Saw palmetto products are available to purchase online, but you should check with a doctor before using them, to ensure they are safe.
Side effects of saw palmetto
While saw palmetto is widely used, it does occasionally cause side effects in some people. These side effects can include:
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