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Saw palmetto-based remedies, either alone or in combination with other botanicals, are widely available in the United States and Europe. As with other herbal remedies, it's essential to know what proof there is to back up saw palmetto's safety and effectiveness.

Interesting Facts About Saw Palmetto- Health Benefits, Side Effects & More
Selenium Health Benefits

What is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is a small palm tree that grows in the warm climate of the United States' southeast coast. Its extract is obtained from the ripe fruit of the saw palmetto plant.

Native Americans of the Seminole clan used to eat saw palmetto berries from the saw palmetto tree to treat various diseases, including urinary and reproductive issues. Because of the phytosterols and fatty acid content, it has also been used in traditional medicine. [1]

Saw palmetto primarily aids in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), generally known as an enlarged prostate. In one clinical investigation, saw palmetto was reported to be more effective than the placebo in the treatment of BPH. [2]

Saw palmetto extract is now available as a pill, a drink, or a tea. It's frequently used in the United States as an alternate treatment for diseases caused by low testosterone levels.

Where Does It Come From?

Saw palmetto is a palm-like plant native to the Southeast United States. Saw palmetto pills are made from the berries of this plant.

Saw palmetto was used as a tonic by the Mayans, while saw palmetto berries were used as an expectorant and antibacterial by the Seminoles. [3]

For almost 200 years, European and American medical practitioners have been using crude saw palmetto extract.

American Dwarf Palm Tree, Baies du Palmier Scie, Chou Palmiste, Cabbage Palm, Ju-Zhong, Palmier Nain, Palma Enana Americana, Palmier Scie, Serenoa, Sabal, and other names are used to describe saw palmetto.

Uses of Saw Palmetto

The saw palmetto plant has a variety of purposes in herbal medicine. The majority of them revolve around the effect it is believed to have on testosterone. Saw palmetto is also used to treat coughs and colds, asthma, chronic bronchitis, sore throats, and migraine headaches, in addition to prostate infections. [4]

Furthermore, it is a diuretic and aphrodisiac that stimulates blood flow to improve sex drive and acts as a sedative for relaxation.

It's also commonly used to treat hair loss.

Saw Palmetto Benefits

Saw palmetto extract has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of various health issues. The benefits of saw palmetto include:

Saw Palmetto Health Benefits

Saw Palmetto Health Benefits

1. Reduces Prostate Surgery

According to studies, taking saw palmetto extracts every day for two months can reduce the time it takes to have prostate surgery. It prevents complications and blood loss from occurring during the procedure. [5]

2. Sex Drive

Testosterone affects both men and women's sexual desire. It has a link to fertility because it impacts both sperm and egg production. [6]

As a result, some people use saw palmetto to boost their testosterone levels. This may help them have a higher libido or a stronger desire for sex.

3. BPH

The treatment of BPH, a disorder characterized by enlargement of the prostate, is one of the most prevalent uses of saw palmetto. It aids in the treatment of some BPH symptoms, particularly in older men. [7]

4. Decrease Inflammation

Methyl gallate and epicatechin, two antioxidants that are present in saw palmetto, protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and protect against chronic disease.

According to research, saw palmetto may have anti-inflammatory characteristics that could help to improve prostate health and treat certain illnesses. [8]

5. Regulate Testosterone Levels

Men who want to naturally increase their testosterone levels use saw palmetto. The effects of testosterone regulation on body composition, sex drive, mood, and cognition are just a few of its health benefits.
Saw palmetto helps to preserve testosterone levels in the body by lowering the activity of an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), another sex hormone.

6. Prevents hair loss

Hair loss is a frequent problem that can be caused by several things, including heredity, certain medical disorders, hormonal changes, and the use of drugs like stimulants and blood thinners.

Saw palmetto may help prevent hair loss and boost hair density by lowering levels of a hair-loss-related enzyme. Saw palmetto for hair loss may also lower DHT uptake in hair follicles, reducing its capacity to bind to certain hormone receptors.

Side Effects of Saw Palmetto

While saw palmetto is generally regarded safe, it might cause some minor side effects, especially when taken in high amounts.

Constipation, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea are just a few of the side effects associated with the use of saw palmetto. [9]

After ingesting saw palmetto, some people have reported allergic reactions. Stomach problems, increased bleeding, and a change in sexual desire are just a few of the symptoms.

Despite the lack of sufficient proof, researchers are particularly concerned that saw palmetto extract may cause liver or pancreas problems.
However, it is not recommended to take saw palmetto if you are pregnant, breastfeeding.

If you suffer any side effects or interactions while using Saw palmetto supplements, stop taking them.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto can be consumed in a variety of ways. When the saw palmetto berries are consumed whole or steeped to form a tea, there is little information on the appropriate dosages.

Saw palmetto appears to be most beneficial in daily quantities of 160–320 mg when taken as a dry supplement or an oily liquid extraction. [10]

Saw palmetto dosage and timing depend on the problem being treated. As a result, it is suggested that you follow the manufacturer's instructions or seek medical advice from your doctor.

Saw Palmetto Interactions

If you're taking any other estrogen-boosting supplements, avoid using saw palmetto extract. It has the potential to interact with birth control pills containing estrogen as an active ingredient.

Saw palmetto can also interfere with hormone replacement therapy. When Saw Palmetto is used with anticoagulant drugs, the risk of bleeding increases.

Ethinyl estradiol and Levonorgestrel are two birth control pills that should not be used with saw palmetto extract. Fragmin, Lovenox, Voltaren, and Cataflam, among others, are anticoagulant medicines to avoid when taking saw palmetto.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Saw Palmetto Safe?

A: Bad breath, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, stomach, and vomiting are all possible side effects of saw palmetto.

Q: How Much Saw Palmetto Should I Take?

A: There is insufficient scientific evidence to recommend a dose for saw palmetto. As a result, it's best to talk to your doctor before starting the saw palmetto supplement.

Q: Can Women Take Saw Palmetto?

A: Saw palmetto is usually considered safe, but it is not advised for youngsters or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Mild headaches and stomach problems are two rare side effects.

Q: What Happens if I Miss a Dose?

A: If your next scheduled dose is approaching, skip the missing dose. To make up for a missing dose, don't take any more saw palmetto.

Final Verdict

More research is being conducted, and it may be discovered that saw palmetto extracts are good for a person's general well-being. [11]

However, further research is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto extracts over time.

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11 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Saw Palmetto:
[2] Saw Palmetto Extract in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:
[3] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs:
[4] Saw Palmetto:
[5] Kwon Y. Use of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) extract for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2019;28(6):1599-1606. Published 2019 Apr 17. doi:10.1007/s10068-019-00605-9
[6] Bain J. The many faces of testosterone. Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(4):567-576. doi:10.2147/cia.s1417
[7] Tacklind J, MacDonald R, Rutks I, Wilt TJ. Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(2):CD001423. Published 2009 Apr 15. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001423.pub2
[8] Saw Palmetto for Prostate Disorders:
[9] Saw palmetto:
[10] Avins AL, Bent S, Staccone S, et al. A detailed safety assessment of a saw palmetto extract. Complement Ther Med. 2008;16(3):147-154. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2007.10.005
[11] Saw palmetto:
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Evan Jensen, CPT

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He specializes in writing about health, fitness, nutrit