Saw Palmetto is a plant whose ripe fruits or berries are used to make medicine. It is a palm scientifically known as Serenoa repens. It is also known as American Dwarf Palm Tree, Cabbage Palm, Sabal, and Saw Palmetto Berry. Saw palmetto can be eaten fresh (particularly its berries), or taken in supplement form (often containing oils and extracts).
Side effects like nausea, stomach pain, bad breath, and diarrhea have been reported but are uncommon and usually mild. Patients who have any pre-existing conditions must consult their doctor before taking saw palmetto, especially those getting their PSA checked (otherwise, the results could be inaccurate).
Not enough has been researched about the safety of saw palmetto, so it is also contraindicated in children and pregnant women.
- Treats benign prostate hyperplasia
- Alleviates chronic pelvic pain
- Reduces bleeding after prostate surgery
- Protects against prostate cancer
- Hampers baldness progression
- Improves bladder control
- Relieves sore throat, cough, and colds
- Eases asthma symptoms
- Resolves migraines
- Increases breast size
- Prostate Surgery
Studies have shown that taking saw palmetto before surgery brings a reduction in blood loss and decreases risks of complications.
Prostate Cancer Abnormal hormone levels can lead to tumor formation, which is why elevated testosterone is among the many causes of prostate cancer. Since saw palmetto decreases testosterone levels, it could possibly lower one’s risks of developing cancer. Still, there is insufficient evidence supporting the plant’s potency as treatment for the dreaded disease.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia Several studies have shown that saw palmetto can relieve most symptoms associated with enlarged prostate, including painful and frequent urination, as well as nocturia. How the plant brings forth these effects remains unknown.
Breast Augmentation With its abundance of phytonutrients, saw palmetto stimulates breast tissue production. In addition, it lowers testosterone levels, resulting in greater percentages of estrogen and prolactin – hormones primarily responsible for breast development. Interestingly though, saw palmetto is not considered estrogenic.
Male-pattern Baldness Many claim that a combination of beta-sitosterol and saw palmetto causes an increase in hair growth, as well as in follicle length and number.
Cough and Colds Combined with other herbs, saw palmetto is effective as a quick cough and cold remedy, clearing the airways even in cases of asthma and bronchitis.
Bladder Control An overactive bladder causes incontinence, which is associated with episodes of uncontrolled urination. Saw palmetto’s ability to relieve prostate inflammation has been linked with improved bladder control.
While there is much to be learned about saw palmetto’s medicinal properties, one thing is already clear – it’s nature’s gift to men. Well, women shouldn’t feel envious at all, given the plant’s breast augmenting properties.