Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens, S. serrulatta, S. serrullatum) comes from the ripe berries of a small palm and is best used as a tincture or fluid extract. It is one of the most well-known and time-honored herbs for prostate problems and it also has a long history as a tonic to help increase male potency, calm the nervous system, aid digestion and build connective tissue.

There are many products available over the counter for treating an enlarged prostate. Any of today’s products should contain saw palmetto along with an array of other supportive nutrients.

 


Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) can help with the following

Hormones  


Metabolic  

Anorexia / Starvation Tendency

A digestive tonic and connective-tissue rebuilder.



Organ Health  

Enlarged Prostate

One of the most well-known and time-honored herbs for prostate problems is saw palmetto. Saw palmetto has been tested in clinical trials and results show that the berries improve signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate. During the trials, benefits were recorded for symptoms such as difficulty in urination, frequent urination at night, urine flow and size of enlarged prostate.

In all cases, the treatment was free of side effects. Scientists believe the main benefits may be due to the ability of some constituents in saw palmetto to inhibit the enzyme 5-reductase in the body. This enzyme converts the hormone testosterone to DHT. DHT is five times more potent than testosterone in stimulating the enlargement of the prostate.

In a 2001 study of 85 men (aged 45 years or older) with lower urinary tract symptoms, treatment for 6 months with a saw palmetto product improved urinary symptoms, but had no effect on urinary flow rates. [Urology 2001;58(6): pp.960-963]



Skin-Hair-Nails  

Male Hair Loss

This extract has been found to counteract the conversion of testosterone to DHT by inhibiting DHT binding to cellular and nuclear receptor sites, thereby increasing DHT breakdown. The dosage of fatty acids from saw palmetto is 270-300mg daily. This can be obtained from 320mg of a standardized extract or 3gm of dried saw palmetto berry. These doses have been found to be safe in many studies.



Uro-Genital  

Motherhood Issues

Saw palmetto should not be taken by women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive, because it affects sex hormone levels.



 

Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues

Saw palmetto should not be taken by women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive, because it affects sex hormone levels.



Key

May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
Avoid absolutely

Glossary

Tincture

An alcohol or water-alcohol solution, usually referring to a preparation from herbal materials.

Herbs

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

Prostate

The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Nervous System

A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.

Over-The-Counter

A drug or medication that can legally be bought without a doctor's prescription being required.

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