Saw Palmetto Serenoa serrulata
saw palmetto berries
- Common Names
- Saw Palmetto , Sabal Sabal serrulata
- Botanical Name
- Serenoa serrulata
- Syn. Serenoa repens
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Saw Palmetto
- Medicinal Uses: * Alopecia/baldness
- Properties: * Aphrodisiac * Digestive * Diuretic
- Parts Used: Partially-dried ripe fruit
- Constituents: a green volatile oil, fixed oil, steroidal saponins, resin, tannins
How to Use: Saw Palmetto
This energizing plant is also referred to as Peruvian ginseng (although maca is not in the same family as ginseng, it is actually closely related to the radish). Maca has been used for centuries in the Andes to enhance fertility in humans and animals and has gained quite a reputation as a sexual tonic. 1
Saw palmetto often exceeds the effectiveness of commonly proscribed drugs for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Saw palmetto often works faster, and has less side effects. Saw palmetto is widely prescribed in Europe, although it has lost the favor of mainstream medicine in the U.S., which is unsurprising given most American attitudes towards herbal medicine. 1
Historical, anecdotal evidence suggests that saw palmetto stops hair loss and triggers healthy hair growth. In the lab saw palmetto inhibits dihydotestosterone (DHT), an enzyme that is associated with male pattern baldness. Saw palmetto extracts are often one of the main ingredients listed in hair loss shampoos and hair care products for men ,often combined with Pygeum bark extracts. Conversly, this conversion of excess testosterone into DHT can also cause unwanted facial hair in women, and may aggravate acne.
Other Health Benefits. Saw palmetto berries are expectorant, mildly sedative and soothing to mucus membranes. Combined with other herbs saw palmetto is used in cough and cold remedies, and to ease breathing in asthma and bronchitis. The herb is also used to treat urinary disorders.
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Look for extracts containing 320 milligrams of fruit extract and biologically active sterols. or 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh saw palmetto berries every day. Add 10 to 20 drops of saw palmetto extract to 8 oz. organic shampoo without sulfates to help prevent hair loss.
Saw Palmetto Remedies
Saw palmetto is a scrubby little tree native to the Eastern seaboard from South Carolina to Florida. It is also found in coastal Southern California. The trees live to be centuries old, but seldom get taller than 6 to 10 feet. Crowned with three foot wide fan of long, spiky leaves, with red-brown, oblong berries. After ripening, the berries are partially dried and are used as medicine.
Regional Traditions :North America *
History and Traditions & FolkloreIn the early part of this century, saw palmetto berry tea was commonly recommended for benign enlargement of the prostate and to treat chronic urinary tract infections. Used as food by the Seminole Indians in Florida, the berries have been used to ease upset stomachs and insomnia, but the older herbalists did not foresee palmetto's current status as the premier treatment for male prostate problems.
- Duke,James, Ph.D. (2000). "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook"
- Hoffmann, David (2010-12-15). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine (pp. 406). Healing Arts Press.
DHT is necessary for the normal growth and development of the prostate, but its presence is also necessary for the pathologic enlargement of the prostate that occurs in BPH. Thus, one therapeutic approach to treating the condition is to reduce the formation of DHT by blocking the enzyme 5-a reductase. Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) has this effect.