What is Saw Palmetto? Uses and Dosage to Know | What to Know

What is Saw Palmetto? Uses and Dosage to Know

Do you have common conditions like prostate problems or hair loss? Have you searched or wondered if any natural remedies will assist?

A species of palm, Saw palmetto, native to the southern United States, is frequently of use in supplements to aid men with conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, hormone imbalance, and hair loss problems. It also has many extra benefits, including inflammation and better urinary function.

Saw Palmetto – What is this Popular Supplement?

Saw Palmetto - What is this Popular Supplement?

Saw palmetto is an extract derived from the deep purple berries from a fan palm that can grow as a tree or a shrub. It can reach 10 feet in warm climates, with leaf clusters reaching 2 feet or more. It grows in a creeping, horizontal pattern. Also, it grows in the warm climates of the southeast coast of the United States, from South Carolina to Florida. Lush, green leaves with “saw-toothed” edges fan out from thorny stems.

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The plant has white flowers that give way to yellow berries. When the berries are ripe, they turn brownish-black and are dried for medicinal purposes.

What Is Saw Palmetto Used For?

What Is Saw Palmetto Used For?

Natural health practitioners use Saw Palmetto to treat various male and female ailments, including testicular inflammation, urinary tract inflammation, coughs, and respiratory congestion. It is also of use to support the thyroid gland, regulate metabolism, stimulate appetite, and aid digestion.


The majority of the evidence supporting these applications is anecdotal and has not been proven through controlled clinical trials. However, there is enough proof to back up the herb’s ability to produce desirable results. This is in treating exasperated bladder and urinary issues in men with benign prostate hyperplasia(BPH).

BPH can lead to swelling of the prostate gland, thereby preventing the urethra from functioning properly. This causes the man to experience pain while urinating, improper urine flow, inability to control the start and stop of urine, trickling urine, etc.

Saw palmetto is assumed to have several functions but cannot decrease prostate enlargement. For beginners, it can prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High conversion of testosterone to DHT is the reason for Benign prostate hyperplasia. Second, it is thought to interfere with estrogen and progesterone, two hormones linked to DHT production.


Symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, in addition to causing pain and embarrassment, can lead to serious kidney problems if undiagnosed and untreated. It is a common problem in men over the age of 40.

Who Needs Saw Palmetto the Most?

Who Needs Saw Palmetto the Most?

According to estimates, 50-60% of all men will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia during their lives. According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, approximately six million men are in this age group.

There are severe enough to necessitate therapy between 50 and 79 who have benign prostatic hyperplasia. Despite this, only half of them seek medical attention. Both allopathic and natural medicine practitioners recommend annual prostate exams for men over the age of 50, as well as an annual blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker for prostate cancer.

Several clinical trials have recently confirmed the efficacy of Saw palmetto in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Many of these studies have found that Saw Palmetto works better than the most commonly used prescription drug, finasteride, also known as Proscar. After six weeks of use, Saw Palmetto is effective in nearly 90% of patients, whereas Proscar is effective in less than 50% of patients.

Furthermore, Proscar may take up to six months to fully take effect.

Because Proscar inhibits testosterone production, it can result in impotence and breast enlargement. Furthermore, it is much less expensive than Proscar. A month’s supply of Saw Palmetto costs $12-25, whereas a month’s supply of Proscar costs $65-75. Cardura (doxazosin), Hytrin (terazosin), and Flomax are other prescription drugs meant for the treatment of BPH (tamsulosin hydrochloride).

Cardura as well as Hytrin. Normally, these drugs are to reduce symptoms of hypertension. Then on taking them, your blood pressure drops, leading to dizziness and fainting. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating Saw Palmetto for BPH treatment.

If approved, it would be the agency’s first herbal medicine to be licensed to treat a disease for a specific circumstance. There are scientific references to it. Also, it is listed as a treatment for prostate complaints and irritable bladder in the Physicians Desk Reference for Herbal Medicine (1998 edition).

In Europe, extensive clinical studies on Saw Palmetto have been conducted since the 1960s.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of 24 European trials in the November 1998 issue. Nearly 3,000 men participated in the trials, with some receiving Saw Palmetto, others receiving Proscar, and a third group undergoing placebo control trial. The men who took it experienced a 28% improvement in urinary tract symptoms, a 24% improvement in peak urine flow, and a 43% improvement in overall urine flow.

The results were nearly comparable to those of the Proscar-treated group and far superior to those taking a placebo. However, as of 2002, many American physicians still believed that further research was needed to prove the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto.

Origin Of Saw Palmetto

Origin Of Saw Palmetto

For more than a century, Saw Palmetto has been used as aphrodisiacs and a remedy for prostate problems in traditional American medicine. Since the 17th century, Native Americans have utilized Saw palmetto to treat male urinary problems. In the 1800s, a large population of the animals that consumed Saw palmetto appeared healthier and fatter than the others that didn’t– according to medical botanist John Lloyd.

The juice from Saw Palmetto berries was of use by early American immigrants to gain weight, improve general mood, as a sedative, and promote reproductive health conditions. Medical Dr. J.B Read, a physician from Savannah, Georgia, published a study on the herb’s medical properties in the American Journal of Pharmacy in April 1879. He found out that the plant can treat several kinds of ailments.

Read, “Its sedative, expectorant, digestive and diuretic qualities are noteworthy.” “Given the herb’s vast and diverse medicinal potential, it’s surprising that it’s gone unnoticed by the medical community for so long.”

In the 1900s, many urinary tract infections and prostate cancer or enlargement were with aromatic tea of the production from Saw Palmetto berries.

It was also rumored to boost sperm production and sex drive, though these claims have been debunked.

In the 1926 edition of United States Dispensatory, one of the first published medical recommendations for Saw Palmetto as a treatment for prostate problems was published. The usage of medicinal plants, such as Saw Palmetto, began to diminish in the United States in the late 1920s, although it was increasing in Europe at the same time.

What Is the Purpose of Saw Palmetto?

What Is the Purpose of Saw Palmetto?

It is presumed that Saw palmetto can help treat conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, hair loss, migraine, chronic pelvic pain, and sore throat. Saw palmetto is also thought to boost libido (sex drive) and relieve stress. This amazing product is probably famous for its purpose in treating prostate issues, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also referred to as enlarged prostate and prostatitis (prostate inflammation).

Many scientific studies have provided little proof to back up these claims. However, the following are reasons to use Saw Palmetto.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) And Prostate Cancer

The tiny gland between the bladder and penis is a prostate gland, and its purpose is to keep sperm healthy.
According to numerous studies, Saw palmetto can improve prostate health and prevent disorders including symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH and prostate cancer risks.

Other human and animal research suggests that this Palmetto supplement may improve and manage benign prostatic hyperplasia-related urinary symptoms and inflammation.

Androgens are in both the development and maintenance of the normal prostate as well as the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. So research was carried out, and it was discovered that Saw Palmetto induces growth arrest and necroptosis of androgen-dependent prostate cancer LNCaP cells by inducing inactivation of STAT 3 and androgen receptor signaling.

In the United States, approximately 2 million men use Saw Palmetto to treat symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is frequently advised as an alternative to FDA-approved medications. A few tiny studies have demonstrated that it is beneficial, and a 15-year study of 30 men found that taking 320 mg of Saw Palmetto extract daily may help prevent the progression of the symptoms of BPH.

However, considerable research has found no link between Saw palmetto and improved prostate health, clearing symptoms of BPH, and reducing the prostate size or alleviating prostate cancer symptoms. As a result, more high-quality research is required.
Ensure you get professional medical advice before taking Saw palmetto to cure benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, or any other supplements for that matter. They may interfere with prescription medications, other treatments, or tests you may require.

Testosterone Level

While the Serenoa repens plant extract can assist manage testosterone levels, Saw Palmetto is frequently used by men who want to increase their testosterone levels naturally.

Testosterone levels in the body have a huge impact on many health surfaces. This is including sexual drive, cognitive function, mood, and even body composition. As a person grows older, the level of testosterone decreases, and according to some research, low levels of testosterone can contribute to health problems like heart disease.

To help retain testosterone levels in the body, Saw Palmetto reduces the activity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This is an enzyme responsible for turning testosterone to DHT.

In a test-tube trial, there was actual effectiveness. Saw palmetto extract was as effective as finasteride at preserving testosterone levels. Finasteride is a drug of use to treat hair loss and BPH. This is by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
A person reviewing Saw Palmetto stated that it might aid in limiting DHT intake. Also, it can reduce its ability to bind to androgen receptors by approximately 50%. As a result, testosterone levels may be better through regulation.

In 14-day research, taking 1,200 mg per day of Resettin — a supplement containing Saw Palmetto and astaxanthin, a type of antioxidant found in algae — boosted serum testosterone levels by 38% compared to a placebo.

In addition, a rat study found that Saw Palmetto boosted testosterone synthesis, muscle endurance, and sperm count through modifying hormone regulation (18Trusted Source).

Saw active palmetto components are thought to help inhibit the action of 5-alpha reductase. This is an enzyme responsible for turning testosterone to DHT (19Trusted Source).

This procedure may aid in the maintenance of testosterone levels as you age, which may result in benefits in body composition, libido, and mood (15Trusted Source).


According to some studies, Saw Palmetto has anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in treating certain conditions.
One study in mice with enlarged prostates found that Saw Palmetto extract reduced swelling and several inflammatory markers, including interleukin 6 (IL-6) (12Trusted Source).

In another study of rats with BPH, Saw Palmetto reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant status.
Although these findings are encouraging, human studies are lacking.

Saw palmetto is high in antioxidants and has been in animal studies to reduce inflammation. Nonetheless, high-quality human research is of a requirement.

Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

Lower Urinary tract symptoms like incontinence and difficulty urinating are common in the elderly. However, the lower urinary tract symptoms are not just for older people, therefore ensure to carry out regular check-ups.

Saw palmetto may alleviate lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This is a condition characterized by an enlargement of the prostate gland and decreased urine flow.

A 12- week survey, some men consumed over 1,000mg of Saw Palmetto oil along with beta-sitosterol, a naturally occurring compound in plants. These men experienced great improvements and a reduction in BPH symptoms. They felt better than their counterparts that took raw Saw Palmetto oil.

Another six-month survey that featured 354 men showed that men who took 320mg of Saw Palmetto noticed a drop in BPH symptoms, sexual function, improved urinary flow, and general quality of life.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is a common condition caused by several factors. This is including genetics, certain medical conditions, hormonal changes, and the use of medications such as stimulants and blood thinners.

Saw palmetto is frequently used to balance hormone levels and combat hair loss. Research suggests that Saw Palmetto can help inhibit the action of 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme transforms testosterone into a hormone popular as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a sex hormone that is to causes hair loss.

Saw palmetto can also be of use to hinder hair loss by reducing the amount of DHT that your hair follicles take in, which in turn suppresses DHT’s ability to bind to specific hormone receptors.

One review of seven studies discovered that Saw Palmetto oral and topical supplements improved hair.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Recent research has shown that Saw palmetto may help relieve chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). CPPS is defined as pain that lasts for six months or more and has no cause.

A small amount of study was in the Urologia Internationalis journal in 2010. It was of the discovery that when a proprietary supplement containing selenium and lycopene was to Saw palmetto, Saw palmetto gave relief of CPPS symptoms. It is unclear which supplements caused the effect, and more research is required.

Women’s Applications of Saw palmetto

There is little documentation or scientific research on the use of Saw Palmetto in women. Several studies conducted in the 1990s show that the BPH drug Proscar can effectively prevent unwanted facial and body hair growth and treat thinning hair in women.

It works by inhibiting the action of an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. According to anecdotal evidence, Saw Palmetto may be as effective. This is as Proscar in treating unwanted hair growth and thinning hair, and preventing some types of acne. It has also been of use to treat urinary tract inflammation and alleviate menstrual symptoms. It has the potential to enlarge breasts, but this has not been scientifically proven.

What Are The Components Of Saw Palmetto?

What Are The Components Of Saw Palmetto?

The operative component in Saw Palmetto includes fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids. The berries also contain polysaccharides (sugars) with a high molecular weight, reducing inflammation or strengthening the immune system.

Saw Palmetto Preparation

The National Institute on Aging advises that anyone willing to purchase and take Saw Palmetto should ensure they get it from very good sources. Also, they should be sure to take only products that have up to 85-95 percent sterols and fatty acids. Your dosage depends on the kind of Saw Palmetto you take.

A regular dose of the extract, with about 1 – 2 grams of ground dried whole berries, is 320mg and can be of consumption daily. You might have to use the product for about four weeks before noticing changes. An independent internet consumer, ConsumerLab.com carried out tests on about 27 major producers of Saw Palmetto to detect the sterol and fatty acids content in late 1999. A quarter of the tested brands had less than the least recommended fatty acids and sterol levels which is about 85%.

Precautions to Take When Taking Saw Palmetto

There are no special precautions to take with Saw Palmetto, even at increasing doses. On the other hand, BPH can become a serious problem if left untreated. Men who are experiencing symptoms should see a doctor. This is because the symptoms of BPH are similar to those of prostate cancer.

Men over the age of 50 should have a prostate exam once a year. It should only be of use under the supervision of a doctor by people who have prostate cancer. Also, breast cancer, or any sex hormone-related disease. Although the effects of this on a fetus are unknown, pregnant women should avoid taking it. Saw palmetto can alter hormonal activity, which could be harmful to the fetus.

Before taking this, women taking birth control pills or estrogen replacement products should consult their doctor. Saw palmetto should not be by anyone taking testosterone or another anabolic steroid without first consulting their doctor.

Saw Palmetto Side Effects

The symptoms reported are, however, mild symptoms, and they include

  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Breath problems
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Uncomfortable stomach

However, allergic reactions to the plant have been in very rare cases, and they include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Throat constriction
  • Hives
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, or face

Any individual experiencing any of these symptoms, or any other critical symptom, should discontinue the use of Saw Palmetto and seek immediate medical attention.

Also, hypothetically, Saw palmetto may affect those with problems concerning sex hormone levels, including estrogen and testosterone. As a result, people with hormone-sensitive cancers (such as breast and prostate cancer) should seek medical expertise in oncology before taking Saw palmetto.


The Serenoa repens palm plant can create supplements in different forms, like the palmetto herbal blend with potential health benefits. Saw palmetto inhibits tumor cell growth in animal studies, implying that it may be useful in treating prostate cancer. Some researchers noted that it might help with urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

According to promising research, it can also help boost testosterone levels in the body. Also, reduce inflammation, prevent balding or hair loss, improve urinary tract function, aid digestion, and a variety of other functions. Although this amazing supplement has great results, more human resources will be in studies of Saw Palmetto and how it affects human health in general.

Disclaimer: This article is not the official guide to Saw Palmetto but is based on the author’s research or own personal experience.
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TAGS: hair loss, Health and Wellness, Supplements
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