Botanical Name: Serenoa repens
Plant Description: Saw palmetto is a fan palm plant. It has a yellowish-white flower and a berry like fruit. The fruit are picked in September and October when they have ripened to a deep purple color. They are about the size of an olive and like an olive contain a single large seed. The berries can be eaten raw or dried.
Part Used Medicinally: Fruit
Forms: liquid extracts, tablets, capsules, and tea
Nutrient Content of Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto berry contains about 1.5% oil that is high in fat-soluble fatty acids and sterols. It also contains flavonoids and carotene.
Saw Palmetto is a popular treatment for prostate enlargement also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). This common condition affects 50% of men over the age of 50 – and close to 90% of men in their 80s.
If the prostate gland starts to enlarge, it puts pressure on the bladder wall, urethra, and the sphincter muscles that control the flow of urine out of the bladder – hence, the increased difficulty with urination. Since urine flow is impeded, there’s greater likelihood of infections.
How this plant works is not exactly clear, but the theory is that Saw Palmetto reduces levels of very active form of the male hormone testosterone known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT, it is believe to be the main thing that causes the enlargement of the prostate.
This is what happens, enzymes switches on the DHT, fooling the cells into thinking they are into puberty again and need to get going. So DHT causes an overproduction of prostate cells, causing the gland to grow bigger. That is why men with enlarged prostate have high levels of DHT, so do men with prostate cancer.
What saw palmetto does here is that it blocks the action of the enzyme that causes the production of DHT. In other words this plant acts as a hormone suppressor.
Common symptoms of prostate enlargement:
- Need to urinate more frequently, especially at night.
- Slow stream if urine flow.
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder.
- Increased incidence of prostate infection.
- Increased incidence of bladder infections.
Health Benefits of Saw Palmetto:
- Saw Palmetto helps increase sex drive in men and helps prevent hair loss. It also improve muscle tone.
- Saw Palmetto helps decreased the prostate size to normal.
- In just one month of using saw palmetto extract, men’s urine flow rates increased dramatically.
- Saw Palmetto helps decreased pain from urination and the frequency of urination at night.
How to Buy Saw Palmetto Extract: When buying Saw Palmetto Extracts it is recommended to buy the product that contains 85% to 95% fatty acids and sterols.
Side Effects of Saw Palmetto: Saw Palmetto has been reported to have some side effects. These include stomach discomfort, nausea, abdominal pain, breathing problems, tightness in the throat or chest, chest pain, skin hives, rashes, itchy swollen skin, dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, tiredness and tender breasts, as well as a decrease in sexual desire.
Note: Always consult your doctor before starting any herbal supplement.
“This post was originally published on January 2, 2012 @ 02:51”