Saw saw palmetto: benefits, side effects, dosages and interactions


Saw saw palmetto ( Serenoa repens or Sabal serrulata ) is a plant used in herbal medicine . Saw palmetto, which is often used to combat hair loss, is also widely used for prostate problems.

Saw Palmetto supplements generally contain vegetable fruit extracts.

What is saw palmetto used for?

In alternative medicine, saw palmetto is believed to help treat health problems such as asthma, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), chronic pelvic pain syndrome, colds, coughs, migraines , prostate cancer, and sore throats .

Saw palmetto is believed to increase libido and relieve stress.

Scientific research has provided limited support for some of these potential benefits.


One of the most common uses for saw palm is in the treatment of prostate adenoma, a condition associated with an enlarged prostate. BPH is not considered a serious health problem, but it often causes symptoms such as an increased need to urinate. It can also lead to urinary tract infections and other complications.

Several small studies have shown that saw palmetto can help relieve symptoms of BPH. However, a report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2012 found that saw palmetto may be ineffective in treating urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

For this report, the researchers analyzed 32 previously published clinical trials with a total of 5,666 participants. Their analysis showed that the use of saw palmetto did not improve urine flow rates or prostate size in men with lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH.

Hair loss

Saw palmetto is believed to inhibit the activity of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme involved in converting testosterone to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. DHT appears to play a key role in the development of androgenetic alopecia, a condition better known as male pattern baldness.

Although research on the efficacy of saw palmetto against hair loss is limited, there is some evidence that it can help treat androgenetic alopecia.

For example, in a pilot study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002, a group of men with mild to moderate androgenetic alopecia showed a "very positive response" to treatment with saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol . The study authors linked this finding in part to possible blocking of saw palmetto 5-alpha reductase activity.

Other benefits

New research shows that saw palm shows promise for the treatment of several other conditions.

For example, a small study published in the Swiss journal Urologia Internationalis in 2010 showed that saw palmetto may be beneficial for patients with chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

In one study, 102 patients with chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome were divided into two groups: the first group received a combination of saw palmetto, selenium, and lycopene ; the second group received only saw palmetto. After eight weeks of treatment, there was a significant improvement in symptoms in both groups.

There is also some evidence that taking saw palmetto before prostate surgery can shorten the time spent in surgery (as well as blood loss, problems with surgery, and the total time spent in the hospital. ).

Possible side effects.

Saw saw palmetto can cause a number of side effects, including:

• bad breath
• constipation
• Diarrhea
• dizziness
• fatigue
• Headache
• nausea
• stomach
• threw up

Additionally, some men taking saw palmetto have reported erectile dysfunction , breast tenderness or enlargement, and changes in sexual desire.

While this has not been well demonstrated in humans, saw palms can affect levels of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Therefore, people with hormone-sensitive conditions (including breast and prostate cancer) should consult their doctor before consuming saw palmetto. Children and pregnant women should not take saw palmetto.

There have been rare case reports describing inflammation of the liver, pancreatitis, jaundice, headache, dizziness, insomnia, depression, shortness of breath, muscle pain, high blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, blood clots, and disease cardiac, but these are not like that. It was clearly caused by saw palmetto.

At least two case reports link saw palmetto to heavy bleeding. People with bleeding disorders or those taking blood thinners or antiplatelet medications such as warfarin (Coumadin®), aspirin, or clopidogrel (Plavix®) should avoid taking saw palmetto without medical supervision. It should also be avoided for at least two weeks before or after surgery.

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Dosage and preparation

There is not enough scientific evidence to determine the recommended dose for saw palms. In studies evaluating the effects of saw palmetto in patients undergoing prostate surgery, a dose of 320 mg of sulfur palm extract was taken daily for two months prior to surgery.

The right dose for you may depend on factors such as your age, gender, and medical history. Talk to your doctor for personalized advice.

What to look for

You can buy saw palmetto dietary supplements at many health food stores, drug stores, and herbal stores. Saw palmetto is also widely available for purchase online.

If you decide to buy this or any supplement, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that you look for the supplement label on the product you purchase. This label will contain vital information, including the amount of active ingredients per serving and other added ingredients (such as fillers, binders, and flavors).

Finally, the organization invites you to search for a product that has been approved by a third-party quality testing organization. These organizations include the United States Pharmacopeia,, and NSF International. A seal of approval from one of these organizations does not guarantee the safety or effectiveness of a product, but does provide assurance that the product has been manufactured correctly, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.

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