Saw Palmetto Benefits and Side Effects


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Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto

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Saw palmetto grows in areas of southern Europe, Africa, and in coastal regions of the American southeast. This small palm tree produces white flowers in the spring and summer. The tree’s fruit is olive-sized and forms in clusters. When ripe, the fruit becomes dark blue. The fruit is used for medicinal purposes after being dried. Plant sterols and fatty acids are two of the compounds found in the plant.

Saw palmetto is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms in numerous western countries. Aging men often are affected by BPH and experience symptoms including frequent urination, difficulty maintaining or starting urination, need to urinate during the night, and urine leakage.

Research supports that saw palmetto is effective in treating BPH in some individuals. Although saw palmetto seems to provide relief for BPH symptoms, it does not reduce the prostate’s size.

Saw palmetto is used by some herbalists as a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, a sedative, and an antiseptic. Various reports claim that saw palmetto may also stimulate hair growth.

Although there is no supporting scientific research, some women use saw palmetto to increase breast size.

Dosage and Administration

Saw palmetto can be taken in liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Products should contain an 80% standardization of fatty acids, the active ingredients. This standardization insures all commercial products of saw palmetto have equal amounts of active ingredients.

Noticed effects often take up to 1 ½ months to see. Recommended daily dosages range from 320 to 1800 mg.

Although it is common to find products combing saw palmetto with other herbs, the FDA warns that various combination products can result in internal bleeding. Consult with your physician before using saw palmetto.

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