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Home » Natural Medicine

Saw Palmetto as a Natural Medicine.

Article / Review by on January 19, 2011 – 7:05 amNo Comments

Saw palmetto extract is an extract of the fruit of Serenoa repens. It is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols. It has been used in traditional, eclectic, and alternative medicine for a variety of indications, most notably benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Medicinal Parts Used: Berries

Saw Palmetto Extract SupplementSerenoa serrulata, also known as Sabal is part of the Palmae plant family. Saw Palmetto is a small, palm-like plant found in sand dunes along the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts. It is native to the Atlantic Coast of south Carolina, Georgia and Florida and southern California, USA, and grows from the Carolinas to Texas.

Saw palmetto Effects

A tissue builder as it stimulates the appetite and increases assimilation of the nutrients; it is useful for wasting conditions and for underweight problems. It helps to build strength during periods of convalescence. It is a nutritive for the sexual organs and is used in the treatment of the following conditions: inflamed and enlarged prostate, impotence, atrophy of the testes, low libido, female functional infertility, low milk production, and dysmenorrhea associated with lack of tone in the reproductive organs. With its afflnity for the sexual organs, it may also function as an aphrodisiac. It has a soothing and expectorant action on mucous membranes and is useful for colds, catarrh, bronchitis, and asthma. Other uses include: urinary imbalances, enuresis, and as a sedative to the menstrual system. The Native Americans used the crushed root for sore breasts.

Saw palmetto Treatments

In men: used to treat and relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); shrinks the prostate and releases the squeeze of the urethra, so that, urine flows normally; increases urine volume, decreases frequent urination, and more ease of urination.
In women: helps relieve painful periods and regulates the menstrual cycle; stimulates the production of prolactin, a female hormone that promotes breast enlargement. Used to treat urinary tract and bladder infections; has an aphrodisiac effect by enhancing sexual functioning and sexual desire.
Saw Palmetto is now the teatment of choice for male hair loss by interrupting hormonal signals thereby reducing the uptake by the hair follicles of a the chemical DHT (dyhydrotestosterone) which is known to convert testosterone into a chemical that can lead to hair loss.

Saw Palmetto Contraindications and Side Effects

Few side effects or allergic reactions are associated with saw palmetto extract use. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal, some of which may be reduced by taking the extract with food. Use may increase the risk of bleeding or affect sex hormones, and concurrent use of other drugs with similar action should be avoided.

Beta-sitosterol, one chemical present in saw palmetto extract, is chemically similar to cholesterol. High levels of sitosterol concentrations in blood have been correlated with increased severity of heart disease in men who have previously suffered from heart attacks.

Should not be used during pregnancy because of its potential hormonal effects.

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 Actions

* anabolic [strengthens and builds body tissues]
* aphrodisiac [an agent for rousing or increasing sexual desire or potency]
* diuretic [an agent that increases the secretion and expulsion of urine]
* expectorant [an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous from the respiratory passages]
* inhibits androgen and estrogen receptor activity
* sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]
* tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]

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