Saw Palmetto – The Most Amazing Herb on Earth
Saw palmetto is a plant. Its ripe fruit is used to make medicine. Saw palmetto is best known for its use in decreasing symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH). According to many research studies, it is effective for this use.
Saw palmetto is used for treating certain types of prostate infections. It is also sometimes used, in combination with other herbs, to treat prostate cancer. Some people use saw palmetto for colds and coughs, sore throat, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and migraine headache. It is also used to increase urine flow (as a diuretic), to promote relaxation (as a sedative), and to enhance sexual drive (as an aphrodisiac).
The impressive health benefits of saw palmetto include its ability to improve hair growth, protect against prostate cancer, treat urinary tract conditions, stimulate sexual activity, reduce impotence, improve the health of the kidneys, boost muscle mass, increase nutrient uptake efficiency, and even improve the immune system.
Saw palmetto benefits have been known for centuries, and the plant has been used in traditional, eclectic and alternative medicine. Its active ingredients include fatty acids, plant sterols and flavonoids. The berries also contain high molecular weight polysaccharides (sugars), which may reduce inflammation that’s at the root of most diseases and strengthen the immune system — thus adding immune system booster to the list of saw palmetto benefits.
6 Benefits of Saw Palmetto & its Extract
Now, let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of saw palmetto.
Again, due to saw palmetto’s hormonal impact on the body, some men have begun using saw palmetto to stimulate hair growth as they age. Studies have shown a negative correlation between saw palmetto use and male-pattern baldness symptoms, so if your hair is beginning to thin out, consider some supplementation to wind back the clock.
Although there are some benefits of saw palmetto for women, the most highly researched and praised health benefits are for men. In terms of impotence, saw palmetto extract has long been known as a herbal treatment for impotence. The exact pathway that saw palmetto takes in terms of sexual organs and hormones is still somewhat unclear, but the research has definitely piled up showing that it can boost your sexual performance and increase virility.
Saw palmetto has been known to increase sex drive and libido in both women and men. Although the hormonal impact of saw palmetto primarily affects testosterone pathways, as a natural aphrodisiac, women can also get a bit more pep in their intimate steps with saw palmetto supplementation.
The urinary organs can weaken with age, which is why incontinence is much more common in the elderly population. Research suggests that saw palmetto has strong chemical components that can strengthen urinary organs to prevent incontinence, and also improve the health of the kidneys. If you are at risk of developing kidney stones or already suffer from them, saw palmetto supplementation can be a great way to prevent future issues or treat current problems.
Prevents Prostate Cancer
One of the leading causes of mortality for men is prostate cancer. This form of cancer is particularly dangerous because it is associated with prostate enlargement, something that naturally happens as men age. Saw palmetto extract can reduce prostate enlargement by inhibiting dihydrotestosterone, which stimulates cellular reproduction in the prostate. This lowers the chances of developing prostate cancer, eliminating painful urination and the discomfort that accompanies prostate issues. Saw palmetto is also known to speed healing and reduce bleeding in men undergoing prostate surgery.
Increases Muscle Mass
One of the more recent developments in the saw palmetto debate is its impact on muscle mass. Many bodybuilders and people engaged in serious gym time have turned to saw palmetto as a workout supplement. Although research into saw palmetto’s impact on muscle mass and development is still ongoing, early reports do show a correlation between the two. It makes sense, given saw palmetto’s impact on testosterone in the body, which is responsible for muscle mass increase. But it should only be taken in moderation.
Saw Palmetto Interactions, Side Effects & Warnings:
Saw palmetto’s side effects may be similar to those of the drug finasteride (Proscar), also used to treat BPH. Saw palmetto should not be used if you also take finasteride or other drugs for BPH except on the advice of your physician. Because saw palmetto can affect blood clotting, don’t use it when taking other anticoagulant drugs, including warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin. Moreover, because of saw palmetto’s hormonal effects, women should not use it when on hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.
Side effects of saw palmetto tend to be mild and can include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. However, saw palmetto’s safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not known and its hormonal effects it could endanger a pregnancy. Because saw palmetto might slow blood clotting, it should not be used within two weeks of scheduled surgery.