You’ve probably seen or heard commercials touting the benefits of Saw Palmetto supplements and wondered if the claims that are made are true. Can taking a Saw Palmetto supplement really help with BPH, hair loss, urinary tract infections and many other maladies? Well, here on this site we have compiled a large amount of information that should help you to learn more about the plant, its medicinal qualities, and perhaps allow you to make an informed decision for yourself as to whether a supplement would be useful to you.
Saw Palmetto is a small palm type of plant that is technically called Serenoa repens. It is mainly found in the southeastern United States along the coast. It produces yellow flowers and reddish black berries. It is the berries from which the extract is taken. The berries themselves are very high in Fatty Acids and Phytosterols. The fruit is taken from the plant, partially dried, and then broken down with a solvent such as hexane or ethanol. The most commonly scientifically studied product is Permixon.
Saw Palmetto has been used for hundreds of years as both a food source and as a medicinal plant. Some recent studies have shown that it may have beneficial effects for those suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male pattern baldness and other maladies.
Is it effective?
The jury is still out regarding the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto supplements. Many studies have shown it to be useful in a number of ways while other more recent studies have found it to be essentially useless. I guess the best approach is to give it a try and see if it works for you. Always be sure to ask your doctor about using it beforehand to avoid any drug interactions or other potentially harmful effects.
Supplements containing Saw Palmetto are advertised quite a bit on many radio stations and websites as an effective solution to an enlarged prostate. But, realistically there are not any studies that definitively show that it can reduce an enlarged prostate. There have not been any studies conclusively showing any benefit for baldness, infections or asthma either.
Always be careful when taking any supplements. If you are taking any drugs of any kind there is always the possibility of interactions that may reduce or increase the effect the drug might have.
Saw Palmetto may reduce clotting of the blood so if it is taken in conjunction with an anti-coagulant such as Warfarin, Clopidogrel, or even Aspirin then there is the possibility of bruising or bleeding. It also might have an effect on estrogen and androgen receptors in the body which could cause issues with birth control pills and estrogen therapies. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement.
What’s in it?
Serenoa Repens contains a number of ingredients, in fact it has over one hundred known compounds in it. The most notable are fatty acids and certain plant sterols which are mainly contained within the palmetto berries. It also contains flavonoids and polysaccharides which some studies have shown to be somewhat effective at boosting the immune system.