Saw Palmetto is renowned for its ability to protect the health of the prostate. This important gland is responsible for making the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells in the semen. The enzyme “5-alpha reductase” converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the main hormone which signals the prostate to grow, playing a crucial part in male development. As long as there are male hormones present, the prostate stays the same size or is minimally enlarged. However, as men age, testosterone production declines and DHT is still produced. This is responsible for many common male health issues such as loss of libido, hair loss and an enlarged prostate (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia). Research shows that Saw Palmetto inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT, enabling the body to retain normal levels of testosterone. This in turn will keep the libido functioning normally, help with urinary problems, hold weight in check and slow down hair loss. It also works as a natural remedy for impotence.
The University of Maryland Medical Centre have noted that Saw Palmetto alleviates urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate, helping to reduce urinary frequency and improving the ability to fully empty the bladder. As a result of this, the risk of developing kidney infections or kidney stones is greatly decreased.
Studies show that Saw Palmetto is also beneficial in reducing inflammation of the bladder in both men and women and can be especially useful in relieving the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
Saw Palmetto belongs to the class of herbs known as “adaptogens”. These plants possess a unique set of phytonutrients that help your body adjust to stressful circumstances and have a balancing effect on the endocrine system as a whole. Saw Palmetto is particularly known for its beneficial action on both the male and female reproductive system – known as a reproductive amphoteric – simply meaning it normalises reproductive function in men and women where this system is impaired.
Studies show it can improve sperm count and motility in men and counter hormonal imbalance in women.
Folklore and history
The fruit of the Saw Palmetto plant has been eaten by humans for thousands of years, with a book written in 1898 by Susan Hales describing this fruit as a staple in the diet of the Seminole Indians. This tribe ground the berries into a nutritious flour and made infusions to cure dysentery and stomachaches. The inner bark of the trunk was used to treat snake bites, insect bites and skin ulcers. The dried fruits were used to treat indigestion and respiratory infections, whilst they utilised various other parts of the plant to make baskets, brooms and ropes.
In 1908, Saw Palmetto was included in the United States Pharmacopoeia where it remained until 1946 when natural medicine began to fall out of favour. In his "Eclectic Materia Medica", H W Felter wrote, "Saw Palmetto is a nerve sedative, expectorant and a nutrative tonic, acting kindly upon the digestive tract. Its most direct action appears to be on the reproductive organs when undergoing waste of tissue."
Also known as “Old Man’s Best Friend”, Saw Palmetto is, indeed, an exceptionally beneficial herb to the gentleman over a certain age.
This powerful herb was used in several forms of traditional medicine – the Mayans drank it as a tonic whilst Native American Indians reputedly kept Saw Palmetto in their medicine pouch to be used as an antiseptic and a tonic. This would be used to treat a wide variety of ailments including; impotence, infertility, inflammation and urinary tract infections.
Saw Palmetto Herbal Tincture-
Take 1-2ml up three times a day
Saw palmetto Herbal Powder-
1/3 - 2/3 grams up to 3 times a day
or as directed by a herbalist.
Saw Palmetto provides sterols, and the fatty acid caproic, lauric, and palmitic & 75% neutral fats, Essential oil, sterols, polysaccharides, galactose, arabinose, and uronic acid.
Do not combine with anti-androgenic medication.