Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens/Sabal serrulata) is a palm like plant that has white flowers, which produce yellow berries. The berries turn brownish black when ripe and are dried for medicinal use. In the early 1900s, men used the berries to treat urinary tract problems, and even to increase sperm production and boost libido. Today, the primary use of saw palmetto is to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Researchers aren’t sure exactly how saw palmetto works, but it contains plant-based chemicals that may be effective for BPH. Researchers think that saw palmetto may affect the level of testosterone in the body, and perhaps reduce the amount of an enzyme that promotes the growth of prostate cells. Saw palmetto is often combined with nettle extract to treat BPH.
Nearly every man over the age of 45 has some enlargement of the prostate gland, the small male sex glands that encircle the urethra. Enlargement and inflammation of the prostate can hinder urine flow and affect sexual function. Frequent night-time urination, pain, burning and difficulty with urination are all symptoms of BPH. Conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone is a chemical reaction that contributes to prostate enlargement and its symptoms. Saw palmetto extract may inhibit this chemical reaction. Although primarily used for prostate problems in men, this extract may also benefit women who have conditions caused by excess androgen, such as hirsutism (excess facial hair) and polycystic ovarian disease.
Saw Palmetto’s active ingredients include fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids. The berries also contain high molecular weight polysaccharides (sugars), which may reduce inflammation or strengthen the immune system.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Evidence is mixed about whether saw palmetto works to treat BPH. Several studies suggest that the herb is effective for treating symptoms, including too frequent urination, having trouble starting or maintaining urination, and needing to urinate during the night. The urethra, the tube that empties urine from the body, runs through the prostate gland in men; when the prostate gland is enlarged, men may have trouble urinating. Some studies show that saw palmetto is as effective in treating symptoms as finasteride (Proscar) without side effects, such as loss of libido. Other studies suggest that Saw Palmetto may actually shrink the size of the prostate gland. Due to the short duration (usually less than 3 months) of these studies, it is not possible to say for sure whether Saw Palmetto is truly effective for preventing complications of BPH. In fact, a well-conducted study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Saw Palmetto was no better than placebo in relieving the signs and symptoms of BPH.
Recommended Use or Purpose:
Used in herbal medicine Saw Palmetto helps relieve the urologic symptoms (e.g. weak urine flow, incomplete voiding, frequent daytime and night time urination) associated with mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia. Saw Palmetto contains a number of beneficial compounds, including flavonoids, sterols and fatty acids that may support prostate function and proper urinary health in men.
Medicinal Ingredients: Each Softgel Capsule Contains:
- Saw Palmetto Extract (Serenoa repens) (berry) ……………………160mg
- (Standardized to contain 85-95% fatty acids and biologically active sterols, 136-152mg)
Recommended Dose (Adults):
Take orally 1 softgel capsule, 2 times a day with a meal or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner.