Saw Palmetto / Serenoa repens
Saw Palmetto has long been held in regard for its role in male reproductive health. This plant is a member of the palm family, commonly seen in pine and maritime forests of the southeastern part of North America and the West Indies. It has a long history of medicinal use, including a spot in the United States Pharmacopeia around the early 1900s, but its use with the indigenous population of the southeast dates even farther back. All parts of the plant were used. The roots were a source of food, the berries for medicine, and the palmetto shaped leaves were fibers for basketry, rope, and roofing. In herbal medicine today, the berries are used. Although they are not very palatable, they are extremely nutritious and restorative as they are rich in phosphorus, calcium, potassium, fatty acids, phytosterols, flavonoids, and tannins.
While it’s great for several men’s health issues, Saw Palmetto has many other uses! It can be useful for the female reproductive system, and has even been shown to be effective for male pattern baldness. It was commonly used by Eclectic Medical Practitioners for conditions of the respiratory system and as a tonic for the urinary system. It has also been known to stimulate the appetite and support digestion.
We most commonly see Saw Palmetto used for prostate health in men, specifically in cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Numerous clinical trials in Europe have shown it to be very effective in patients with BPH by improving the flow of urine, relieving pain, and reducing swelling. It has also been shown to inhibit further growth of the prostate and inhibits the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
In women, Saw Palmetto can be combined with Vitex and is useful in cases of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS). It can aid in reducing ovarian pain and enlargement, and can be helpful in cases of infertility.
Peoples Rx carries several products containing Saw Palmetto in capsule form. You can find it alone by Gaia, or in blends such as the Male Libido formula. We also carry New Chapter’s Prostate 5LX Saw Palmetto blend, MegaFood’s Prostate Strength, and Premier Research Labs’ ProstaVen. Come on in to any Peoples Rx location and explore your options with one of our knowledgeable Wellness Specialists!
Laurène Elliott-Deyris is an Herbalist and Wellness Specialist at Peoples Rx. She received her training at The Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin and is furthering her clinical studies with the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine program out of North Carolina.
**This article is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before use.**
If you have comments and/or questions about this blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org