Saw Palmetto - Effective Herb for Prostate Gland

Saw palmetto

Serenoa repens Palmae Also called Shrub palmetto.

A small, palm-like plant, saw palmetto is native to North Amcrica. Native American Indians alld early American settlers used the /Jerries to treat genitourinary problems. Its therapeutic effect on the neck of the bladder and the prostate in metl was so effective that it/Became known as the 'plant catheter', Its fruit is an oval,jleshy p"rplish Mack berry.

Parts used

  • Berries
  • Berries are gathered in autumn when they ripen.
  • They are used in tinctures and various pharmaceutical products.


The active constituents of saw palmetto are a volatile oil, steroidal saponins, tannins, flavonoids, fatty acids and polysaccharides. The plant is a tonic, and is one of the few herbal remedies considered to be anabolic - which means that it strengthens and builds body tissues.

Medicinal uses

Saw palmetto extract is prescribed for benign enlargement of the prostate gland in men, as long as the growth is not large enough to need surgery. In 1996 French scientists demonstrated saw palmetto's effectiveness in reducing benign prostate enlargement. It works by preventing testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone thought to cause prostate cells to multiply, leading to an enlarged prostate gland.

In clinical trials conducted over the past 20 years, men taking saw palmetto felt less urgency and got up less often at night to urinate, or had greater urine flow. Research suggests that, while the conventional prescription drug finasteride is better at increasing the rate of urine flow and shrinking the prostate, saw palmetto causes fewer problems with sex drive and performance.

The herb stimulates the appetite and improves digestion, making it a useful supplement for convalescents. Saw palmetto has hormonal effects, and women have used it to stimulate breast enlargement and lactation. It has also been prescribed for reduced sex drive and impotence.


For internal use

TO TREAT benign enlargement of the prostate
TINCTURE (1:5 in 75% alcohol) Take 10-20 drops in water two or three times a day.



  • No adverse side effects or interactions with other drugs have been recorded to date.
  • Saw palmetto has hormonal effects and may interfere with oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use if you are taking prescribed prostate drugs.


Saw palmetto does not tolerate temperatures below 10░C. Grow in a heated greenhouse or indoors.


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