Saw palmetto is one of the most popular supplements among men because it helps them achieve their goals. Its popularity is due to its many benefits including:
Reduces body fat (especially abdominal)
Increases energy levels and strength levels
Improves sexual performance and libido level (androgenic effect)
Helps with acne, hair growth, wrinkles, skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, eczema etc.
The benefits are not limited to just male users either. Women benefit from saw palmetto too since it increases their confidence and self-esteem. It is also good for treating depression, anxiety disorders, fatigue, insomnia, stress and other mental health issues.
In fact there are so many reasons why saw palmetto is considered beneficial that some doctors have even recommended it for women’s health problems like PMS symptoms or menstrual cramps.
However, there are also risks associated with saw palmetto. One of these risks is that it may cause liver damage if taken at high doses. Another risk is that it could lead to cancer. So before taking saw palmetto, make sure you understand all the possible side effects and take appropriate precautions.
What Is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto tree (Plectranthus caryophyllus) grows naturally in South America and Australia. It is known by other names such as turkey beard, frock leaf, cabbage palm and harbor wine. It is often said that Native Americans used the leaves of the plant to weave mats and baskets. However, it wasn’t until recent times that its medicinal uses were discovered.
Saw palmetto is not related to palm trees though it shares some superficial characteristics with them. It has a short and thick stem, glossy green leaves and reddish berries. The oval-shaped leaves are very similar to the fanlike leaves of palm trees. It can grow up to four feet in height and just like other plants its roots, stem, flowers and fruits all have unique health benefits.
For instance, its roots can be cooked and eaten just like other root vegetables. This is especially good for people with digestive problems such as diarrhea, stomach ulcers, colitis, spastic colon and irritable bowel syndrome. Its stem can be used for making furniture, floor mats and thatching. Its leaves are used for medicinal purpose as well as for weaving baskets and other items.
The Benefits of Saw Palmetto
Just like every other plant, saw palmetto has some incredible benefits and when it comes to treating conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it is no different. Here are some of its benefits:
1. It Protects the Prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that affects men as they age. It is basically a non-cancerous growth of the prostate, which presses against the urethra and bladder. Over time it can cause problems such as difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy), weak stream, the need to pee frequently (frequency) and having to go often at night (nocturia).
Sources & references used in this article:
Herbal therapy use by cancer patients: a literature review on case reports by O Olaku, JD White – European journal of cancer, 2011 – Elsevier
Inhibitory effects of commonly used herbal extracts on UGT1A1 enzyme activity by MEF Mohamed, T Tseng, RF Frye – Xenobiotica, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Interactions between herbal medicines and prescribed drugs by AA Izzo, E Ernst – Drugs, 2001 – Springer