Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Sabal serrulata)
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Sabal serrulata) is used popularly in Europe for symptoms of enlarged prostate
(benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH). It is the most popular
herbal treatment for this condition. Historical use of saw palmetto
can be traced in the Americas to the Mayans, who used it as a
tonic, and to the Seminoles who took the berries as a cough remedy
Uses: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and
effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions
are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified
Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy)
Male-pattern hair loss,Under active bladder
Prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
*Key to grades: A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use; F: Strong scientific evidence against this use.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to saw palmetto. Use cautiously
with history of health conditions involving the stomach, liver,
heart or lungs, hormone-sensitive conditions or a bleeding
disorder. Use cautiously with drugs that thin the blood (like
warfarin, hormonal drugs (like finasteride ), birth control pills.
Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Possible side effects:
Bleeding, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, bad breath, constipation,
diarrhea, ulcers, yellowing of the skin from liver or gallbladder
disorders (jaundice), headache, dizziness, insomnia, depression,
breathing difficulties, muscle pain, high blood pressure, chest
pain, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Men may experience
erectile difficulty, testicular discomfort, breast
tenderness/enlargement, changes in sexual desire, urinary tract
Blood thinning drugs or drugs that increase the risk of bleeding
(warfarin ), pain relief drugs, PC-SPES?(contains saw palmetto and
seven other herbs, currently taken off the U.S. market), male sex
hormones, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT),
estrogens, alcohol, and herbs and supplements with similar effects
(like red clover, ginkgo biloba and garlic). Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and may
cause nausea or vomiting when taken with prescription drugs like
metronidazole or disulfiram.
A standardized extract of saw palmetto containing 80-95% sterols
and fatty acids (liposterolic content) is often recommended.
Adults (18 years and older):
Tablets/Capsules: A dose of up to 320 mg has been tken daily by