Saw Palmetto is a palm tree that grows in a wide range of habitats. Native to North America, it is mostly seen on the coastal ridges of Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida. This plant has been known to have numerous medical benefits.
The Saw Palmetto extract comes from its fruit. Rich in fatty acid and phytosterol, this fruit extract is utilized for a variety of medicinal purposes. Among the most widely known benefits of the Saw Palmetto plant is the relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia or commonly known as BPH. The oily secretion from the berry of this plant is believed to treat symptoms of BPH including frequent urination, difficulty urinating, dribbling after urination and other stressful symptoms. It is recognized to reduce the further growth of an enlarged prostate. Several pharmaceutical companies in Europe market Saw Palmetto drugs to treat BPH. They import tons of this plant from Florida every year.
Saw Palmetto is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and is recognized as an alternative medicine to treat persistent coughs. This plant has emerged as an effective treatment for bronchitis and as an expectorant for mucous membranes. However, in taking any kind of drug, remember to read the labels carefully for proper dosage and use it as directed by your doctor. Although Saw Palmetto has no documented side effects, patients have oftentimes complained of irregular bowel movements, nausea and lightheadedness.
Berries from the Saw Palmetto plant have had the reputation of being an aphrodisiac. The early North American Indians discovered the use of this plant to treat impotence and penile dysfunction. It is proven to improve a man's ability to maintain an erection. As a sexual stimulant, this plant can help address male performance issues as well as treat infertility in women. It is considered among the top three herbs to contain aphrodisiac properties.
Early research also indicates that Saw Palmetto has anabolic properties for strengthening the muscles, and it aids in the development of body tissues. This old American tonic is slowly gaining popularity among people who want to build and tone their muscles. Since it possesses a strong natural steroid, it has been proposed as a steroid substitute for athletes, but it is yet to be supported.
Recent discoveries made by European scientists have found that Saw Palmetto can act as a “calming agent” if presented into the bloodstream. In the early 19th century, the fruit of the Saw Palmetto was introduced to patients with nervous conditions, thus it was developed as an active ingredient in anti-anxiety medications known today.
In the late 1990’s, many pharmaceutical companies began marketing Saw Palmetto in promoting hair growth. In theory, this plant could be utilized to block dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and to aid in the prevention of hair loss.
With all the medicinal benefits of Saw Palmetto, it now comes in various forms like soft gel, capsules, tablets, tinctures and even tea. A lot more studies are being done to maximize the full potential of this small palm tree, and every day science is continuously discovering new and innovative benefits.