4 Surprising benefits of Saw palmetto
atural/alternative medicine has been practiced by many communities around the globe for a very long time. If we look closely, one can find medicines for most of the ailments. Of the many medicines available, Saw Palmetto is catching the attention of researchers for its benefits associated with the treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia, shortly known as BHP.
Saw Palmetto is a small palm with fan-like leaves, growing anywhere between 7–10 ft. It is a hardy, slow-growing, and long-lived plant. This plant is mostly found in the subtropical regions of the Southeastern United States, most commonly along the south Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains and sandhills.
Saw palmetto is also known as American Dwarf Palm Tree and the berries of this plant have been used by American Indians in several forms of traditional herbal medicine. So what makes this plant so unique? The extract of the berries of this plant is used in supplements to improve prostate health, prevent hair loss, improve urinary function, and also balance the hormone levels in men.
Let us understand them in brief.
- Improve prostate health - Saw Palmetto has been mainly researched for its benefits associated with the prevention of prostate cancer and BPH( Benign Prostate Hyperplasia). This is often seen in older men and is a cause for worry, as it may lead to urinary tract infections. One study specifically brought out results that showed decreased growth of cancer cells with the intake of Saw Palmetto extract1.
- Prevents hair loss - Hair loss is a common condition that is seen in most men, factors of which can be hereditary, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or even medicines. Saw Palmetto is often used to balance hormone levels thereby arresting hair loss. Various studies and trials conducted have shown that Saw Palmetto extracts, when applied topically does increase the hair density, making it one of the most sought after products to address a universal problem of hair loss in men.
- Improves urinary function - Incontinence and difficulty urinating can be seen as some urinary function related problems that are commonly seen amongst older men. Research suggests that Saw Palmetto may help improve urinary symptoms associated with BPH( Benign Prostate Hyperplasia). BPH causes an enlargement of the prostate gland and results in decreased urine flow.
- Balance the hormone levels - Hormonal changes are common as a person ages. That being said, a change in the hormone - testosterone is seen to affect several aspects of the body, such as body composition, sex drive, mood, and cognition. Low testosterone levels affect a person’s sense of well-being, fatigue, loss of muscular strength, and intake of Saw Palmetto extracts is seen to help relieve certain symptoms associated with herewith.
Some of the other ailments that are supposed to benefit from the intake of Saw Palmetto supplements are sore throat, cough, asthma, bronchitis, headache, and bladder problems. While Saw Palmetto has many benefits, it also has its share of side-effects. Constipation, diarrhea, dizziness and fatigue, nausea, and vomiting are some of the known side-effects associated with the intake of Saw Palmetto extracts. However, most people are tolerant of this supplement.
Saw Palmetto extract is available in the form of a capsule, tablet, or even in the form of powdered tea. One can find this supplement in many food stores, drugstores, or stores that specialize in herbal products. It is also suggested that one seeks to advise from a doctor before using these supplements, as it may interfere with the results of the other medicines(if one is taking). Women and children must avoid using them.